Oregon Public Broadcasting

Today the city of Portland breaks ground on an initiative to build amenities in places with lots of families but little park infrastructure. Parks Commissioner Nick Fish says there's been plenty of will to create new parks in the underserved East side of town.

"Over the last 20 years," Fish says, "we have invested more capital dollars in acquisition in East Portland than in any other part of the city. The bad news is we have a lot of underdeveloped properties."

So here's the Commissioner's work-around: E205 will invest small amounts of money in things like playgrounds, community gardens, and lighting - all in areas already identified as priorities.

Construction starts today on a playground at the East Portland Community Center. Projects are underway at Argay and Cherry Parks as well. More improvements are coming at East Holladay, Gilbert, Glenfair, and other spots.

The Parks Foundation hopes to raise $500,000 in private money to match the city grant. So far, donors have contributed less than $50,000.

This story originally appeared on Oregon Public Broadcasting.

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