The Bridgeton Neighborhood Association has a proud history and recent successes in effecting positive changes in Bridgeton, a neighborhood between Marine Drive and the Columbia River, near the airport in North Portland. Portland Parks & Recreation's City Nature manager David McAllister does good work, too. And the worthy folks at the Peninsula Drainage District No. 2 also listen and think. Read about the Bridgeton Neighborhood Association's latest struggles to save trees on the Columbia River levee in today's Oregonian article by Anna Griffin.
I wondered about the final line in the article, stating Bridgeton is the smallest neighborhood in Portland, with about 600 residents. So I did a little checking. There are just over 300 residences in Bridgeton. In area and number of homes, Woodland Park is smaller, with 97 houses and about 300 people. And Healy Heights in SW Portland is even smaller, with only 70 or so homes and fewer than 150 people. There has been much debate over the years about the desired size of Neighborhood Associations. Some in Portland are bigger than many Oregon cities - Centennial, with over 7,000 households and 20,000 residents, for example. There are advantages and disadvantages connected with different sized Neighborhood Associations. While some critics would like to require uniformity, study after study has recommended continuing to allow Neighborhood Associations to choose their own boundaries. Anyway, now you know, Bridgeton is currently the third smallest Neighborhood Association. Sure to come up in a holiday Trivial Pursuit Portland game soon.
Reporters and others often like to dismiss Neighborhood Associations as argumentative, closed groups whose participants don't represent or care about the needs of the community as a whole. This Bridgeton story is but one more visible example of the many good things happening in Portland's recognized Neighborhood Associations. They also plan clean-ups, parties, block watches, tree plantings, and more. Collaboration, mediation, and compromise within and between Neighborhood Associations and other groups/individuals aren't nearly as rare as the article today seems to imply. It's good to see one success story highlighted as a fine example of all the good work Neighborhood Associations and other community groups do.