PORTLAND - The former Occupy Portland camps in Lownsdale and Chapman Square parks Monday morning were a muddy mess, littered with camping equipment, pallets, ropes tangled in trees and much more.
Crews brought in heavy equipment starting at around 7:30 a.m. Monday to help with cleanup, and an arborist showed up to take a look at the trees.
So far, 70 dump truck loads have been taken out, according to the parks bureau.
"Pretty much anything you can imagine, they've taken out of the park," Portland Parks spokesman Mark Ross said. "It's more than just planting grass again."
Raw video: Park cleanup
Officials said they also must inspect and repair benches, fountains, memorials and irrigation lines.
The parks are closed to the public surrounded by fencing and guarded by police at all the entrances.
Crews expected the cleanup to take a couple of weeks.
Officials have not yet figured the cost and amount of time it will take to get everything back to normal after being occupied by hundreds of protesters. An estimate in late October put a price of $19,000, but Ross said Monday it was too early to tabulate.
"The bad news is the parks were damaged during this occupation," said City Commissioner Nick Fish. "The good news is Portland is going to come together and repair and restore them and we'll return them to public use."
"I think that there are a number of people that are going to step up and write big checks and I've heard from a number of the Occupy Portland people who've asked what they can do to help as well," said Fish.
On Monday, the Portland Parks Foundation established an online fund where the public can donate to the parks foundation to help in the cleanup.
KGW also asked the Portland Parks Bureau how the costs compared to damage to city parks from other events like the brewer’s festival or the Rose Festival.
The big difference, according to the Parks Bureau, is permits. The Oregon Brewers Festival paid the city $30,000 for a permit to use Waterfront Park. The Rose Festival paid the city $120,000 for its permit. Some of the permit money goes toward cleaning up the park after the events. The Parks Bureau also bills those events for any damage done when the event is over.