Thomas Cully Park

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Cully Park is a 25-acre community park by the City of Portland and a nonprofit developer, Verde, who raised more than $11 million dollars for the new park. Built upon a former quarry and landfill, the park is located within one of Portland’s most underserved and park-deficient neighborhoods.

ESA led an inclusive 11-member consulting team to execute a planning and design process that effectively wove the voices of Native American and other minority community members into the park program and design. We worked with Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) for more than 10 years, seeing the project through the master planning, design, and phase one construction process. Our team worked with a diverse Project Advisory Group to successfully build consensus on needs, access, safety, and management.

To develop the master plan, our team listened to the community and collaborated closely with PP&R to prepare a creative, sustainable, and technically responsible master plan. The resulting park program included soccer, softball, and baseball fields, a plaza and concession area, sport court, picnic facilities, restrooms, trails, community garden, tribal gathering area, off-leash dog park, and native prairie revegetation. During the design and construction phases, ESA supported Verde, a non-profit that strives to bring new investments to Portland’s neighborhoods, involve community members in the planning and building of these investments, and ensure that low-income people and people of color directly benefit. Consequently, the design team included five SBE/MBE/DBE/WBE accredited firms as well as individuals representing minority communities. The project is also notable for its elevated stakeholder involvement resulting in unique design elements like the tribal gathering garden, as well as for the successful resolution of the technical challenges presented by the landfill.

The opening of Cully Park on June 30, 2018 is the result of a decade-long design process that transformed a decommissioned landfill into a vibrant community resource. Because the park was planned and built by the community, it has already become a treasured gathering area for both local residents and others throughout the City.


Specialized Services

  • Construction observation and support
  • Design specifications and construction bid packages
  • Environmental compliance documentation
  • Master planning
  • Native plant revegetation
  • Public engagement
  • Stormwater management

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