What We’re Doing
Improving access to the outdoors for Malheur County residents
Create more outdoor spaces for all Oregonians to enjoy
Located along the Snake River at the far eastern border of Oregon, the city of Ontario has been given the title “where Oregon begins.” Beautiful deserts, river canyons, and mountain ranges greet western travelers to this growing community, which has relied on agriculture and manufacturing for decades. While this community has a rich network of trails to enjoy, other recreational opportunities don’t address the increasing needs of residents to connect to the outdoors. And the schoolyard at Alameda Elementary is no exception.
Over 350 students currently play on outdated playground equipment and patchy fields with almost no shade to find refuge under on the hottest days. Nearly 67% of students identify as Hispanic/Latino, Native American, or multi-racial, but their current playground doesn’t reflect the vibrancy and culture of their neighborhood. But with the help of our partners, Trust for Public Land is working with local residents and students to create a dynamic schoolyard designed with community needs at its core. Interactive play equipment, art by local artists, lush landscaping, and tree canopy will welcome residents all over Malheur County and help connect residents of all abilities to an inclusive green space. It will complement the adjacent Alameda Park, which is used by the whole county for sports and recreation, including their most popular sport—soccer. Beyond providing a green space for students to run, play and explore, the new schoolyard will support the existing sports fields and provide younger and older family members with space to relax and enjoy on weekends or during youth sporting events.
Schoolyards give people spaces to gather and build stronger communities. The Alameda Elementary schoolyard will benefit not just the students, but also the Ontario community and beyond.