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PRK-3.02 - Commemorative Bench Policy & Review Procedures

Administrative Rule Adopted by Portland Parks & Recreation Pursuant to Rule-Making Authority

Over the years many people have turned to Portland’s parks to find comfort and remember joyous occasions in their lives. As loved ones pass on people frequently look to the beauty of Portland’s Parks and request permission to personalize certain spaces that they can visit over the years.
The intent of this policy is to provide people with an opportunity to commemorate or honor family, friends or events in one of Portland’s parks. This policy works in conjunction with Portland Parks & Recreation’s Gifts & Memorials Policy.

To establish funding requirements and recognition standards for bench donations to Portland Parks & Recreation.

PP&R Cost:
Cost for memorial benches is based on actual cost of the bench, installation and basic maintenance. If a plaque is desired, the donor is responsible for purchasing a bronze plaque that meets PP&R standards.
Premier Parks
For premier parks the cost of a bench would be $3000 for a standard bench and $5000 for an ornamental cast iron bench. Premier parks are those parks where PP&R receives the greatest number of bench donation requests and are typically parks where new benches are not needed.
Premier Parks include:
  • Waterfront Park/Eastbank Esplanade ($5000)
  • North/South Park Blocks ($5000)
  • Washington Park ($5000)
  • Laurelhurst Park ($3000)
  • Council Crest Park ($5000)
  • Terwilliger Blvd Parkway ($5000)
  • Mt. Tabor Park ($3000)
  • Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden ($5000)
  • Gabriel Park ($3000)
All Other Parks
PP&R uses two different benches in all other parks. The standard bench is what is typically required. The following costs are based on a relatively flat and easily accessible site. A site assessment prior to donation will be completed to determine the true cost of bench installation.
  • The standard bench is manufactured by Natural Structures (Model #03-151). It is a 6’ bench with 2" x 3" boards on a contoured steel frame. The cost for a standard bench is $1800.
  • Ornamental cast-iron benches are used at a handful of park locations. This bench is manufactured by Timberforn. The cost for an ornamental cast-iron bench is $2400.
  • There are a few unusual situations where a different bench standard has already been established at the park site. In these situations, park designers will determine the most appropriate standard and costs.
Plaque at an existing bench or replacement of an existing bench
If a donor would like to place a plaque next to an existing bench or replace a bench that is greatly deteriorated, the charges discussed above will still apply due to the fact that the benefit to the donor is the same.

Process for Review
Review of memorial benches involves at least one site meeting. The district supervisor meets with the donor and the district liaison to identify a specific location. PP&R Operations and Recreation staff then review the site. If at any point the site is found to be unacceptable, this process starts over.

Donors are responsible for having the plaque made and for any repair or replacement costs of the plaque. The plaque will be installed by PP&R in the concrete at the base of the bench. Plaques must be bronze and must include 3" brass all-thread lugs with brass nuts. Plaques must be no larger than 5" x 8". Messages should be very simple statements recalling the event or person memorialized and include no birth or death dates. PP&R must approve final wording before the order is submitted.

Once a location is agreed upon, the donor can send a check to:
Portland Parks & Recreation, Commemorative Bench Program, 1120 SW Fifth Ave. Room 1302, Portland, OR 97204
A receipt will be sent to the donor for tax purposes.

Installation of the Bench
The bench will be ordered once payment is received. When the bench has been received and installation scheduled, the donor will be informed of the estimated installation date. This can take several weeks after the receipt of the payment. Installation will be coordinated with donor’s schedule whenever possible.

Filed for inclusion in PPD September 29, 2004.