Irving Park, administered by Portland Parks and Recreation, occupies about sixteen acres in the northwest corner of the Irvington neighborhood bordered by NE 7th Avenue and NE Fremont Streets.
Like the Irvington neighborhood itself, the park is named for Elizabeth and William Irving, whose mid 19th century Donation Land Claim included this area of Portland. Irving Park features include sports fields, an off-leash dog walk area, tennis and basketball courts, picnic areas and a playground with a spray pool water feature.
Park hours are 5:00am-midnight. Tennis court lights are turned off at 9:30 PM, October 1-May 31, and at 10:00 PM, June 1-September 30.
In the early years of the Irvington neighborhood, some of the acreage now occupied by Irving Park was a racetrack. By the 1920s, the land had been set aside as a city park. In recent years, the Irvington Community Association has contributed funds raised by the Irvington Home Tour to help improve park amenities such as the play structures, spray pool and a bench for the off-leash area. The ICA partnership with Portland Parks and Recreation also supports activities such as Movies in the Park and tree climbs each summer.
The ICA also partners with nearby neighborhoods that rely on recreation opportunities in Irving Park. The Sabin Community Association has spearheaded one park improvement plan. This project called for a Green Street to make pedestrian access to the park across Fremont Street easier and safer. The Irvington Community Association endorsed this project in Spring of 2009.
The crossing is similar to the ones that have popped up along Siskiyou and Klickitat as part of the joint bicycle boulevard & storm water retention system. If you have ever tried to cross Fremont anywhere along the stretch between 7th and 15th, you have experienced the challenge of avoiding the heavy traffic and, during storms, the ensuing puddles of water. As we know all too well, with children and dogs in tow, the peril worsens. The new 9th Avenue crossing narrows the traffic lanes by extending the curbs and using storm water retention planters.
More projects are planned for the future of Irving Park. For instance, an article from the Irvington Newsletter answers a common question - why isn't there a perimeter path around the park?