Season Highlights in Eugene-Springfield

Reflecting on another successful season

The Eugene-Springfield team had their final event on May 6th and with hardly a break has already started their summer watering routine. Still, they’ve taken time to reflect on the successes of the 2022- 2023 planting event season. It was a season characterized by more bicycles, new relationships, and emerging leaders.

“We had the most consistent group of new crew leaders this season,” says Eugene-Springfield Program Manager Taylor Glass. “This new cohort quickly rose to lead alongside our veteran CLs. It’s great to have that consistency at planting events.”

The team also worked to expand the use of bicycle crews at planting events. Partnering with PeaceHealth Rides, we had three events with multiple bicycle crews.

“This is something we want to keep doing more of,” says Eugene Director Erik Burke. “Not only is it a sustainability goal, volunteers just really love it.”


Another area with promising growth this year has been planting at school campuses. We had four plantings at schools, installing trees along the public right of way. The Eugene team has been developing relationships with the school grounds managers to make sure the newly planted trees are well cared for and to find more opportunities to grow tree canopy at school sites.

With the 2023 Greenpower Grant from Eugene Water & Electric Board, the Eugene team looks forward to further expanding its planting program in areas that need trees most. The $50,000 award will fund the expansion of their Neighborhood Tree program to all areas of Eugene with low tree equity scores

Another highlight of the year was especially fun—attending Portland planting events and hosting Portland staff at Eugene events.

“It’s great to spend time together,” Taylor says, “and to exchange ideas on how to do things. Our events are a little different from Portland events.”

One of the things the Eugene team does differently: they keep their neighborhood planting events relatively small. The volunteers largely prefer the more intimate events. They get to connect with each other and still plant plenty of trees.

Thanks to all of this year’s volunteers in Eugene and Springfield!

Seeking two-wheeled tree planters!

By Jenny Bedell-Stiles

What could be better than planting trees? How about planting trees by bike for a carbon-negative tree planting? This is the third season Friends of Trees has relied on the energy of our volunteers to plant trees by bike. Check out this YouTube video we created to see what all the fun is about!

A select few of our neighborhood and green space plantings (see below) will have an entirely bike-powered crew to carry tools, trees and, of course, planters themselves. Sound interesting? Please join us! To sign-up please use this online form.

  • 1.19.13 :: Laurelhurst, Kerns, Sunnyside, N Tabor neighborhoods [SE Portland]
  • 1.21.13 :: I-205 Multi-Use Path (this is a Monday – MLK Day of Service) [SE Portland]
  • 2.2.13 :: Piedmont, Woodlawn neighborhoods [NE Portland]
  • 2.9.13 :: Boise, Humboldt, Eliot, King neighborhoods [NE Portland]
  • 2.23.13 :: Westside Vancouver Neighborhoods [Vancouver]
  • 3.2.13 :: Montavilla, Mt. Tabor neighborhoods [SE Portland]
Plant trees by bike with Friends of Trees (Seriously, doesn't this look fun!) (Mary Kay Nitchie)

– Bedell-Stiles is the Volunteer & Outreach Specialist with Friends of Trees and her two-wheeled steed is a Surly Cross-Check


Cycling across Oregon to help the world’s trees

STIHL Tour des Trees
On the road with Tour des Trees in Oregon (Sara Turner)


They are an inspiration! The Tour des Trees cyclists are half-way through their Oregon bike ride to raise money to save trees across the world.

Check out these photos and blog posts by Sara Turner of Washington, D.C.’s Casey Trees and her cycling partner, Neil Irvin. Sara made her latest post today, and the photos tell a great story, though her comments help as well.

Below are excerpts from today’s blog post and from Sara’s post when she and Neil first arrived in Portland several days ago. They stayed with Friends of Trees staffers Erica Timm and Katie Neis.

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It’s Pedalpalooza time!

June 9 Pedalpalooza
June 9 Pedalpalooza

What better way to start the summer than by cycling with friends and neighbors along a family-friendly path that connects neighborhoods with city lakes and natural areas? This June 9 Pedalpalooza event wraps up with a community potluck picnic and live bluegrass at Columbia Park (N Lombard and N Woolsey).

The adventure begins at 2:00 pm at Pittman Addition HydroPark, N Concord and N Going, along the Concord Neighborhood Greenway in the Overlook neighborhood. The path covers just over 11 miles along Neighborhood Greenways and through natural areas at Smith and Bybee lakes. It will take about three hours, including stops along the way to learn about some of the fun projects and partnerships that make Portland’s neighborhoods unique and green. Aside from a three-block hill at the start and a gradual incline from the Columbia River, the path is flat and easy for both kids and adults.

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Planting in memory of Gail Achterman

April 14, 2012 Planting in Memory of Gail Achterman
Gail Achterman's family planting an oak in her memory

On April 14, 135 volunteers gathered in SE Portland to enhance the I-205 Multi-Use Path for cyclists, pedestrians and neighbors. As part of the tree planting, family, friends and colleagues of Gail Achterman gathered to plant more than a dozen oaks in her memory.

Oregon State Rep. Alissa Keny-Guyer greeted the volunteers. She was honored, she said, that Gail’s memorial planting was in her district. She recalled Gail’s warmth and helpfulness, and her advocacy for land management and transportation policies. Gail was instrumental, she said, in helping ensure the Columbia River Gorge became a scenic protected area.

Pictured in the slide show above are Gail’s husband, Chuck McGinnis, Rep. Alissa Keny-Guyer, FOT Executive Director Scott Fogarty, ODOT Region 1 Public Policy & Community Affairs Manager Shelli Romero, and other community volunteers planting in Gail’s memory.

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