Another step toward spending construction and maintenance bonds approved by voters last November was taken in mid-April when Portland Parks & Recreation hired Mary Anne Cassin as parks bond program manager and charged her with overseeing the delivery of up to $68 million of repairs and improvements to Portland’s parks and facilities.
Cassin will be joined by four project managers, a public involvement specialist and an administrative assistant in the next few months. Once bonds are sold in late June or early July, work is slated to begin on projects throughout the city, including replacing Kenton Park playground equipment, refurbishing Grant Park pool equipment, re-plastering Matt Dishman Community Center’s pool shell and upgrading Delta Park safety and structures, facilities used by the Urban Forestry Team.
Cassin earned two degrees in Landscape Architecture, including one from Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, worked with several private landscape architecture firms and taught at the University of Illinois. “Mary Anne brings unparalleled expertise in project management, design work and logistics,” said Portland Parks Commissioner Amanda Fritz.
The newest member of PP&R’s bond team, Cassin is a familiar face, having first joined PP&R in 1984 as a landscape architect and, in her ensuing 22-year career, served as project manager on the Springwater Corridor Trail, both North and South Park Blocks and the 2020 Plan, employing planning, policy work and program development skills. She was instrumental in PP&R’s formation of the Parks Board and the Parks Foundation, Fritz added.
Concurrent with Cassin’s hiring, a Community Oversight Committee was finalized. Its job will include overseeing bond implementation performance by tracking progress on the bond, ensuring that bond promises are kept and making reports to the Portland City Council and to the community. Members of the oversight committee include Jonath Colón, representing the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; Don Grotting, Superintendent, David Douglas School District; Dion Jordan, Portland Parks Board; Karen Loper, retired PP&R assistant director and Zari Santer, retired PP&R director.