Peace Memorial Park

PMPheaderA Special Project of Veterans For Peace Chapter 72

The Peace Memorial Park is dedicated to the memory of all those people, including combatants, who have ever perished in war, and is so dedicated in the hope that we will be joined by like-minded people in the effort to put an end to warfare so that humankind can live in peace.

viewThe Peace Memorial Park is located on the east side of the Willamette River overlooking downtown Portland. Find it at the north end of the Eastbank Esplanade, just above the Steel Bridge and behind the Portland Convention Center. The park was established in 2006 and dedicated on Memorial Day of that year.

2006dedication3From the beginning, the park was designed as a peace sign, using sod for the symbol and plantings of colorful annuals to fill in around the green grass. This was a beautiful tradition, but very labor intensive, in that it required annual flower plantings and regular weeding throughout the spring, summer and fall.

plantingbgIn 2013, VFP72′s Peace Park Committee has been busy transitioning the park to a perennial landscape that will require less maintenance in the long run. In February, nine students from Marilyn Alexander’s Landscape Design class at PCC Rock Creek campus presented designs for consideration by a panel of VFP72 members, and the winning design was announced on April 8. Panel members chose Paula Rosch’s design for practical features such as drought tolerance, use of native plants and suitability for an urban environment, as well as for aesthetic appeal and conformance with the park’s theme. Some adjustments have been made in terms of actual plants used, based on maintenance considerations and availability.

Beginning in April 2013, a small group of dedicated volunteers began preparing the site. The grass paths were removed and replaced with wood chips. The overgrown wildflowers and volunteer plants were removed and soil amended. In May the first wave of planting commenced with two types of roses and kinnikkinnick, a hardy native groundcover. Keeping the park watered and weeded  over the summer months has been an ongoing challenge. An application of mulch was applied in August to help with both weed suppression and moisture retention. Another major planting party was organized on October 13. The work continues…

Additional volunteers are always welcome at Peace Park work parties. Check the calendar on this website for future dates and times. For regular updates, you may also subscribe to the Peace Park listserv.

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