‘Gateway Green’ proponents pitch ambitious plans

Want to see how outer East Portland neighbors are planning to turn 35 acres of freeway-locked land into a nature park? We’ll tell you about it here and show you where to see their presentation for yourself …

Gill Williams, landscape architect, David Evans and Associates, shows the supporters of the Gateway Green Initiative slides of a document the firm hopes will persuade several governmental entities to be favorably inclined toward this project.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Hopefully, when you’re driving along the freeway in outer East Portland, you been watching traffic – and not ogling the strip of land running along side Interstate 205 from the Gateway Transit Center north to Rocky Butte.

But, if neighbors and parks supporters have their way, this hidden property might become an accessible, 35-acre nature area called “Gateway Green”.

A couple of weeks ago, we met with supporters of the initiative, as they prepared to unveil their proposal in a presentation at Adventist Medical Center.

“We’re presenting the final vision for Gateway Green Initiative,” reported Gill Williams, landscape architect, David Evans and Associates. “This is more of a ‘vision document’ than a promotional piece. It portrays the idea behind the vision, and the rationale for it as well.”

Ted Gilbert, Karla Keller and Linda Robinson look at the draft plan for the Gateway Green.

The presentation, made into a 27-page report, states the purpose of the initiative succinctly: “To transform an underutilized property into a regional asset that provides open space and recreational opportunities, while demonstrating Portland’s and Oregon’s commitment to sustainability.”

The document will help the initiative’s advocacy groups share their vision, and garner support among officials in the Portland Development Commission, Portland Parks & Recreation, and especially the Oregon Department of Transportation – they own the property.

Many folks on board
“There are a lot of biking and recreational groups that are interested in seeing this developed,” Williams noted. “There are individuals like Linda Robinson, a good advocate for open space and parks.” He added that developer Ted Gilbert – a noted Gateway booster – is also enthusiastic about the project’s potential.”

Moving into Phase II
“We’re in the initial phase of preparing this initiative,” Gilbert commented. “We’re looking at a five to 10 year – or beyond – timeline for implementation of some of the bigger elements. There are some pretty substantial monetary commitments required.  Within the first two to five years, there’s real potential for actually seeing some development.”

Take a look:
The Gateway Green Initiative appears to be a well thought-out plan. If you’re interested, take a look. Just CLICK HERE to see a PDF of the document they’ve created.

© 2008 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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