Planting the Seed for a Youth Recreation Area at Living Cully Plaza

June 9th, 2016.

It was the last day of school for Portland Public Schools and by 2:00 pm it had started to drizzle. But the rain didn’t stop more than 50 youth from the Cully neighborhood from celebrating at Living Cully Plaza (the former Sugar Shack site at Cully and Killingsworth) and helping build the first elements of a youth recreation area in the parking lot. The features for the youth recreation area were designed by 35 middle and high school youth in a six week design process during the winter months working with Alex Salazar Architects, Living Cully, Hacienda CDC and the Center for Public Interest Design at PSU. The final “dream” design completed in January, included  a full basketball court, skate board obstacles, benches and garden beds as well as a wi-fi hang-out area.

The youth-led event on June 9th, was part of a scaled down, “do it yourself” version of the project, which included building a temporary basketball and skate area and some garden beds. Youth and staff from Hacienda’s after school program and Bienestar’s Si Se Puede program helped organize the  June 9th event, and made sure that there was food, games, prizes and facepainting as well as the volunteer building and painting activities. The volunteer event was partially funded by a grant co-written by youth for $500 from the Cully Association of Neighbors, and also with support from Fidelity Charitable, Hacienda CDC, Living Cully and Bienestar de La Familia. In addition, as a part of the Portland Timbers Stand Together Week 3 Timbers players and 2 Thorns players joined in for some of the event! Thanks to the Center for Public Interest Design students from PSU, Hands on Portland, Daddies Skate Shop, Set Up Skate and all the  great volunteers for your support! Youth will be finishing up the project throughout the summer which will include installing the basketball area and painting the skate ramps. The next volunteer day is scheduled for Friday, July 1st from 11:30 am-2:30 pm. To volunteer or donate to the project please contact:




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