|SOURCE: PDC - Eight acres of the upper garden is undeveloped, and the new plans offer botanical and programmatic experiences to visitors, and connect to the historic garden and manor house along Johnson Creek.|
The grounds with it's 2,000 species of plants were donated to the City of Portland by John and Lilla Leach who built the house and begun their gardens in the 1930's. John and Lilla collected plant specimens on their numerous botanical expeditions.
Construction is slated for 2018.
Created on Wednesday, 11 January 2017 | Written by Jules Rogers |
Metro grant, system development charges and a promise to match will fund key projects
New avenues of revenue have appeared in support of the Leach Botanical Garden, east of the Lents neighborhood.
At the end of December, the Metro Council awarded a $188,000 Nature in Neighborhoods grant to the iconic greenspace for the development of its new pollinator garden. The grant include a 2:1 match of $376,000 from Portland Parks Commissioner Amanda Fritz and Portland Parks & Recreation Director Mike Abbate from system development charges.
The potential of this special place as an urban sanctuary is immense," Abbate said. "It will be a destination for science, for cultural enhancement, and for connecting people to both each other — and to nature in the city."
On top of that, strong fundraising efforts by the Leach Garden Friends have led Commissioner Fritz and Director Abbate to offer a challenge to the Leach Garden Friends. If they can raise a total of $1.26 million, PP&R will supplement the remaining $4.9 million to fund the entire project.
"I am grateful for the support from Metro, PDC and Leach Garden stakeholders," said Commissioner Fritz. "Fundraising by the non-profit Leach Garden Friends, additional SDC funds that I am committing as a match, and strong advocacy by the East Portland Action Plan and other east Portland grassroots supporters will help create a world-class botanical gem."
The Portland Development Commission (PDC) has already contributed nearly $2 million to the garden from the Lents Urban Renewal Area funds.
"PDC's investment in Leach reflects our commitment to provide high quality amenities to East Portland and expand opportunities for engagement with the diverse local community," said Kimberly Branam, executive director of the PDC. "The Leach Botanical Garden holds the potential for positive economic development impact, particularly in the Foster industrial area, by offering access to green and open spaces that enhances employers' ability to attract and retain talent."
The PDC's investment reflects the agency's commitment to provide high-quality amenities to East Portland, and expand opportunities for engagement with the diverse local community.