Neighbors criticize city’s decision to use logs to cover up former homeless encampment
PORTLAND, Ore. (KPTV) - An effort to deter homeless camping in North Portland has had a significant impact on a natural area, drawing criticism from neighbors.
Workers with Portland Parks and Recreation recently placed large logs on the grass at Madrona Park and used heavy equipment to turn over soil near a grove of trees there.
“It seems heavy handed,” said Reif Larsen, who lives near the natural area. “It looks terrible. A big pile of mud full of used needles and batteries.”
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A spokesperson for the parks bureau said the logs were placed at Madrona Park to keep cars and other vehicles from entering the natural area. People who live nearby said the site had recently been a hub for homeless campers.
“There have been people surviving there, whether you agree with it or not,” said Joe Rowe, who regularly cycles past the natural area on his way home. “They might have been burning wood sometimes, maybe that’s illegal, but I saw no other illegal activity.”
The campers are now gone, but the natural area remains scarred and, to some, unattractive.
“I think it’s too much,” said Larsen.
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According to the parks bureau, the changes at Madrona Park are designed to return the area back to its natural state. The logs will be allowed to decompose naturally, which they say will add valuable nutrients to the compacted soil. Workers will be planning native vegetation at the site in the coming months.
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