Strong interest, robust fundraising efforts, early support from the Portland Development Commission and significant pledges cultivated by the Leach Botanical Garden Friends group of supporters have spurred City Commissioner Amanda Fritz and Portland Parks and Recreation Director Mike Abbaté to offer a challenge to the Friends: if they are able to raise a total of $1.26 million for this project, then Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) will supplement the remaining $4.9 million to see the project through.

PDC has already contributed nearly $2 million from the Lents Urban Renewal Area fund to implement the garden’s development plan, a transformative project which calls for a pedestrian trail network, including connections between the Upper and Lower gardens, a woodland hillside garden with an aerial “tree walk,” a pollinator garden, public gathering spaces for educational and cultural opportunities, water-efficient landscaping and durable, diverse and aesthetically pleasing plants and materials.

The Leach Botanical Garden, located in east Portland off SE Foster and 122nd Ave, holds the potential for positive economic development impact, particularly in the Foster industrial area and the Lents Town Center, by offering access to green and open spaces that improve employers’ ability to attract and retain talent. PDC’s investment in Leach reflects the agency’s commitment to provide high quality amenities to East Portland and expand opportunities for engagement with the diverse local community.