Parks for Prosperity

In his TED talk, Chicago community organizer and artist Theaster Gates says about his effort to revitalize his neighborhood, “I think beauty is a basic service.” One organization in Portland, Living Cully, epitomizes how beauty is born from the people of a community and their dreams for the future.

The many community members and organizations that are part of Living Cully started out in 2010 envisioning better lives for their neighbors.  As they say, “Through its work in NE Portland’s Cully Neighborhood, Living Cully reinterprets sustainability as an anti-poverty strategy by concentrating environmental investments at the neighborhood scale and braiding those investments with traditional community development resources.”

Living Cully is benefiting everyone in the Cully neighborhood, and those benefits are rippling out into the rest of Portland by doing something radical – building a sustainable livelihood not piece-by-piece, but TOGETHER.  They are focusing on the economic, housing, environmental, health, transportation and leadership aspects of their community as one project with many parts instead of separate parts alone.

Partnering with one of the Living Cully organizations, Verde, the Portland Parks Foundation is helping Verde revitalize Cully by turning a landfill into a park for the community.  Having a destination park in Cully will bring jobs, opportunities for new business, raise the health of families in the area, and provide a beautiful area where community can convene. Please consider joining the effort by donating today or volunteering today.

View: How to Revive a Neighborhood With Imagination, Beauty, and Art Photo by Jason Smith, courtesy University of Chicago

View: How to Revive a Neighborhood With Imagination, Beauty, and Art

Photo by Jason Smith, courtesy University of Chicago