Save Portland Avenue Park and Community Center

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Portland Avenue Park and Community Center is a vital part of the First Creek Neighborhood in Tacoma Washington. It provides a much needed playground, athletic field and services to a dramatically underserved neighborhood. Eastside Tacoma District 4 has the fewest parks and facilities out of all the areas.

MetroParks of Tacoma is proposing to shut down this 14 acre park and center, sell it to fund 10% of a new $30 million indoor pay to use recreation center two miles away. This would take away the only playground in the neighborhood and we would lose the single largest grass athletic field in the city of Tacoma. The Tacoma Rugby Club has been playing on this field for about 30 years and held 30 games this last year. It provides meals for seniors year round, meals for children during the summer, diabetic foot care, sewing classes, books and a place for the local children to run around.

Most people walk onto the park to use it and the neighborhood surrounding it earned about $14,000 less than the national average in income. The neighbors have less money to spend on transportation and recreation making the idea of asking us to travel two miles away and pay for using a facility unreasonable.

We need a park, a playground, the fields and the valuable services the center provides. Without this park the neighborhood will have nothing. We have lost our library, our boys and girls club, no chain grocery stores and stand to lose everything without even a park to play in.

This is devastating and we are told that they cannot afford to operate the New Eastside Community Center and Portland Ave and need the funds from the sale. This confuses me because of things like the $60 million 11 acre park they are putting in Point Defiance, a more affluent neighborhood while we lose our 14 acre park and only neighborhood playground and field.

Please help us by telling MetroParks that Parks should be for everyone, not just people in 'better' neighborhoods. That children shouldn't have to pay to play. That low income families need all the services, parks and facilities they can get. Parks and Playgrounds and green spaces are for everyone. Don't sell our park!

 http://www.thenewstribune.com/news/local/news-columns-blogs/matt-driscoll/article152999434.html

 

 



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