Portland Parks and Recreation has renewed Portland’s Japanese Garden’s lease and allowed for 3 more acres of parkland. Many residents of Arlington Heights feel that this expansion will overwhelm the charm and quaintness of the neighborhood. Many of the trails will be closed and new trails constructed but residents feel that the expansion could come at the cost of the neighborhood. Increased vehicle traffic and decreased foot traffic could compromise the integrity of the neighborhood. The garden has promised to honor it’s commitment to provide trail systems from the Wildwood to the garden and the entrance of Washington Park but as Portland grows, it is imperative to maintain this trail network within the park that allows access to the trail from public transportation.
The approval of the expansion was only allowed contingent upon retaining an inter-park trail to the entrance. The expansion also need to account for more traffic and visitors, which could endanger neighbors. Some residents feel that more traffic means more congestion, more crime and more chances for carelessness. A tranquil space cannot flourish if neighbors feel dissatisfaction with the change. Some feel that the garden is becoming a bad neighbor in of itself. [Source]
But that’s from the neighborhood; what does the garden say about this? They plan on moving the Welcome Gate down by the parking lot adding three new gardens and a 412 square foot admissions building. New garage and shed will be constructed and planting of over 200 new trees and shrubs is projected along the walking trail leading from the parking lot to the garden, removing invasive, non-native species.
They plan to focus on the “cultural arts to demonstrate essential elements of design and provide the cultural context for a deep understanding of Japanese Gardens.”[Source]
So what do you think? Are you a homeowner in Arlington Heights? Will this affect your neighborhood?