Partnerships Across Jurisdictions: Beaverton & Bend Partner for Better Parks & Trails
On September 30 and October 1, 2022, Tualatin Hills Parks and Recreation District (THPRD) board members, Beaverton city councilors and Mayor Beaty, and Bend Parks and Recreation District board members met in Bend to learn from each other and improve our local parks and trails systems.
We started on Friday night with a dinner to get to know one another. I was personally very excited because I got the opportunity to meet people I had only interacted with via Twitter and Instagram. We were able to have much deeper in-person conversations about the nature of City and parks district partnerships, and what makes them work well and what makes them struggle.
My first takeaway
Beaverton is blessed to have a strong partnership with THPRD leadership. Not every jurisdiction has this level of collaboration and community. We need to continue to develop this relationship. This trip was a great opportunity for me to get to know THPRD board members a little better, most notably including Felicita Monteblanco, Barbie Minor, and Tya Ping, all who were able to attend.
Elected leadership can be really challenging, and so much of it really does depend on the presence of high-quality relationships. Beaverton and THPRD are investing in these together.
On Saturday, we visited several parks and community centers in Bend. I feel a little shame in admitting this, but I had still never been to Bend. And what an introduction this was. Bend has incredible parks right next to its downtown, natural areas that feel like the middle of nowhere, and community parks that are built to be accessible and sustainable (even generating their own power supply!).
We learned how Bend Parks and Recreation affordably and effectively acquires land, how they fund community centers, and how the pickleball scene has absolutely thrived in Bend over the past several years.
My trail & park goals
As I prepare for my Beaverton City Council term in January, these tours and similar local onboarding sessions are immensely valuable. I have a lot of personal goals for our regional trails and parks system, especially regarding how we can better connect our commercial districts in Beaverton with better biking and walking paths, and so it’s important for me to better understand how we can work within the system to create effective change.
This whole post-election journey has been really educational for me, and I am excited to share more with you all as we keep moving forward. If you have a personal interest in being involved in parks, trails, and natural resource preservation, please reach out! The City of Beaverton and THPRD both have plentiful community involvement activities!
About Kevin Teater: Kevin Teater is a Beaverton City Councilor-Elect, whose term starts in January 2023. He currently serves on Beaverton Planning Commission and was previously the executive director of the Beaverton Downtown Association.