Nature park project set to begin at Westmoreland Park

PORTLAND, Ore. - As Donovan Pacholl watched his sons enjoy the slide at Westmoreland Park on Saturday, he had mixed feelings about the playground's fate.

"I think in a few months when families pull up and they don't see teeter-totters anymore they'll be a little bit sad," said Donovan Pacholl. "My mom actually told me this slide was here when she was growing up."

The city will shut down part of Southeast Portland's Westmoreland Park this month to begin construction of a wetland nature park.

"It's totally surprised me," said neighbor Elisa Davis. "I had no idea."

"I have mixed feelings because I don't think a lot of people realize there isn't going to be play equipment in here moving forward," Pacholl said. "I guess I'll have to see what it looks like."

Neighbors like Pacholl are split on whether they're ready to say goodbye to a park that's been around for generations. They do agree that there's room for improvements.

"This is actually called duck poop park because all the ducks and the geese here leave their stuff behind and you can't sit down," said Pacholl.

The $2 million project will restore Crystal Springs Creek and a nature-based play area. It was approved as part of a bond measure passed by voters in 2006. Federal funding and TriMet are paying for the project, which is scheduled to be done by December.