Neighbors work toward Laurelwood Park upgrade

Discover why folks are getting together to improve this tiny, 90-year-old city park — and how you can have your say, too …

Foster Green EcoDistrict Co-Chair Ryan Givens invites participating in the re-visioning of Laurelwood Park.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Since it was acquired, in a 0.42 acre space in 1923, Laurelwood Park – squeezed in between SE Holgate Boulevard, SE 64th Avenue, and SE Foster Road – has remained relatively unchanged.

But, neighbors in the area want to change that – one of whom is Ryan Givens, Co-Chair of the Foster Green Ecodistrict Steering Committee.

At the committee’s second meeting on the topic, on February 20, held just up the street from the park at Bar Carlo on SE Foster Road, Givens spoke with East Portland News before bringing the meeting to order.

“We’re engaging the community to see what they’d like to see in the park. The park has so much potential to be a catalyst for the redevelopment for what’s going on here.

During the September Fun on Foster celebrations, Laurelwood Park becomes the hub of activity. East Portland News archive photo

“There is so much going on in the area,” Givens explained. “Our group has decided to engage the public, to come up with a Master Plan process for improving the park.”

The fifteen people in attendance talked about what they’d like to see done to update the “tiny gem” of a park, in order to make it more useful and functional for the surrounding neighborhoods.

The park is largely unchanged from its inception in the 1920s, and the Foster Green Ecodistrict Steering Committee (an organization of neighborhood groups) is holding a conversation about what the future might hold. The community workshop will share what potential futures there may be for the park.

Tiny Laurelwood Park is in a triangle between SE Holgate Boulevard, SE 64th Avenue, and SE Foster Road. PP&R image

Questions being considered include:

  • Will it become a protected enclave from the business of Foster and Holgate?
  • Can the space be organized to serve more people in more ways?
  • Can it be a place to celebrate art and history?
  • Or…will the neighbors opt to just leave it alone?


Now through March 15, interested people are urged to take an online survey, to let their preferences be known. CLICK HERE to open their “Survey Monkey” page.

The Foster Green EcoDistrict – collaborating with the City of Portland Bureau of Parks and Recreation, the Mt Scott-Arleta Neighborhood Association, and the Foster Powell Neighborhood Association – has hopes of getting the City to formally adopt the final plan.

For more information on the organization, see their website: CLICK HERE.

© 2013 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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