Not To Be Missed: We are hosting a Virtual Speaker Series (with an in-person option) about one of Columbia Park's design firm’s legendary founding architects, Frederick Law Olmsted (bicentennial 1822-1903). Best known for designing NY Central Park and the grounds of the U. S. Capitol. Scroll to the Events section below for registration details and more.
As winter is upon us, we hope that you are healthy, keeping active and staying connected to friends, family and community. Despite the cold, wind and rain, and now snow, we also encourage you to submerse yourself in the elements and take advantage of outdoor activities in Columbia Park. In particular, check out the Children’s Discovery Walk with your younger friends and family! Can you find the giant Sequoia, home plate and the comfort station? Have you strolled through the Nature Patchand learned about the native plants inhabiting this transformed space on the South side of the park? Did you notice the new (as of October) West Side Re-planting along Woolsey? There is so much beauty in the Park – don’t miss out!
In this Winter 2021 edition, we bring you some important updates, news of transition with Friends of Columbia Park and to ask for your help and support. We would like to get more Friends activated in the fun and rewarding work of stewarding Columbia Park and all of its amenities. If you are interested and curious, read on and learn how you can get involved in a variety of ways from small to more substantial help. Friends of Columbia Park is a membership organization and all volunteer run. When our membership and volunteer base is large and strong, we can accomplish a lot to protect and support Columbia Park. We ask you to JOIN if you are not already a member and ask that you encourage others to JOIN. Joining is free and easy.
Lastly, we understand that there is great need in our communities, especially as the pandemic continues. As you consider how to support community through financial giving, we ask that as you are able please,CONTRIBUTEto Friends of Columbia Park. Your dollars help keep our all-volunteer group organized and active to steward Columbia Park and all its amenities.
Be sure to get outside as often as possible and take in our beautiful Columbia Park!
Dozens of volunteers with Friends of Columbia Park came out the last weekend of October to replant the entire Western border of Columbia Park (along Woolsey) with over 500 new shrubs and plants. The landscaping effort was more than a beautification project – and wow does it look great! The original plants - Rhododendron, Camelia and Viburnum – were suffering from a disease that causes root rot and needed to be removed and replaced by plants that are resistant to the disease. This replanting project was possible because of a generous grant fromThePortland Garden Cluband funds from Friends of Columbia Park. We are especially grateful to PP&R Horticulturist, Johnny Fain for designing the beautiful new border and making it all happen!
Children's Discovery Walk
A walk in Columbia Park is always full of discoveries, but it can be even more exciting when you have a few special things to look for.
The Children's Discovery Walk is a 10-item treasure hunt that will guide younger children (and their adults) around some of the special places in Columbia Park, drawing attention to small wonders that abound beneath these towering, protective trees. Friends of Columbia Park created this tour as a way to help families enjoy the park together.
Follow along using the scrolling story located on our website, or click on this link to access the tour from ESRI.
A big shout out to FOCP Board member, Rebecca Small for her vision and creativity in bringing this to all of us!
Columbia Pool News
What a roller coaster ride it has been for all of us with the changing status of Columbia Pool over the past 3 years! Unfortunately, there is not a lot of clarity about PP&R plans and it seems like Columbia Pool will not be opening anytime soon, if at all. Since our fall newsletter, we’ve been involved in trying to get information and better understand what the short and long-term plans are for Columbia Pool.
In late September, we released the Columbia Pool Community Task Force Facilities AssessmentReportand Issuance Letter. Thank you to all of the local expert authors who contributed to this report and brought important information to our community about the Pool – a special shout out to lead author, Chris Forney for providing the needed motivation and skill. The St. John’s Review covered the report release and other Pool news featuring the Columbia Pool Ladies. Sophia Peel of the Willamette Week also provided somecoverageof Columbia Pool
During a recent meeting (12/7/21) with Parks Commissioner Carmen Rubio and Director Adena Long, we heard again that a new aquatics center may be coming to North Portland, but it is several years and millions of dollars away. We did learn that the three proposed sites for a new aquatics facility include Columbia Park, Columbia Annex and of course, Charles Jordan Community Center.
We wish that we had more and better news to share with you all about the Pool.
You can learn more about Columbia Pool and let your elected officials know about this and other issues affecting the park and neighborhood by clicking the link below.
Click the button. Your email will slowly open, addressed to council members. Add your own words!
For the latest pool updates, check our Facebook Page.
Non-Facebook members can view it anytime.
If you have a reason to gather with friends and family and would like a place to host your get-together, consider The Columbia Cottage as a venue – it is now available for rent. To learn more about the Cottage or if you are interested in renting the Cottage,
We’d also like to give another shout-out to volunteer Chris Forney for donating his time and expertise to help with an assessment of the Cottage facility. Thank you, Chris!
Do you know a professional designer who would like to help us develop a plan for improving the interior décor of the cottage? If you do, please contact Mary Englund.
North Portland In Motion is a City Bureau of Transportation project that aims to identify where transportation projects could improve safety and access to the important places in our North Portland neighborhoods. Friends of Columbia Park has a seat on the Advisory Committee for this plan and is using the opportunity to advocate for improvements that we believe would make our North Portland parks - and Columbia Park in particular! - more welcoming and accessible. Some ideas we're promoting include multi-lingual way-finding signage for people walking and biking; more marked crosswalks leading to main park entrances; and a review of on-street parking near Columbia Park entry points to ensure convenient loading/unloading for people with wheelchairs, walking devices, or strollers. Want to support FOCP's recommendations, or add suggestions of your own for how North Portland could be safer and easier to get around? Learn more about North Portland in Motion and submit your comments to the project's Online Open Houseor to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rachel Burdon is transitioning out of the FOCP board president role and we are looking for out next leader! Rachel has been involved with our Friends group since 2017 and President since April of 2018. During Rachel’s leadership during the past 3+ years, FOCP has accomplished quite a lot:
FOCP has a completely new and amazing board of directors
Our general membership grew from zero to nearly 400 strong
We have a new strategic framework that describes our groups’ priorities
We have new behind the scenes systems to help with rental of Columbia Cottage and volunteerism
We navigated the complex community issue - the Columbia Pool closure - with PP&R and community partners
FOCP is recognized as a voice and advocate for Columbia Park as an important part of the community
We are sad to see Rachel go, but know that we are in a good place to welcome in our new President when they arrive. If you know a good candidate for this position, please contact our Volunteer Coordinator, Mary Englund here.
Events at the Park (and virtually)
Friends of Columbia Park is very honored to be the host of a series of presentations as part of the bicentennial celebration of Frederick Law Olmsted and his legacy of landscape design and public parks - both across the country and right here in Columbia Park.
Regarded as the founder of American landscape architecture, Frederick Law Olmsted (1822–1903) is best known for designing the grounds of New York City's Central Park, the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., the Biltmore Estate in North Carolina and the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago. But of course, we know him as the design influence of our beloved Columbia Park, established in 1892.
The presentations will be held in the Columbia Cottage, located near the south entrance of the Park, as well as live streaming via zoom and recording so people can watch remotely. Cottage guests are required to be masked, and vaccinated. Reservations are required for in-person attendance, as seating will be limited to allow for COVID-safe spacing.
Here are the first three speakers in the series. For more information about our speakers and details of additional presentations in the series, see our website.
January 12, 2022 He Paints with Lakes and Wooded Slopes - Frederick Law Olmsted and Landscape Design in the American Progressive Era with Suzanne Bishop REGISTER
February 9, 2022 A Showing of the PBS Film “Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing America” and Q&A with the Producer with Laurence Cotton --REGISTER
March 9, 2022 An Evening with William J. Hawkins, Author of 'The Legacy of Olmsted Brothers in Portland, Oregon' with William J. Hawkins --REGISTER
Park Clean-up Crew
First Saturday of every month
Join our Friends Clean-up Crew, the first Saturday of every month to help keep Columbia Park beautiful.
WHAT: Pick-up trash and debris in and around Columbia Park
WHEN: First Saturday of every month, 10:00 - 11:30 a.m.
WHERE: Meet at the Cottage to pick up supplies; work around the Park, Bring gloves, mask, water bottle.
WHY: We like to help keep the park beautiful!
THANK YOU VOLUNTEERS!
FOCP is a small but mighty group that is led by an amazing board of directors who work hard to keep our group organized, focused and moving in the right direction to steward Columbia Park.
CURRENT BOARD MEMBERS:
• Hayley Pickus, Secretary, Newsletter
• Jeff Heil, Member at Large, Past President
• Mary Englund, Member at Large, Volunteer Program, Newsletter
• Greg Dilkes,Cottage Caretaker, Rental Manager
• Rebecca Small, Member at Large, Website
* John Flannery, Treasurer
Volunteer - JOIN a Team!
FOCP has renewed energy and there is much to do. Columbia Park is a thriving part of the community. We need your help and here are a few ways YOU can step up:
Park Steward: Join the Park Stewardship Team and help keep Columbia Park looking good - clean and free from trash, graffiti; happy, healthy plants and trees; safe and accessible amenities and equipment. Help get other community members out into the park to enjoy its fun and beauty. Email Mary Englund hereto join.
Cottage Steward:Did you know that FOCP operates Columbia Cottage and makes it available for private and public events? It's really a very sweet place and we need to get more people using this beautiful and historic part of the park. Join the Cottage care taking team and help keep Columbia Cottage in tiptop shape so it can be used by all. Email Mary Englundhereto join.