Get To Know Our Planting Partners

Our municipal relationships are key to our regional growth

This Earth Month, we are celebrating how we are expanding our impact throughout Western Oregon and Southwest Washington. We couldn’t do this without the municipal partners that are investing in their communities by supporting community tree planting as a way to increase their cities’ canopies.

Yesterday, Wilsonville residents celebrated Earth Day with a city-wide tree planting event. This year we celebrated 20 years of partnership with the City of Wilsonville, where we have held annual plantings in parks and natural areas. It all started in 2002 when we partnered to create native plant areas in Memorial Park. In recent years, we have expanded this successful partnership to include neighborhood tree plantings, with an annual goal of 200 neighborhood trees per year.

Vancouver is another city where the community continually shows up to make an impact. We had four incredible plantings this year to meet our goal of adding more than 400 trees to Vancouver’s urban canopy Friends of Trees has been planting trees and growing community in Southwest Washington since 2003, and we’ve engaged local volunteers to plant nearly 8,000 trees here.

“Planting trees is one of my favorite things to do when it comes to volunteering,” said Vancouver Councilmember Sara J. Fox at a Friends of Trees planting event this year. “Even if it’s not your tree, it’s all of our trees.”

Our Eugene Branch continues to grow their work in both Eugene and Springfield, expanding beyond street trees to include yard trees as well, in addition to continuing with natural area restoration events at sites like the Northwest Expressway. The City of Eugene has been a valuable partner, and we continue to work closely with them to grow a vision together.

“Springfield is an important geography for our equity work,” says Eugene Director Erik Burke. “We are looking to more than double our annual tree goal there.”

This is just a taste of the growth we’ve had throughout the region. We continue to make strides alongside our municipal partners in Gresham, Oregon City, Milwaukie, Salem, Tualatin, Tigard and Beaverton. We’re excited to be expanding our planting events in Hillsboro, too, where after years of restoration work, we’ll be adding street trees events to our calendar.

20 Years in Wilsonville

FOT started planting at Memorial Park in 2002

The morning sun shined on the 51 volunteers at Memorial Park during our February planting in Wilsonville. It was a special day at a familiar spot, because this planting marked the 20th anniversary of the partnership between Friends of Trees and the City of Wilsonville.

In 2002, the City of Wilsonville and Friends of Trees partnered to create native plant communities in Memorial Park. Since then, volunteers have installed thousands of native plants, shrubs and trees, reestablishing forest areas and protecting riparian zones in Wilsonville’s oldest and largest park.

“What a great day to plant,” says Michelle Yasutake, the Green Space Program Manager at Friends of Trees. “We added over 1,000 plants! It’s an awesome way to celebrate this partnership where it all started.” The newly planted native shrubs, wildflowers, and ferns will contribute to the legacy that began two decades ago.

FOT’s work in Wilsonville has expanded into the city’s neighborhoods, too. In the fall of 2021, Friends of Trees volunteers planted 112 trees during two city-wide tree planting events. On April 23, Wilsonville residents can celebrate Earth Day by volunteering at a Friends of Trees neighborhood planting, or getting their own yard or street tree.

Goaded by invasives, Wilsonville hires goats

City of Wilsonville employees works to eradicate invasives. (FOT file)
City of Wilsonville employees work to eradicate invasives. (FOT file)

The City of Wilsonville is once again using an alternative route to control invasive plants… goats!

Yesterday the city hosted a ‘meet the goats’ celebration with sample cheese, milk and yogurt available; but the main attraction was the goats themselves, available for petting and demonstrating how 300 of them are eating their way through English Ivy, Himalayan Blackberry, Laurel, and Holly at Memorial Park in Wilsonville this week.

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