By Janet Goetze
For the Hollywood Star News
The Portland Parks Foundation is celebrating its 15th anniversary by creating a new small grants program, made possible in large part by a bequest from Nancy Hebb Freeman. The foundation also plans to raise more than $2 million for additional park investments.
“Nancy Hebb Freeman’s thoughtful gift will increase the resources available to support community volunteers who help provide the margin of excellence for Portland’s world-class parks system,” said Jeff Anderson, the foundation executive director.
Freeman loved access to the natural environment provided in many neighborhoods but which are lacking in others, Anderson said. The foundation, he said, “hopes to use her gift to promote community stewardship and expand access to great parks.”
Organizations interested in the program, for which guidelines are being developed, may contact the foundation at 503- 445-0994 or gro.f1516715775pdnal1516715775trop@1516715775ofni1516715775.
During the anniversary year, the foundation also will be raising funds for several projects, including $500,000 for the first phase of Cully Park in Northeast Portland, in partnership with Verde Landscape.
Another $1.25 million will go toward a $2.5 million campaign for a footbridge over West Burnside Street to link Washington and Forest parks along the Wildwood Trail. The foundation also gave nearly $12,000 for the citywide Parke Diem event in October, which sent 1,000 volunteers to 58 sites, in collaboration with Portland Parks & Recreation Bureau.
The foundation has brought Portlanders together to support parks, said Mike Abbate, Parks & Recreation Bureau director. “We’re thrilled about their new program to help partner groups to make incremental investments in our public park system,” he said.