Good things seem to keep happening in the Cully Neighborhood. First it was a new park. Now, Portland Parks & Recreation is taking over Colwood Golf Course. The Portland City Council authorized the purchase earlier this year. Until June 1 of this year, PP&R will be leasing the property back to the former owners, but future operation has yet to be determined.
According to PP&R spokesman Mark Ross, “Colwood National Golf Course will continue to operate as it has been until that time, and the casual golfer should notice no difference.” After June 1, the course will not be able to be played as an 18-hole course, according to Ross, because the City didn’t purchase all the land. What will happen after June 1 is still to be determined, he added.
When the Council approved the acquisition, Portland Parks Commissioner Amanda Fritz said, “We are proud to bring a large portion of the Colwood Golf Course and natural area into public ownership … land which represents significant environmental and recreational opportunities for the entire City of Portland.”
The property includes the golf course, along with open parkland and forested and wetland areas that protect the Columbia Slough. The City’s takeover of the Colwood property is part of a long-term project to reshape the existing property into the Cully neighborhood’s most important public natural area. Environmental Services Commissioner Nick Fish explained the strategy: “As our city grows and fills in, there are fewer and fewer opportunities to protect nature in the city.
Acquisition of Colwood is a wonderful example of providing industrial land while preserving a watershed for future generations of Portlanders.”
The City’s cost to acquire the Colwood property was $5 million. PP&R’s $4.5 million will come from System Development Charges, reimbursement from golf revenue over time and potential grants/partnerships. Portland’s Bureau of Environmental Services contributed $500,000.