The Northwest’s winter climate may be academically friendly, but its friendliness towards outdoor exercise is another story. Such is the predicament faced by students, teachers and staff at Alameda Elementary School in dealing with the field behind the school.
When the field is dry, lack of adequate green cover for the recreation area makes the surface unforgiving on youngsters’ ankles and knees. When it’s wet, and that’s most of the time during the school year, the field becomes a muddy morass that on many days prohibits students from getting the exercise they need to achieve academically.
Alameda parent Aimée Samuelson said that Portland’s School District lacks resources for fixing the field. So Samuelson said she and several other parents have begun a fundraising campaign. So far, they’ve collected between $5,000 and $6,000 of the $300,000 it’s estimated will be needed to make the 20,000-square-foot field an attractive recreation venue year-round. That seemingly high amount will fund repair and improvement of drainage, re-grading the field, installing substrate and either artificial turf or natural grass and re-landscaping the west end border of the field.
The group is approaching major donors such as athletic teams like the Timbers, corporations like Nike and local retailers, but Samuelson said not all the fundraising is big.
“This summer,” Samuelson said, “we participated in Fremont Fest, and we appreciate how The Arrangement gave us space and how much time our parent and student volunteers spent. We were also generously supported by Beaumont Hardware, holding a raffle to help raise funds.” In addition, Samuelson also mentioned many “home grown efforts” that supported the field. For example, a group of soon-to-be-fourth-grade students made some “amazing” cupcakes that they sold with all proceeds going to the Alameda field improvement.
Samuelson encouraged anyone interested in the project to visit www.alamedafield.org for more information.