Arbor Day is almost here!

By Susie Peterson

Come help Portland Parks & Recreation and partners (including Friends of Trees) celebrate our city’s trees and those who work so hard to plant and care for them! Highlights of the day will include: 1) Portland getting its 37th annual Tree City USA banner; 2) the Urban Forestry Commission Education and Outreach Committee awarding the Bill Naito Community Trees Award at 10:00 a.m.; and, 3) the reading of the Arbor Day Proclamation at 12:00 p.m.

There is a new theme each year for Arbor Month. This year the theme is ‘Trees Care For Us: We Care for Trees.’ Some of your favorite local tree groups will have booths to visit and you can find out how trees care for you and how you can help care for trees. They’ll be giving away several different kinds of tree stickers, as well as cool Arbor Month posters, which have fun games on the back. Plus, Garry Oak will be there in person to give big tree hugs to everyone!

Arbor Day poster side B 2014
2014 Arbor Month Poster!

When: this Saturday, April 26, 2014 from 8:30 a.m. till 2:00 p.m.
Where: Portland Farmers Market at Portland State University, South Park Blocks between SW Hall & SW Montgomery (map)

In addition to Arbor Day, feel free to attend any of the other fun Arbor Month activities planned.

See you out there!

— Susie is a Neighborhood Trees Specialist with Friends of Trees.

The future of Portland trees is at stake

multiage trees_WD

By Kris Day

In the next few weeks, City Council will either vote to embrace Portland’s new tree code—a consolidated, more consistent, and more effectual set of tree rules—or it will return it to the shelf where it has been sitting out these past, lean few years, to possibly never be seen again. Your voice can make a difference in how we protect (or don’t protect) our urban trees.

Imagine a future Portland without our Doug-fir silhouetted skyline, without big trees tying together the interiors of our blocks, or without a network of diverse canopies connecting one city park to the next. No thanks, right?

We live in a place where housing and infill development has continued despite a sluggish national economy over the last handful of years; a real boon to Portlanders on many fronts. The trouble is, without improved and simplified tree regulations, Portland could start slipping back toward Stumptown. This is not a judgement against development and it’s not to say that we don’t currently have any tree regulations. It’s just that we need to improve the ways we protect and care for our urban forest. Title 11 was created through a very inclusive public process to do just that, and to do it in a very above-board and consistent way, accessible and understandable to all Portlanders.

Portland’s urban forest is in fact growing, thanks in no small part to the thousands of young trees planted with your help, but we need our middle-aged and fully mature trees more than ever to help maintain the $53 million worth of services urban trees provide us annually. These services include cleaner water, healthier air, improved green infrastructure systems, more wildlife habitat, reduction in energy use and increased property values—all things that help make our city great.

If you care about the future of Portland’s trees and maintaining the character of our city, please let Mayor Hales and the rest of City Council know. Ask them to finally fund Title 11, a much-needed piece of legislation that 3 out of 5 of them passed into Portland law three years ago. A Portland without a robust and well-dispersed urban forest will not live up to the exceptional quality of life we Portlanders know and love or the “green” reputation the rest of the world has come to expect from us.

TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE. Please send emails to City Council by Tuesday, April 22nd­­­, or consider telling them directly at one of three upcoming budget hearings (listed below).

Your voice can make a difference.

– Kris is a Senior Specialist for the GSI Program, as well as a Portland Urban Forestry Commissioner

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Learn more

Title 11 – Trees (.pdf)

Additional talking points

  • Title 11 will uphold and increase the integrity of Portland’s urban forest by more systematically protecting this invaluable public good.
  • Title 11 will incentivize protecting trees and will offer additional flexibility for tree preservation.
  • Title 11 will consolidate Portland’s currently unwieldy and disparate tree-related regulations into a single code making them more accessible and user friendly.
  • Title 11 will establish clear standards and procedures to simplify the permitting process and to better inform customer public expectations.
  • Title 11 will improve customer service for permit seekers, arborists, and developers.

Contacts

Public Budget Hearings

  • Wednesday, April 9th – Portland Community College PAC, 12000 SW 49th Ave.
  • Tuesday, April 22nd – David Douglas High School, 1001 SE 135th Ave.
  • Thursday, May 15th – Portland City Hall, 1221 SW 4th Ave.

 

Hug a Tree at Hoyt!

Hug a Tree at Hoyt
Hug a Tree at Hoyt

By Jesse Batty

When was the last time that you hugged a tree? Whether you’re a daily tree hugger or it’s been awhile, this summer you will get your chance!

Hoyt Arboretum and Treecology are organizing an attempt to break the Guinness World Record for most people simultaneously hugging trees in one place at one time. The goal is to bring 1,000 people together on July 20 so all 1,000 can hug their trees at 2:00 pm.

The hug will take place at 2:00 pm at Hoyt Arboretum on July 20, 2013. Please consider public transportation to Hoyt. Due to strict rules from Guiness World Records, we need you to pre-register for this event so our count is accurate. SIGN UP HERE: Hug A Tree At Hoyt – Portland’s World Record Tree Hug.

Tree Hug
Hug a Tree at Hoyt (Treecology)

Timber Joey & Friends of Trees’ Garry Oak will be on hand to help hug. Need any further incentives? All tree hug participants will receive a coupon for a complimentary beverage from one of several participating local breweries.

Let’s do this Portland!

– Batty is a Neighborhood Trees Senior Specialist at Friends of Trees.

Garry Hits the Town to Celebrate Earth & Arbor Days

Garry Oak, April 2013
PSU was one of Garry Oak's many stops on Earth Day (Brighton West)

Each year, Portland’s fine spring weather draws Friends of Trees mascot Garry Oak out into the community.

During a recent foray to the city for Earth Day, Garry visited kids and green businesses on the South Park Blocks, including FOT supporters Veggie Grill and The Heathman Hotel.

He also met with friends from Green Mountain Energy, the Oregon Symphony, and Portland State University. Due to his size and limited coordination, he didn’t venture inside Tiffany & Co., though he was tempted. Below are photos of Garry’s adventures taken by Eric Allen, Brighton West, and members of the David Douglas High School ESL planting team.

During Portland’s Arbor Day Festival at the Portland Farmers Market on April 20, the Portland Urban Forestry Commission designated Garry Oak an honorary Heritage Tree for the day. That was a proud moment.Read More

Best Ever Portland Arbor Day Festival this Saturday!

Bob Naito introducing the 2012 Bill Naito Awards (Kris Day)

By Kris Day

Join all manner of tree lovers in the South Park Blocks on April 20th in conjunction with the PSU Farmer’s Market to celebrate Portland’s urban forest and the great community of folks who support it.

The festivities will span the duration of the market’s hours (from 8:30 am to 2:00 pm), with the 2013 Bill Naito Community Trees Award ceremony commencing at 10:00 am. There will be 15 informational tables and staffers, as well as three activity tents for learners of all ages!

Meet local urban forestry and design professionals and learn how they envision growing and maintaining our city’s trees. Get to know the local volunteer groups that help care for Portland’s trees. Learn more about Heritage Trees and their legacies, and find out how you can get involved.

Tomorrow's tree stewards at the 2012 Arbor Day celebration

For a special prize, visit any one of Portland’s 300 Heritage Trees, take a photo of you with the tree, and either tag it with #pdxtrees or post it to facebook.com/treestrewards. Visit the Neighborhood Tree Stewards table and show your handiwork to receive your “treesure.”

Check out what else is going on during Arbor Month on the Portland Parks & Recreation website.

–Day is Neighborhood Trees & Green Space Initiative Senior Specialist for Friends of Trees.