Portland never ceases to amaze or surprise me! We began in Holloday Park, located by Lloyd Center, instead of our home base. As we presented on the various parks we observed in groups, late boys because of dental appointments trickled in. It was interesting to hear about what worked and didn’t work, and most importantly the reasons why. After discussing in detail the different aspects of a park, we listened to Councilor Kathryn Harrington of Region 4 present on the mission and responsibilities of Metro. Metro is a regional government consisting of members elected by residents. Everyone was fully engaged and interested in the logistics of this one-of-a-kind government! Once we shook her hand and thanked her for her donated time, we headed over to the food carts. The sweet mixed aroma of ethnic foods leaked down several blocks, exciting hungry teenagers. After frantically deciding what to eat, we headed over to the (Mission Mill Museum?) with our food in hand and listened to two architects explain the process of designing a recreational area. Then we were handed a small duplicate of his map on the projection screen and told to create a recreational space of 100 X 200 that would most serve people. Groups meshed ideas and we all came up with interesting designs, usually involving focal point or a point of interest surrounded by connected paths. Following learning that a large fountain as a focal point wouldn’t work because of the climate in Denver, we walked to our wonderful home base. The walk was not only refreshing, but also eye-opening because we now see Portland through a historic and architecture lens. Our group learned from the walk about the versatile Steel Bridge by Christian’s love confession of it. We ended the day creating a creed that set the basic foundation of which the PLACE program will be run. After a lengthy group discussion, we came up with four themes that we all agreed to abide by: respect, safety, collaboration, and present. Hopefully we will see more sun in the next few days!