February 2013 Mt. Tabor Revegetation Project Update
Project Partners: City of Portland Bureau of Environmental Services, Parks and Recreation, Water Bureau,
East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District, Friends of Mt. Tabor Park, Audubon Society of Portland
On January 31st, February 1st and 2nd, as part of the Tabor to the River Program, the Bureau of Environmental Services (BES) Watershed Revegetation Program and contract crews planted 17,000 native trees and shrubs on over 32 acres of Mt. Tabor Park’s natural areas (see map below). Many thanks to the East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District (EMSWCD) for making the planting possible through funding from their Partners in Conservation grant program. Some of the native trees planted were: Big-leaf Maple, Madrone, Douglas-fir, and Cascara. Some of the native shrubs planted were: Vine Maple, Indian-plum, Snowberry, Trailing Blackberry, Red and Blue Elderberry, and Thimbleberry.
Chris from R. Franco Restoration, Inc. planting cascara (a tree native to Portland, Oregon) at Mt. Tabor Park
in February 2013. Environmental Services contracts with R. Franco Restoration for invasive vegetation
removal and native plant restoration.
On January 26th, the Friends of Mt. Tabor Park (FMTP) Weed Warriors and Portland Parks and Recreation (PP&R) planted more than 850 native plants in Unit 5 (see map below). See photos from the planting at http://www.facebook.com/FMTP.WeedWarriors/photos_albums
Over time these native plants will mature and provide many benefits to the park, including:
- Reduced stormwater runoff. A diverse coverage of native plants is better at reducing the speed and volume of stormwater runoff and preventing erosion than a uniform coverage of an invasive plant.
- Improved habitat for native wildlife, including birds. The diversity of habitats available in the park support a wide assortment of resident and migratory birds. The native plant community that will now grow where a few invasive plants previously dominated will provide more options for food and shelter over a longer period of time. For example, a hillside covered with blackberry will provide fruit in the late summer and early fall. The same hillside with a diverse native plant community could provide Salmonberry in the early spring, Thimbleberry in mid-summer, Elderberries in late summer, and Snowberries in the winter. Learn more about birds at Mt. Tabor Park at www.portlandoregon.gov/bes/article/431015.
- A sustainable, enduring community of native plants that will replace
itself over the years.Mt.TaborPark has a majestic forest canopy. In areas where invasive plants dominated the understory, there are no young trees to take the place of canopy trees when they die. The newly planted native trees are the future mature trees forMt.TaborPark’s forests.
- Reduced maintenance costs. Some of the native plants are being planted in areas formerly mowed by PP&R. Converting these to natural areas reduces PP&R maintenance costs.
In addition to the planting, Audubon Society of Portland volunteers conducted winter bird surveys in December 2012, January and February 2013.
- Spring 2013 - Spot-application of herbicide on targeted invasive plants: lesser celandine and hawkweed.
- Summer 2013 – Volunteers with the Audubon Society of Portland will conduct breeding bird surveys.
- Fall 2013 - Continued invasive plant control throughout the park’s natural areas.
- Through Spring 2017 – Ongoing invasive plant control, planting area maintenance, and native planting where needed.
The Mt. Tabor Revegetation project began in fall 2010. It is part of Portland’s Tabor to the River Program to stop sewer backups, manage stormwater naturally, and restore watershed health in close partnership with the community. Learn more at about Tabor to the River at www.portlandoregon.gov/bes/tabortoriver. Establishing native plants in the place of invasive plants inMt.TaborPark enhances watershed health by improving stormwater management and habitat, just as green streets do in urban areas.
- It is important that park users STAY ON TRAILS to prevent erosion and disturbance during the restoration process.
- City staff are paying close attention to potential erosion in treatment areas. If areas of concern arise, they will be addressed using best management practices such as erosion control fabric or straw wattles. Park users should notify project staff if erosion is observed or new trails are being established. Email email@example.com or call 503-823-4886.
- A self-guided walking tour of the Mt. Tabor Revegetation Project is available at the main kiosk next to the amphitheater parking lot, and on the project website.
- For more information about the Mt. Tabor Revegetation Project, visit the project website, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 503-823-4886.
- Volunteer with the FMTP Weed Warriors! Learn more at http://www.taborfriends.org/.
- Check out the FMTP Mt. Tabor Park Visitors Center at the main parking lot, run by friendly FMTP volunteers.