Meet Keith, Green Space Initiative Specialist

Keith Nevison, GSI Specialist
In addition to years of experience with plants, Keith also worked on a dairy farm.

He’s Canadian, but we haven’t heard him say “loonie” or “eh” yet. We’ve heard him emphasize a few other words, though, such as: “Right Plant, Right Place.”

Friends of Trees’ new Green Space Initiative Specialist, Keith Nevison, grew up in the United States near the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve, where he saw mostly one kind of plant—poppies. Years of travel, study, and a wide range of work experiences only enhanced his appreciation for diverse species, especially rare, endangered and drought-tolerant plants. He hopes to help Friends of Trees introduce new species to the I-205 Multi-Use Path plantings, where young plants face even greater challenges than they do in city neighborhoods.

Keith Nevison, GSI Specialist
Keith has potted more than 100,000 plants.

Keith’s sustainability work encompasses biodynamic farming, milking cows, peach ranching, and potting drought-tolerant plants. While production specialist at Sherwood’s Xera Plants as he earned his Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies cum laude from Portland State University, Keith partnered with Metro and PSU’s Department of Architecture on an ecoroof design with native plants drawn from dryland ecosystems across Oregon. He also partnered with the Oregon Department of Transportation to create an on-campus orchard of 25 kinds of fruit trees.

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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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Planting a new forest

Starbucks Staff at MLK Day Planting (Elizabeth Craig)
Starbucks planters (Elizabeth Craig)

Please join us for our March and April plantings along the I-205 Multi-Use Path! ODOT’s Elizabeth Craig wrote this story about the first planting along the path in 2012:

The threat of snow and ice didn’t stop volunteers from coming out on January 16 to plant trees along the I-205 Multi-Use Path as part of MLK Day of Service. More than 100 people joined Friends of Trees and ODOT in planting 165 trees along the path in Parkrose as part of a three-year effort between Friends of Trees, ODOT and Metro to add thousands of trees to the path.

I-205 MLK Day
Janet Schmidt, REI Portland

Janet Schmidt is an outreach and events specialist with REI, the corporate sponsor of the Jan. 16 planting. Janet addressed the crowd of volunteers at the start of the day’s planting and explained that REI employees nominate groups for REI sponsorships. Friends of Trees happens to be an employee favorite, she explained. “It’s perfect we’re doing the path because we’re avid cyclists,” Janet commented.

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I have a dream for I-205

By Shelli Romero

First Planting of the Season-100 Trees in Parkrose
I Have A Dream volunteers helped plant 100 trees (Becca Wolf)

ODOT and Friends of Trees kicked off the third season of the I-205 Multi-Use Path greening project last month. The Oct. 22 planting in the Parkrose Centennial area of Portland took place near TriMet’s Park and Ride facility and along the east side of I-84 just north of Sandy Boulevard.

The “I Have a Dream” Foundation-Oregon, an organization whose mission is to help children succeed in school and college, brought twelve people including two staff, one of their own volunteers, and nine young Dreamers. Becca Wolf, a Program Coordinator with the Class 10 Dreamers, has been with the “I Have a Dream” Foundation-Oregon for four years.

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REI awards $15,000 to Friends of Trees

March 19, 2011 Green Space Planting Along I-205 MUP in Lents
March 2011 planting along the I-205 Multi-Use Path (FOT file)

Friends of Trees is honored to receive a $10,000 grant from REI (Recreational Equipment, Inc.) in Portland to support two Green Space Initiative plantings along the I-205 Multi-Use Path and $5,000 from REI in Eugene for natural area restoration work in the Eugene-Springfield area.

This fall and winter mark the third planting season of the three-year I-205 Multi-Use Path project, which involves a partnership with Metro, the Oregon Department of Transportation, Portland’s Bureau of Environmental Services, and a dozen other nonprofits, businesses, agencies, and community groups.

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