THPRD: Connecting People, Parks & Nature: Park district is honored for support of people experiencing disabilities
By Bob Wayt
The Edwards Center has presented THPRD with its Employment Award for more than three decades of providing job opportunities to adults with developmental disabilities.
The announcement was made in Portland as part of the Edwards Center’s 11th annual awareness-building and fundraising luncheon.
According to Georgia Lampros, development director for the Edwards Center, THPRD was the first employer in the Portland area to give Oregonians with developmental disabilities the chance to work in their community. The relationship started in the 1980s, and since then more than three dozen workers have been able to master landscape and maintenance skills at the park district’s Jenkins Estate in Aloha.
“It’s gratifying to know the impact our partnership with the Edwards Center has had on so many lives,” said Jerry Jones, president of the THPRD Board of Directors. “It’s been a true win-win – more than 40 different workers have experienced the satisfaction of earning wages at the Jenkins Estate, and they’ve done good work for us too.”
Lampros added, “THPRD is our oldest and most committed employer of Oregonians we have ever had at Edwards Enterprises…If more businesses could be like THPRD, we would have a better world and more inclusion of people with disabilities.”
Based in Aloha, the Edwards Center helps individuals with development disabilities reach their highest potential through training, education, employment, housing and social opportunities in safe, healthy and stimulating environments.
In addition to providing jobs for Edwards Center clients, THPRD:
- Owns and maintains the new Mountain View Champions Park in Aloha, which features Oregon’s first athletic field for people of all abilities and a 6,500-square-foot inclusive playground.
- Provides year-round adaptive and inclusive recreational programs offering a variety of fun and educational opportunities for people with developmental, learning or physical disabilities or mental illness.
- Operates Camp Rivendale, a summer camp providing outdoor recreation for individuals experiencing disability.
- Provides a weekly physical education class for the Edwards Center at the Tualatin Hills Athletic Center.
- Supports and co-hosts the annual All Ability Tri4Youth at its Howard M. Terpenning Recreation Complex. Tri4Youth provides youth experiencing disability, their siblings, and peers an opportunity to participate in a triathlon and meet community partners that support families experiencing disability.
For more information, visit www.thprd.org/activities/adaptive-and-inclusive-recreation.