Neighborhood PLACE

Bringing the Magic of Camp to YOUR Backyard…

We all have our favorite coffee shops, public houses and open spaces.  The local public involvement process and a lot of planning has made Portland the ‘place’ it has become today.  We want youth and teens from each of Portland’s neighborhoods to play an active role in the local planning process.  We also believe that every family / kid should be able to afford to go to a local summer day-camp.  Neighborhood PLACE guides the involvement of youth from a given neighborhood to activate underutilized open spaces for summer recreational and educational purposes.

PLACE teaches waste reduction curriculum, basic land use practices and community livability.  PLACE encourages youth to take on stewardship roles within their local natural areas after camp, and aims to inspire greater sensations of community belonging and ownership.  In addition to studying crime prevention through environmental design and basic land use practices, we also study watershed health in general and do a community enhancement project within the Riparian Zone of local parks (if available for group projects).  We work with local area school programs to target our outreach and recruitment efforts toward low-income families.  Our goal is to increase social capital, community capacity and to reduce the potential for summer vandalism by fostering a local sense of youth stewardship (positive ownership) over one’s neighborhood and our shared parks.

PLACE is in some ways like other traditional summer programs offering a safe, structured and entertaining venue for youth.  It is however in many ways unlike other day-camps by offering a full week of camp programming for only a $50 registration fee (which includes the participant’s program T-shirt).  PLACE is also unique in that Tsuga Staff bring programming into a local area that is often more accessible to families than a brick and mortar program located outside their community.  One of the most special and lasting components of the PLACE program is the community site improvement project that leaves a positive relic of local youth service.

Portland Area Neighborhoods Served:

  • 2015 and 2017 – West Portland Park (Jackson Middle School)
    • Partnership with Neighborhood House
  • 2014 – Fairview and St. Johns (Cathedral Park) 
    • Partnership with East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District
  • 2013 – Linnton (Linnton Community Center) 
    • Partnership with Metro and American Planning Association (Oregon Chapter)