Trainsong Park will partially reopen on Friday, February 4, after closing on January 13 out of an abundance of caution when dioxins were identified in soil samples in background testing for a separate project. Areas of the park that will reopen include Trainsong Skatepark, the basketball court and other paved areas, as well as the playground. The playground and sand lot will receive a refill of at least four inches of new material, per recommendation by the Oregon Department of Environment Quality (DEQ) and Oregon Health Authority.
Areas that will reopen are paved surfaces or covered with several inches of bark or sand, and areas where people using the park are very unlikely to contact the soil. The City has worked with DEQ the past several weeks creating a reopening plan. Out of an abundance of caution, grassy areas and areas with exposed soil will remain fenced off until DEQ has completed further testing throughout the park to better understand dioxin levels.
DEQ oversaw soil sampling at Trainsong Park in fall 2021 after it was selected as a background location for an ongoing investigation of contamination at and near J.H. Baxter & Co., a wood treatment facility, along Roosevelt Boulevard. Results in January identified dioxins in the soil samples collected at Trainsong Park.
The cause of the dioxin levels at Trainsong Park is unknown and DEQ doesn’t believe that J.H. Baxter is the source, based on the finding of low levels of dioxins at other background soil sampling sites between the facility and the park. Trainsong Park is 0.8 of a mile from J.H. Baxter, northeast of the facility and on the other side of Highway 99.
An FAQ about Trainsong Park is available on the City’s website. Background information about the J.H. Baxter site is available on the DEQ website.