The Fields – Not Open Yet!

by Bettie DeWitt

SignageThe news from Portland Parks & Recreation is that the date for the Grand Opening of the Fields Park has been pushed to May 6. And, as disappointing as that is for us, by that time Spring will have sprung and the new plants and trees should be more established and even flowering! And the geese will have flown over to Waterfront Park to play with their friends at the Cinco de Mayo festival!The Dog Park

There is lots of work still to be done – the dog park needs to be finished and the childrens’ play area needs to be fenced in. Some of the paths still need to be laid but the loo and most of the benches and tables have been installed. Fencing will also be put up on the eastern border of the park, between us and the rails, to give some protection and security. Although much of the planting has been done, there still are trees and plants that need to be put in the ground.

Doggy Bowl!!

It’s not like they haven’t been working out there – it seems like they’ve been working night and day to get it finished! More work than they ever imagined, I guess. The lights are up and beautiful. But the streets need to be cleaned and the construction trucks need to go and all the guys with the hardhats have to move on.

Snail Sculpture

And they’re installing art. Won’t that be fun! The snail sculptures will provoke many a comment, I’m sure!

Bark... Woof!


9 thoughts on “The Fields – Not Open Yet!

  1. I look down on The Fields from my place and have admired the tenacity of the work crew. Most days, Saturdays included, they start before sun-up and leave at sun-down. And I expect this is costing the city more than anticipated.

    I look down on The Fields from my place and have admired the tenacity of the landscape crew. They must have planted 5,000 trees, shrubs, grasses and things yet to be discovered. And I expect this over planting, which leaves no room for future growth, is costing the city more than anticipated.

    Perhaps 30% fewer plants would have paid for a water feature for children? Perhaps 30% fewer plants would have paid for a shelter in the dog area?

    I look down on The Fields and wonder at the stone cutters who must have cut 5,000 stones to make a walk-way, not once, but in some cases twice over and as I watched this magnificent landscape marvel take place, I did wonder why concrete wasn’t used instead of trying to make curves out of rectangular blocks.

    And maintenance? This is a very high maintenance park, or it should be if it is maintained properly. Is this a job for the city maintenance workers or is it hired out?

    I see the “furniture” and hear rumors of the exorbitant cost.

    I hear rumors of lawsuits between contractors and subs.

    Will we ever be told, we the taxpayers, exactly how much this beautiful park cost each of us or did Hoyt gift the city with the entire cost?

    1. Hello Kat. Thank you so much for your comments. I’d love to be able to address each and every point but can’t, and suggest that Portland Parks & Recreation might be the more informed of the two of us to answer your questions and address your concerns. You’re lucky to be able to watch it come together from your bird’s eye view! Hope you enjoy this beautiful park!

  2. Thanks for the update! Is it really going to be on a Monday, May 6th? Could we have any influence to convince Parks & Rec to hold it on a Friday or weekend? Thanks!

    1. Hi Ken and Rhonda. Here is the official Save the Date information from Portland Parks & Recreation: “Portland Parks & Recreation and the Portland Development Commission, along with our valued community partners, invite you to join us on Friday, May 17, 2013 at 12pm for the grand opening of The Fields Park. The celebration will be highlighted by appearances by City and community leaders, a musical performance and art exhibit by neighborhood schoolchildren, light refreshments, and much more! The Fields, the newest park in the Rose City, is scheduled to open to the public on May 6.” So there you have it!

  3. Six more weeks! Are you sure you don’t mean April 6th? This was supposed to be the ‘soft’ opening. When is the ‘Official’ opening scheduled?

  4. While I’m looking forward to having the new park completed, does anyone else think that the length of time this park has been under construction is a bit weird? It seems to reflect the inefficiency of government. If you look at a large private commercial development (corporate campus, university, apartment complex, etc.) that has a similar level of landscaped surfaces including hardscapes, irrigation, plants, trees, grass, etc. it would typically require only 30-60 days for the landscaping. The Fields park project has gone on so long that I can’t even remember when they actually started – but I believe it was at least a year ago. Oh, and sorry to get on my soap box, but we have another Randy Leonard Loo installed in this park at $60,000. Given that these toilets are roughly about 60 square feet, that equates to $1,000/square foot for one of these very basic bathrooms. I don’t know of a condo in the neighborhood that is selling for $1,000/square foot. Here’s a link to an equivalent public restroom that could have been purchased for $13,500:

    It’s time to hold government accountable. Stop the waste and inefficiency.

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