Tigard resident Sara Tilley has visited Cook Park frequently for years. With two young girls, she appreciates the park as a way to get out and be active between dinner and bedtime.
Now, since COVID-19, daily visits to the park feel vital for her and her family.
“One of my family’s favorite things about living in Tigard is the wonderful connectivity and park access – having such wonderful trail access to Cook Park right out our own back door makes living in this community so much sweeter and was one of our most important factors when choosing where to live,” she said.
“Before COVID, my young children visited Tigard parks several times a week to play on the play structures and enjoy nature. Our park activities may have changed this year since COVID, but we’re still getting out on the trails and into the park almost every day.”
The City of Tigard is asking community members to consider the importance of parks and recreation in Tigard. Every ten years the city creates a road map called the Parks and Recreation Master Plan. The city is now updating that plan.
“COVID-19 has changed everything. How we get together, where we go and when we get there what will there be to do?” Alex Dupey said, Director of Planning Services at MIG, a planning firm hired to help the city put together an updated Parks & Recreation Master Plan. “While a unique time in many of our lives, it is also a great time to reflect on how our parks and open space system works for us, our neighbors and the broader community.”
The primary focus of MIG’s work in the first phases of the project were to assess the city’s current parks and recreation programming. Important priorities set in the last 10-year plan are nearing completion.
Years of community input show that Tigard residents love community events, trails and being outdoors, but it is increasingly clear that not all parks are created equal. Accessibility and maintenance, newer versus older facilities, location and availability are all issues that will continue as Tigard grows. Improving accessibility and availability of park spaces for the myriad of users in the community requires us to think about how equitable the current parks system is, who it serves and how close it is to home.
The City’s goal is to have recreation, whether that be a park or trail, within a 10-minute walk from every front door. Can you walk to a park or trail now? If so, is the route safe? Are there activities you want to do there?
“Everyone should have a great park within a 10-minute walk of their home. Tigard is working on how to maintain a quality park and recreation system that serves the entire community,” says Martin McKnight, Acting Parks Manager at the City of Tigard.
“Our public spaces are more important than ever for our community and there is no better time to think about the future of Tigard’s parks than today.”
Sara concludes, “We’ve been able to use this opportunity to teach our children about how to be an active community member: that the choices we make impact others (like not spreading our germs on play structures), that we can pick up garbage we see left behind so our spaces stay beautiful for our neighbors, and that sharing a smile and a wave can feel just as good as a hug.”
When you go outside, where will you go?
The City of Tigard wants to know what you think about park facilities and is collecting your ideas through a fun and interactive survey (bit.ly/tigardparksandrecreation). This survey uses an interactive map to let you point out where you go in the parks system, what needs to improve and where we go from here.