‘Parks Champions’ are working to create more vital, inclusive public parks

At Portland Parks Foundation, we are so pleased to honor Matthieu Kambumba and Ginger Edwards as the 2018 Parks Champions award winners. This annual award recognizes outstanding park, community center, natural area, or community garden volunteers. Honorees also get to designate a Portland Parks Foundation grant of $1,500 to a community organization that aligns with the Foundation’s goal to create a thriving and accessible parks system for a healthy Portland.

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Matthieu Kambumba is a leader in Portland’s Congolese community and an Oregon Food Bank Ambassador. He has been integral in activating the new Wood Community Garden in SE Portland’s Centennial neighborhood. His contributions include community outreach, culturally responsive gardening classes, and securing of grants. Matthieu has designated a grant to support Wood Community Garden, noting that it means “more opportunities and resources for the Wood community to achieve [our] goal to be self sufficient and sustainable. It is the opportunity to have more time together to build and strengthen the community."

An advocate for North Portland parks and neighborhoods, Ginger Edwards has been especially active with Arbor Lodge Park. She organizes community groups and businesses to volunteer throughout the year, is part of the tree team, and helped to fund and personally maintained an ADA accessible restroom at the park’s popular and inclusive Harper’s Playground. She said, "if you do things for the right reasons, and share your goals, other like minded people will show up and join you. That is what has happened at Arbor Lodge Park and Harper's Playground. This shows that something close to me and important in our neighborhood resonates with others outside of our neighborhood." Ginger also works as Ginger has designated her grant to support Arbor Lodge Neighborhood Association.

Congrats Matthieu and Ginger and thank you for all you are doing to support thriving, inclusive Portland parks!