As of January 1, 2021, newly elected Commissioner Carmen Rubio began overseeing Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) as one of her bureau assignments. Nick Fish was responsible for PP&R until his death last year.
This is what Commissioner Rubio wrote about her first term’s priorities concerning parks and natural resources:
As a longtime nonprofit executive director, I have seen firsthand how parks programming enriches the lives of Portlanders and makes an important contribution to the health of this community. Especially now, we can see how people are turning to our parks and natural spaces for their physical and emotional well-being. My goal is to expand our parks resources to increase access to Black, Indigenous, other communities of color, working families and East Portland communities.
In fact, 33% of youth in Portland live east of I-205 and 59% of those youth do not have access to a playground. Knowing this matters and taking action matters more – especially in the midst of these challenging times where we have no choice but to stay home or find spacious outdoor places – in order to stay safe. Even more, for people and families with little or no direct access greenspaces, like in more urban or apartment settings, access to city parks has been a lifeline. Parks and open spaces are providing an opportunity for youth and adults to go outside, get exercise, breathe fresh air and mentally and physically recharge. For these reasons, I’ll work hard to ensure we hold onto, and expand, this precious resource.
We welcome Commissioner Rubio and look forward to working with her and her staff!