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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Garry Oak wants to be your valentine

Valentines for Garry Oak
Garry Oak is waiting to hear from you (FOT file)

By Emma Gray

This Valentine’s Day, love is in the air, and Friends of Trees’ mascot, Garry Oak, wants to be your valentine. Garry is a nine-foot Oregon White Oak with bright, glossy foliage, a great smile, and a sensitive soul. Garry likes fresh air, squirrels, and long walks on the beach. Would you like to be Garry’s valentine?

If you think you are the one to win Garry’s heart, tell him why! People of all ages, backgrounds and gender are invited to participate. Send Garry an email at GarryOak@FriendsofTrees.org or post your love note to Garry on his personal Facebook page or Friends of Trees’ Facebook Fan page. If you aren’t already friends with Garry on Facebook, what are you waiting for? One lucky lovebird will win a Friends of Trees Gift Tree and a personalized valentine delivered by Garry Oak to the winner’s home or office on Monday, February 14.

Friends of Trees at Sunday Parkways: June 27th, 2010
A fan hugs Garry Oak (FOT file)

Garry gives Gift Trees because they are the perfect way to show his love for the earth and for his loved ones. Through Friends of Trees’ Gift Trees program you, too, can purchase a Gift Tree for your sweetheart. Nothing says ‘I Love You’ like a native tree that helps the earth and grows for the lifetime of your love.

Friends of Trees’ Gift Trees are planted in the Collins Sanctuary in Forest Park during one of two annual Gift Tree plantings. All who give or receive Gift Trees for Valentine’s Day this year will be invited to plant their trees at the Gift Tree planting on March 27, 2011. A Gift Tree costs $35, and a Gift Grove of six young native trees costs $100.

Gift Trees restore a forest in our city and support Friends of Trees’ Green Space Initiative, a program that guides volunteers in restoring green spaces throughout the Portland-Vancouver metro area. Friends of Trees’ Neighborhood Trees program offers high-quality street and yard trees at bargain prices and helps neighbors plant their trees together at weekend community events.

Since 1989, Friends of Trees’ thousands of volunteers have planted more than 400,000 trees and native plants. To learn more or to order Gift Trees, visit www.FriendsofTrees.org/GiftTrees or call Emma at 503-282-8846 ext. 31.

-Gray is Gift Tree and Membership Services Specialist for Friends of Trees.

Viewing Portland from a tree

By Chelsea Schuyler

What’s it like to be nestled in the canopy of a tree you climbed yourself? Inspiring, a little nerve-racking, and totally exhilarating. All I can say is the pictures don’t do it justice (but check ‘em out anyway!).

Friends of Trees teamed up with the Pacific Tree Climbing Institute (PTCI) and Irvington Community Association last Saturday at Irving Park. PTCI offers guided tree climbing expeditions to give people a whole new appreciation for the value and beauty of our forests.

While I awaited my turn, the kids ahead of me living out Tarzan fantasies, I asked Debbie Seppa, office manager and chef for PTCI, what kind of people typically come to climb with them.

She responded that lately they’ve been getting a lot of ‘bucket listers,’ folks wanting to do all the crazy, inspiring stuff that makes life great before they kick the bucket. I was surprised to hear this; I hadn’t considered climbing a tree to be on the great To Do list. Then it was my turn.

Hauling myself sixty feet up in the branches of a 100? 200? (ish) year old Red Oak, I couldn’t help but take in a deep breath. There was something about touching the bark of the upper boughs that I will never touch again, with a view I will never see again; I was indeed moved.

Really, get to know a tree like this and you’ll get just as cheesy. I can see why these guys do this for a living—who knew you could get away from it all, just by going up!

My climb was just scratching the surface of what PTCI can do. They host overnight trips, where you actually sleep in a hammock 250 feet above ground Never Never Land style, and are served organic breakfasts and dinners made in an outdoor kitchen. (Not a trip where you’d want to forget the fork.)

Thanks again for taking us up there Nick, Rob, Jason, Debbie, Katie, and Jesse. We all had a blast!

Planting site tour to show off Camas Lilies

(3-creeks.org)
The sensitive 3-Creeks natural area is hidden in Clackamas behind the North Clackamas Aquatic Park. (3-creeks.org)
(3-creeks.org)
The Great Camas flower. (3-creeks.org)

When was the last time you saw a Camas Lily?

Join longtime Friends of Trees volunteer and former staffer Chris Runyard for a tour of the 3-Creeks wetland area in Clackamas Sunday and view the beautiful flowers in full bloom.

The tour—from 1-4 p.m.—will also include guided discovery of old growth White Oak, newly established Friends of Trees planting sites, birds, bees, butterflies, and Mt. Scott Creek, which is still home to Coho, Steelhead and Cutthroat.

Meet at the North Clackamas Aquatic Park parking lot at 7300 SE Harmony Road and remember to bring suitable clothes and footwear that can get wet, and a snack and some water.

As recently as 2006, Friends of Trees’ Green Space Initiative program partnered with Water Environment Services and The Tsunami Crew, the official steward group of the 3-Creeks Natural Area, to plant native trees ans shrubs in the area.

If you have any questions, email Runyard at crunyard@msn.com.

–Toshio Suzuki

A tree walk through history in Laurelhurst Park

IMG_3748
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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