Build Cully Park

Tony De Falco, coordinator of Let Us Build Cully Park!, taken by Julie Cortez, El Hispanic News
Tony De Falco (right) is coordinator of "Let Us Build Cully Park!" (Julie Cortez, El Hispanic News)

El Hispanic News Editor-in-Chief Julie Cortez wrote this inspiring story about a movement to create a park in Portland’s Cully neighborhood. Read about Friends of Trees’ partner, Verde, and others who are making “Let Us Build Cully Park!” a reality.

We also hope you’ll join us for our planting in the Cully, Beaumont-Wilshire and Roseway neighborhoods on March 31. It starts with hot drinks, breakfast treats, and registration at 8:45 am at Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church, 4927 NE 55th Avenue. Many thanks to the Port of Portland for sponsoring the planting.

Below is an excerpt from Julie Cortez’s story:

Bucking a system that skews to the lowest bidder, the powerful, and the well-connected, the Let Us Build Cully Park! project is envisioned not only as an opportunity to bring a park to a neighborhood short on natural spaces, but also as a model of how to ensure such projects benefit and engage a community ecologically, economically, and equitably.

The Cully neighborhood in Northeast Portland is poorer, more diverse, and younger than average, and its residents have minimal access to parks and nature. With those factors and challenges in mind, Verde, Hacienda Community Development Corporation, and the Native American Youth & Family (NAYA) Center have teamed up to create Living Cully: The Cully Ecodistrict, which, according to a statement from Verde, reinterprets the traditional ecodistrict model “as an anti-poverty strategy, where low-income people and people of color drive environmental resources into their neighborhoods in response to existing community needs, creating broad economic opportunities.”