(Oregon Live) — A dozen city employees today plan to finish clearing Chapman and Lownsdale squares of debris and trash so engineers and horticulture experts can survey damage to the parks’ structures and trees.
City officials expect the parks to be closed for at least one week. Weeks of camping by Occupy Portland at the two downtown parks have torn up grass and damaged plant beds.
Bob Downing, central services manager for the parks bureau, said he’s walked through the two parks periodically since the occupation began.
“I’m not really surprised,” Downing said. “It was what we expected it to be.”
Downing said about 70 dump truck loads of trash and debris were hauled from the camps over the weekend. He said about 30 city employees worked Sunday to clear the parks.
Once the trash is gone, the city will bring in a team comprised of specialists to look at the health and condition of the trees, plants, the restrooms and the art in the parks. The turf will need to be reseeded, he said. He expects the once grassy areas to be “pretty bare” until February.
As a comparison, here’s what the National Mall looked like after hundreds of thousands of Tea Partiers attended the 9/12 rally.