We are thrilled to announce the Portland Parks Foundation Parks Champion Award winners. Their inspiring work exemplifies the power of people and parks to benefit Portland and our region. On September 24, as part of our 15th Anniversary celebration, we honored Yvonne Boisvert and Linda Robinson as our Parks Champions. Along with the award, a cash contribution of $1,500 was given to the parks-based community of their choice. The Parks Champion Award is an honor presented by Portland Parks Foundation to recognize an individual who has provided outstanding service to a park, community center, natural area, or community garden.
Did you know that the first public rose garden is actually in North Portland? Park Champion Yvonne Boisvert was a founding member of the Friends of Peninsula Park Rose Garden. One of Portland’s best kept secrets, the Peninsula Park Rose Garden is over 100 years old. Yvonne has worked tirelessly to preserve, enhance, teach about, and advocate for the garden over the years. She and her Friends co-founders worked with Portland Parks and Recreation to replant the entire garden - over 4,000 roses for the centennial celebration in 2013. She helped design new signage for the garden, and can often be seen there giving tours and teaching free rose classes. In 2015, she founded the Art in the Rose Garden summer art show and sale. This year’s event drew over 3,000 to the garden.
On the other side of town in East Portland, Linda Robinson has spent decades as a tireless for parks across East Portland -- including Ventura Park, Gates Park, and Gateway Discovery Park. She also founded and leads the East Portland Parks Coalition to support current and future parks, open spaces, and green spaces projects in East Portland. One of Linda’s significant current projects is Gateway Green. Over the past decade, Linda has been spearheading the ambitious public-private project to develop the former site of Rocky Butte Jail into Gateway Green, a dynamic open space and recreational park for the region.
Congratulations to our winners Yvonne and Linda, and to our communities benefitting from their incredible contributions.