Thomas Cully Park

A landfill in northeast Portland, Oregon, has been transformed into an active community park thanks to a remarkable partnership among neighborhood activists, a nonprofit developer, and the City of Portland.


Why does this project matter?

The Cully neighborhood, a diverse low-income community, had long been underserved with parks and recreation opportunities. This project fulfilled the neighborhood’s need for a park while also mitigating and making better ecological use of a capped landfill site.

What is ESA doing to help?

ESA assisted Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) and nonprofit advocacy group Verde with a master plan and Phase 1 design and construction services for a 25-acre community park in northeast Portland.

As the prime consultant, ESA coordinated the services of numerous project subconsultants and successfully guided the project through complex issues of needs assessment, access, safety, design, and management for the site, which formerly housed a quarry and landfill. The resulting park program included soccer, softball, and baseball fields; a sport court; a plaza and concession area; picnic facilities; restrooms; hard- and soft-surface trails; a community garden; a Native American inter-tribal gathering area; native prairie vegetation; and an off-leash dog area.

The development of construction documents required significant coordination among the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, Metro regional government, PP&R, and numerous City of Portland Bureau staff to address the challenging infrastructure issues associated with the landfill site. After successfully navigating the permitting process, ESA completed Phase 1 construction and the park opened in June 2018.


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