Page:Olmsted report on Portland, Oregon parks, 1903.djvu/22

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34
REPORT OF THE PARK BOARD


PRINCIPLE LANDSCAPE FEATURES.

In the selection of parks the first consideration should be to locate them so as to secure within them as great natural advantages as practicable, or so they will command the best possible view of whatever great landscape features there may be in the vicinity, or both.

The most notable landscape feature that is conveniently accessible to the greater part of the population is obviously the river itself. Unfortunately the requirements of commerce prevent any considerable area being set aside for park purposes in connection with the river untll one reaches Ross Island, above the city, and Swan Island below the city.

Other great landscape features within convenient reach of the present population especially by existing electric car lines, are the series of great hills, with intervening canyons, south and southwest of the western section of the city; Mount Tabor, east of the eastern section of the city, and Rocky Butte, northeast of the eastern section of the city. There remains one other great landscape feature, the sloughs of the Columbia, and beyond them the river itself.

From almost all parts of the city that are fairly open and from all the high hills extremely beautiful views are commanded of the distant snow-clad mountains and especially of the five great snowclad peaks: Mount St. Helens, Mount Adams, Mount Hood, Mount Rainier and Mount Jefferson.

The city is most fortunate, in comparison with the majority of American cities, in possessing such varied and wonderfully strong and interesting landscape features available to be utilized in its park system.

SYSTEM AND POLICY AS TO LAND ACQUISITION.

The city ought surely to adopt the policy of securing as much as it can of lands which include these features within or adjoining its boundaries, and where it is impossible, owing to financial limitations, to secure them at once or soon, it should use every endeavor to prevent them from being occupied in such a way as to render it impossible for the city to take them at some time in the future, and to prevent the destruction of the forest growths existing upon them.

The second consideration in acquiring land for parks is that much will be gained by the city if a clearly defined, well-balanced and comprehensive system of parks and parkways is aimed at and if a consistent policy is followed, keeping in mind always the need of strict economy both in cost of acquisition of lands and in the cost of con-