Growth Rings

University of Portland Students Continue Their Planting Spree

Posted on April 25, 2013 at 9:36 pm

By Charles Datulayta

On April 6, nine University of Portland Air Force ROTC cadets came out to the Friends of Trees’ Neighborhood Greenway planting in NE Portland. When I arrived at the University of Portland’s Pilot House (the now standard meeting place on campus for Friends of Trees events), I was greeted by the sight of familiar faces and the nicely-sized group of ROTC cadets. It was a cold but sunny morning, and everyone hoped for a nice day though it looked as if it might rain. We arrived a half hour later at the staging area near the East Portland Neighborhood Office, where we were able to eat some bread, fruit and donuts, as well as coffee and orange juice.

University of Portland students planting with Friends of Trees, Feb. 18, 2012 (Matt Krueger)

Arriving at the first house, we were delighted to learn that the homeowner was getting five trees! Fortunately he was home and willing to lend a hand. We were off to a great start as we planted the first tree flawlessly and in record time. Crew leader Gabriel chatted with the owner and found out that he’d wanted to plant trees at his home with Friends of Trees for nearly five years. He certainly got what he’d wanted for so long — and at no cost! After we finished planting his trees, he went on to help us with a few more trees nearby. We parted ways with just one house left to go. We were definitely grateful for his help.

Arriving back at the staging site, we were glad that the rain we’d expected had moved on. We waited in the sun, drinking juice and talking about life, until the rest of the ROTC cadets returned. All in all, it was a great day to plant trees with friends at an easy but efficient pace, and it was a great planting to reflect on our friendship, camaraderie, and the good work we were doing for the environment.

– Datulayta is a University of Portland student and Community Volunteer Coordinator intern with Friends of Trees.

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