Column: Why we celebrate Troy Field

By Ron Boozell

Published Jul 1, 2016 at 12:02AM

Open space in our neighborhood. A welcoming familiar place. Oxygen-producing, life-giving green grass. A place to play.

Few among us do not understand the value of our shared open green spaces. Who doubts the importance of the community park?

In 1974 city of Bend voters decided to create a comprehensive park and recreation system. Bend cares. Many years before that, the owners of Troy Field gave it to the community. They cared. During these many years, the larger part of the Old Bend Neighborhood has used Troy Field as its park.

Many community activities. High school football games. Ice skating. Soccer. Too many uses over the years to list, and yet, Troy Field is not recognized as a park, and I have been told by more than one board member that the Bend Park & Recreation Department has not considered buying it.

Is it safe to say that most of the people, and dogs, of this city agree that we love our parks. Where and how is the disconnect from our community

All these years we assumed that our political representatives were responsible trustees of this property. Many of us believed that they hold common core values. Does it really need to be stated that this is for our kids? Who dropped the ball is not important, but why.

Does every property in this city have to be developed to prove its value? Must we always define in dollars and potential income? How do we prove our prosperity? Do we really want to pave paradise, to put up a parking lot, or another four-story vacation rental?

My question is simple. Can we have one completely undeveloped property near our city’s core, please?

A place to breathe. Our front yard. Today, the field finds itself owned by our school district. It doesn’t want it. It has made it clear that it just wants the money. The board granted a Portland developer the option to buy until July 6, 2016. Any day now.

Should we expect the out-of-town buyer to care about the needs of the neighborhood when our own elected representatives do not? They just want the money.

So how did we get here? On the way to Heritage Square, which is a plan to create a downtown civic center. A plan that intends to trade the open space of the field for a location to be named later.

Mayor Jim Clinton opined that it seems that the Heritage Square plan seems to preserve no heritage

I make the same observation.

The conversation is moot though, isn’t it? In a few days, we will have lost a neighborhood park to men who do not live here and who do not care about what we care about. They are not evil. Just selfish. We can vilify them, or we can be selfish too. In this moment.

So, the neighborhood has decided to celebrate the life of Troy, to share our memories. To gather and appreciate Troy Field. On Wednesday, we are hosting a family picnic.

We were all better for knowing Troy. That place has always brought out the best in me. I have danced there. Cried there. Been high there. Met friends there. Don’t we all love Bend a little bit more when we are there?

A century of heritage and community space is ending for the Old Bend neighborhood. Paving the way to a new Bend.

May we all prosper as we build our new steel and concrete paradise.

­ — Ron Boozell lives in Bend and is a candidate for Bend City Council.


Open Space defines our prosperity.

Historic Value is proved by continued use.

The Old Bend Neighborhood claims this park.

Bend Parks and Rec has yet to follow the direction of their own mission statement.

The issue is what serves our community and our children best.

The solution is simple.