Portland seeks input on redesign of West End park

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PORTLAND — A West End park is being eyed for renovations and the city is looking for neighborhood input to help craft a plan for its future.

Taylor Street Park, also known as MacIntyre Park, is tucked between Emery and May streets and includes a play area, benches and a basketball court.

Last year, the City Council designated $95,000 in Community Development Block Grant funds for renovating the park. 

But before beginning work on the park, the city wants to know what the neighborhood thinks should be done there. Beginning in May, the city’s Public Services Department and landscape designer Regina Leonard will facilitate a series of community meetings aimed at coming up with a design that best suits the needs of the neighborhood.

“We really want to hear how people are using the park and ideas for it,” said Leonard, refering to the Taylor Street play space as “a well-used neighborhood park.”

She said the city will most likely hold five planning committee meetings that will be open to the public. The planning will start with a site meeting in mid-May (no date has been set).

“We want to see if there are any issues with the park,” Leonard said. “I’m really anxious to hear what the neighborhood has to say.”

City Councilor David Marshall, who represents the West End, said renovations are likely to include general upgrades such as new fencing, benches and landscaping. He said the basketball court also needs resurfacing.

“The purpose of these meetings is to get feedback from people who go there everyday,” Marshall said.

The West End Neighborhood Association sent a notice to members that the city is looking for people to participate in the planning committee meetings. Leonard said she also plans to put up fliers at the park and in the neighborhood to generate interest.

She said she was a long-time renter in the West End, and she would like renters to get involved in the process.

People interested in planning for Taylor Street Park should contact Leonard at regina@rsldesign.com.

Kate Bucklin can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 106 or kbucklin@theforecaster.net