Oregon City residents are invited to an intersection painting party and community gathering hosted by City Repair and the members of Girl Scouts Troop 45064 to celebrate the future of Latourette Park.
Last year the middle-schoolers decided to do something about the park's crumbling tennis and basketball courts that were built to fill the hole created by the closure of Oregon City's original swimming pool in the 1960s.
Starting at 7:30 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 10, volunteers will paint a sunflower design at the corner of 11th Street and Jefferson Street in Oregon City. A block east at the entrance of Latourette Park, snow cones will be available for purchase as Oregon City-based Big Yellow Taxi plays a free concert starting at 3 p.m. Kids activities, picnics and donations will all be encouraged at the event offering the community a chance to get involved with the next steps for the "Vision for Latourette Park" that was developed at a recent public workshop hosted by the Girl Scouts.
Girl Scouts have done much more than convince the city to let them close down the street and paint the intersection with permanent paints donated by the local Sherwin Williams outlet. The group has been coordinating closely with Oregon City Public Works in the hopes of creating a process that can be replicated at other intersections. Oregon City Brewing Company and the Abernethey Center have also donated funds to make the event a success.
"We encourage people to drop by during that time to check it out and even pick up a paint brush to help out," said Troop 45064 co-leader Karen Buehrig. "We also hope to be able to share information about other activities that will be going on over the next year."
In June, the Girl Scouts received an Oregon City Community Enhancement grant for $25,000 to undertake Phase 1 of the Latourette Park vision. After last year's "Party in the Park" to generate interest in the site and gather community input, they received an initial $4,999 Metro Enhancement grant to create an implementation strategy to help plan for future investment in Latourette Park.
City Repair, a nonprofit organization that facilitates artistic and ecologically-oriented "placemaking," in November coordinated activities aimed at revitalizing the park at the corner of 11th and Madison streets.
"At the workshop, City Repair emphasized the importance of placemaking in creating community and engaging neighbors," Buehrig said. "It is the neighbors around Latourette Park who have been gathering together for the past nine months who are integral in making all of this happen. Margot from Big Yellow Taxi attended the November workshop and had offered to play in the park to raise awareness of the interest in seeing investment in the park."