Local elementary students create Arbor Day art

Vancouver elementary students produce winning 'tree' art
Stella Won received second prize for this piece. (Vancouver UF)
Vancouver elementary students produce winning 'tree' art
Ciana Yi received third prize for this piece. (Vancouver UF)

Vancouver elementary students won second and third place in the Washington State Arbor Day Poster contest.

Stella Won took second place and Ciana Yi third with their artwork depicting this year’s theme, “Trees are Terrific…and Energy Wise.” Both students attend Fisher’s Landing Elementary School.

Yi’s piece shows trees intermingling between an urban and forest environment, similar to the two programs at Friends of Trees: Neighborhood Trees (urban); and Green Space Initiative (forest).

And Won’s piece displays the importance of fruit trees for sustenance (Fruit Tree Giveaway Saturday).

Well done to both young artists!

–Toshio Suzuki

David Bragdon wins Arbor Day Foundation award

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Metro Council President David Bragdon, right, planted with Friends of Trees at the I-205 Multi-Use Path planting on March 20, 2010. (FOT file)

Congratulations to Metro Council President David Bragdon, who received the 2010 Excellence in Urban Forest Leadership Award from The Arbor Day Foundation. Bragdon received the award for his role in preserving and restoring forest and park land in the Portland-metro region.

Metro is a key partner in two Friends of Trees projects initiated this year–a three-year project with the Oregon Department of Transportation to green the I-205 Multi-Use Path and a partnership with the Audubon Society of Portland to restore the Collins Sanctuary, 84-acres of natural area adjacent to Forest Park, which Metro purchased and designated for restoration.

Friends of Trees’ Gift Trees were planted in the Collins Sanctuary during the 2009-10 planting season and will be planted in the sanctuary in the coming years as well.

The project to green the I-205 Multi-Use Path is supported by a $410,000 Metro Nature in Neighborhoods capital grant made possible through voter-approved funding in 2006 to purchase and restore natural areas in the Portland metro area. As a result of the project, thousands of trees will be planted along the 16.5-mile path used by pedestrians, bicyclers, and transit users.

Read more about the award on OregonLive.

–Teri Ruch

Vancouver celebrates 21 years as Tree City USA

Outreach: 04.14.10, Vancouver Arbor Day
Friends of Trees Program Director Brighton West, left, visits with Smokey the Bear, right, at the Vancouver Arbor Day celebration April 14. (FOT file)

By Jesse Batty

The city of Vancouver held its annual Arbor Day Celebration at the Mayor’s Grove April 14, continuing a commitment to the urban forest for many years to come.

The day consisted of a presentation of awards, tree games for kids, planting the mayor’s tree (Triumph Elm), and a Bigleaf Maple seedling giveaway for students.

Mayor Tim Leavitt, on hand to plant his commemorative tree, reminded the elementary students that when climbing trees, “remember that you have to get down!”

The celebration also saw the inaugural presentation of the Gordon MacWilliams Award, for those who have displayed excellence in preserving Vancouver’s urban forest.

Among the winners were Friends of Trees Neighborhood Coordinators Sue Sanders and Cynthia Thornton-Tang. Both have been amazing Neighborhood Coordinators with Friends of Trees and we congratulate them on their award!

Vancouver was presented with the designation of Tree City USA for the 21st straight year. For a full story of the event and photos, visit this story from The Columbian.

Batty is the Neighborhood Outreach Coordinator for Vancouver: 360-619-1127, JesseB@FriendsofTrees.org

A tree walk through history in Laurelhurst Park

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From left, Friends of Trees staffers Kris Day, Andy Meeks, David Odom, Greg Tudor and Whitney Dorer join Phyllis Reynolds, center, for a historic tour of the trees in Laurelhurst Park. (Angie DiSalvo, Portland Urban Forestry)

By Andy Meeks

On Wednesday morning approximately 30 people were treated to a walking tour highlighting the trees and history of Laurelhurst Park.

Phyllis Reynolds, author of “Trees of Greater Portland” and longtime Friends of Trees supporter, led the tour as part of the Portland Parks & Recreation’s (PP&R) Arbor Week.

Reynolds has done extensive research and mapping work in the Southeast Portland park and said that there are nearly 1,000 trees in the park consisting of almost 115 species, about one-third of which are Douglas-firs. She gave a very thorough, descriptive and entertaining walk past ginkgos, grand firs, the Concert Grove lindens, black oaks, sycamore maples, giant sequoias, Kentucky coffeetrees, white oaks and dawn redwoods.

The group learned from Reynolds that Laurelhurst Park was once part of the 462-acre Hazel Fern Farm owned by William Sargent Ladd, a native of Vermont who twice served as Portland’s mayor in the 1850s. He used it as a dairy farm and also raised Clydesdale draft horses and cattle. Ladd died in 1893 and his heirs sold the surrounding land to a group of developers who created the Laurelhurst neighborhood in conjunction with Frederick Law Olmsted’s landscape architecture firm.

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Portland celebrates 33 years of Tree City USA

Tree City USA: Portland 2010
From left, David Odom and Joe Poracsky of the urban forestry commission, Portland Commissioner Nick Fish, State Forester Kristin Ramstad , Portland Parks Director Zari Santner, and Portland Urban Forester David McCallister. (FOT file)

By Jesse Batty

Portland Arbor Week continued in fine style yesterday at Powellhurst School & Park where the city once again accepted its designation as a Tree City USA for the 33rd straight year.

Urban Forestry Commissioner Joe Poracsky joined fellow commissioner and Friends of Trees staffer David Odom, Commissioner Nick Fish, Portland Urban Forester David McAllister, and Portland Parks Director Zari Santner were all present to accept the honor. Presenting this award to them was Kristin Ramstad from the Oregon Department of Forestry.

The Tree City USA distinction requires the completion of four criteria: having a tree ordinance in place; having a tree board or urban forestry commission; holding an official Arbor Day celebration; and spending $2 per capita on trees.

“Everyone here is extremely lucky to live in a city that values its trees so highly,” said Ramstad to the students of Powellhurst.

Commissioner Fish asked the students to do him a favor: “Today, I am appointing you all honorary park rangers.”

He asked that they continue to become stewards of our urban forest and take care of and look after the trees we care about so deeply.  The entire school then went outside to plant about 15 trees on the school grounds.

All in all, a great day!

Batty is the Neighborhood Outreach Coordinator for Vancouver: 360-619-1127, JesseB@FriendsofTrees.org