Tag Archives: Gardening in Public Series

Horticulture: Gardening in Portland Parks

The land occupied by Kenilworth Park and most of the Kenilworth neighborhood was part of the land claim owned by Clinton Kelly, a Methodist minister from Kentucky who settled in the area in 1848. In 1909 the Portland Park Board purchased 9 acres from Kelly with funds from a 1908 bond measure created specifically to acquire land for parks in Portland. In 1910, Park Superintendent Emanuel Mische created a design for the park that was inspired by the park's natural topography and vegetation. The design included a bandstand, tennis courts, sports field, wading pool and play area, sand courts, walkways, and vista points. Today, the basic layout of the park remains intact and is indicative of the strength and appeal of Mische's original design.

One of my favorite neighborhood parks is just a few blocks from my house.  The land occupied by Kenilworth Park and most of the Kenilworth neighborhood was part of the land claim owned by Clinton Kelly, a Methodist minister from Kentucky who settled in the area in 1848. In 1909 the Portland Park Board purchased 9 acres from Kelly with funds from a 1908 bond measure created specifically to acquire land for parks in Portland.
In 1910, Park Superintendent Emanuel Mische, a contemporary of the Olmsteads who conceived the overall plans for Portland’s Park system, created a design for the park that was inspired by the park’s natural topography and vegetation. The design included a bandstand, tennis courts, sports field, wading pool and play area, sand courts, walkways, and vista points. Today, the basic layout of the park remains intact and is indicative of the strength and appeal of Mische’s original design.

Gardening in Public – Full Frontal Gardening

Preface to the series. I worked 27 years for Portland Parks and Recreation as a Gardener later upgraded to Horticulturist, a change in title only. I loved my work and job. I can count as friends many of the people who still work there. I have the utmost respect for the many there who remain positively engaged in their work. It is a wonderful place to work and grow. I also found the organization a continuous source of aggravation. I don’t think this should be interpreted to be damning of the organization or its people. It simply speaks to the nature of the ‘beast’. Like any organization it takes considerable effort and focus to address one’s shortcomings. It is all too easy for any of us to become complacent, because it is difficult and there is little reward when what you seek others interpret as threatening to themselves. It is what it is. I would do nothing different except perhaps had more confidence earlier on to pursue what I thought was both creative and healthy for myself and Portland Parks. I don’t mind being taken to task. It hones my own practice and I try to rise above the personal and wish the same for others. Growth is difficult it does not mean that we should not pursue it. Continue reading