Parke Diem

A New Tradition is Born!

What is "Parke Diem"?

Answer: a fun, two-day celebration of parks, volunteering, and the need to support Portland's park legacy.

"Parke Diem" is a volunteer-driven, nonprofit-powered initiative for park-loving people and organizations to unite, achieve, and raise awareness of our park systems' needs. 

What is a Parke Diem project?

Answer: any work activity involving 5+ volunteers in a park, garden or natural area within the city limits of Portland.

It's catching on! Other cities want in on Parke Diem.


Explore our inaugural Parke Diem 2013 event:

On October 11th & 12th, 2013, Parke Diem brought out more than 1,400 volunteers for 73 park projects, citywide. Our sincere thanks go out to our 50 partner organizations and sponsors, without whom it wouldn't have been possible.

Breakdown of Sites
» 25 community gardens
» 18 developed parks
» 14 natural areas
» 8 gardens (2 rose gardens)
» 4 trails
» 3 historic sites
» 2 arboretums
» 2 community centers
» 2 baseball diamonds
» 1 community dance program

For more detail on the complete breakdown of the event, check out our analysis here.

Parke Diem showed what’s possible by bringing park-supporting people together. Good fun was had, great work was accomplished, and public awareness was increased regarding challenges facing our park system.

Here are some highlights on the work accomplished:

Glenhaven Park: the Madison High School baseball team restored two baseball diamonds—rebuilding the pitcher’s mounds and batter’s boxes—thanks to a $900 gift from a Parks Foundation board member and their employer. Now, the Madison baseball team is planning to host Glenhaven’s first tournament in recent memory.
Major trail repair projects were achieved at Mount Tabor Park, Stephens Creek Natural Area, Powell Butte Nature Park and Forest Park—as well as the construction of an exciting new Nature Play Earth Path at the Franciscan Montessori Earth School.
Invasive species were removed from a few acres (over 45,500 square feet) of natural lands at over a dozen sites including Forest Park, Mount Tabor, Powell Butte, Force Lake, Tryon Creek State Park, Whitaker Ponds, and more.
Over 400 plants/trees were planted: examples include 300 plants at Willamette Park riverside and 35 mature trees at the Cumberland Trail trailhead in Forest Park.
Pioneer Courthouse Square: a demographic study counted nearly 20,000 visitors in a 3-hour period and gathered over 1,000 zip codes to help us understand who uses our parks downtown.
Peninsula Park Rose Garden: Friends of Peninsula Park Rose Garden prepared the historic garden for winter by pruning over 2,000 rose bushes.
Portland Community Gardens: 23 garden projects were achieved by over 430 volunteers, including constructing Portland’s newest--Centennial Community Garden. The Oregonian covered Parke Diem at Peace Community Garden. Over 1,096 volunteer hours were spent in garden sites.
In recognition of the impact and value of Parke Diem to the City of Portland, Mayor Charlie Hales issued a mayoral proclamation at City Council.

We have received an overwhelmingly positive response from volunteers: smiles, fun and wanting to come back for more!

**Note: Some sites held projects on both event days.

As a resource for people considering supporting Parke Diem (or hosting a similar event elsewhere), we are happy to share our model for throwing a citywide volunteer event:

Parke Diem 2013 "By the Numbers"
» 1,426 volunteers: first-time family participants to veteran volunteers who pitch-in regularly.
» 4,616 total volunteer hours.
» 50 partner groups involved.
Joined together to advance our vision of creating a stronger, unified voice for public lands. 
» 73 projects and 70 sites, citywide.
» 2 days.

Event Perks
Parke Diem T-Shirts
Pro-parks Messaging (given to volunteers as a t-shirt tag)

How to Promote FAQ
Promotional Poster
Pre-event Press Release

Media Coverage
Oregonian Article
Parks & Recreation Magazine (NRPA)

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Portland Parks Foundation

111 SW Oak Street, Suite 400
Portland, OR 97204
Phone: 503.445.0994
Fax: 503.517.8221

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