The Westside Community Park Concept Plan
Over the coming months, six Master of Urban and Regional Planning (MURP) students from Portland State University will be collaborating with the Hood River Valley Residents’ Committee (HRVRC), the Hood River Valley Parks and Recreation District (HRVPRD), and most importantly, local residents to envision a new legacy park that serves the diverse and ever growing community of Hood River County. Over the next five months our student team will facilitate a strong public visioning process around this site, combined with rigorous research on the surrounding area. Community input- and reverence for the natural beauty of Hood River- will be at the helm of our design goals. This community vision will result in a concept plan for the park that will be taken through to the permitting process. Please meet the team below, and view a basic timeline of the project. Check back early and often for updates as we move forward!
The Agora Planning Team
David Fiske – Project Lead
A native Oregonian, David grew up surrounded by the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest, leading him towards an early passion for environmental activism. Though this passion, and his love for the region never waned, David has spent close to five years living overseas, predominantly in Southeast Asia. Most recently, he spent the summer of 2015 working with the United Nations Human Settlements Programme in Hanoi, Vietnam on community visioning and development strategies. David is fascinated by the different ways in which people experience urban and rural life throughout the world, and he hopes to apply his skills and knowledge in land use planning, urban design and sustainable development to help create and maintain socially and ecologically vibrant communities. David can’t wait to begin working with Hood River residents to envision a public park that all members of the community can be proud of!
Nathen Lamb – Research Lead
Since moving from Las Vegas Nevada to the PNW at a young age, Nathen has come to love all that this beautiful region has to offer. After living in rural places, in suburbs, and in cities, Nathen has developed an appreciation for the values that each type of place offers. Nathen has a background in community development, and is currently focusing on land use planning in the master’s program at Portland State University. He has always been fascinated with urban environments and planning processes, and continues to pursue his desire to help communities shape where they live, work and play. Nathen is thrilled to have the opportunity to help Hood River’s residents develop a park plan that is reflective of their community values- and their visioning of a park they will pass down to future generations.
Will Roberts – Design Lead
Will hails from sunny Vero Beach, Florida and earned a B.S. in Environmental Science and Policy from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg in 2011. After a few internships around the country, a short stint as a planning intern in southern India, and a 2,500 mile bicycle tour; Will decided to head back to school for a Master of Urban and Regional Planning degree at Portland State University. He has focused primarily on land use, urban design, and non-motorized transportation issues. Will is excited to learn new skills and implement the tools he already has to conceptualize a park in Hood River that will best serve the residents and ecology of the area.
Grace Stainback – Communications Lead
Grace also hails from sunny South Florida, where unchecked coastal development impacts eventually led her to the other side of the U.S. and prompted an aspiring career in environmental planning. She is passionate about smart growth and also interested in the international applications of planning tools; she spent the summer of 2015 in the United Nations-Habitat office in Hanoi, Vietnam, primarily assisting with GIS capacity development as the country shifts towards more sustainable development planning. In a past life she was a freelance journalist and edited a sustainable building trade magazine. She looks forward to facilitating a community and ecology-driven approach to the proposed Hood River Legacy Park!
Kara Srnka – Community Outreach Lead
Kara comes from culturally diverse San Jose, California. Growing up in a sprawled city, deficient in open spaces and outdoor recreational opportunities, she has developed an appreciation for what the Pacific Northwest has to offer. Graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Community Development with a minor in Sustainable Urban Development, she has been able to hone in on her passions for both grassroots organizing and environmental integration. Such an experience led to an interest in planning; a profession wherein she could exercise those passions into positive changes with significant impact. As a Graduate student in the Master’s of Urban and Regional Planning program with a focus on environmental planning, she is excited to be a part of Westside Community Park planning process, as it is an excellent opportunity to both apply her expertise, but also to help shape a local asset in a way that reflects community values.
Jeffrey Waldo – Technical Lead
Jeffrey was raised in Southern New Mexico and received a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Planning and Design from the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. Jeffrey became interested in urban and regional planning because of its ability to affect positive change in the everyday lives of people through the manipulation of the physical environment. His undergraduate degree focused on community based planning. Jeffrey is specializing in economic development and land use planning in the master’s program at Portland State University with an expected graduation date in June 2016. He is excited to help the Hood River community envision a future park space for the Westside neighborhoods.