March 13, 2013
Over three days this winter,Portland’s Watershed Revegetation team and contract employees planted over 17,000 native trees and shrubs in Mt. Tabor Park. The revegetation work on January 31, February 1 and February 2 covered more than 32 acres of the southeast Portland park’s natural areas. The planting was part of the Mt. Tabor Invasive Plant Control and Revegetation Project. It was the project’s largest single planting effort since park restoration began in fall 2010.
Mt. Tabor Park was in danger of being overrun by invasive, non-native vegetation including English ivy, Himalayan blackberry, English hawthorn and sweet cherry before Environmental Services, Portland Parks & Recreation and the Portland Water Bureau joined the Friends of Mt. Tabor Park Weed Warriors to fight back. Invasive plants spread rapidly, out-compete native species, and damage habitat for birds and other wildlife. Removing invasives and restoring native vegetation improves habitat, reduces stormwater runoff and reduces park maintenance costs.
In the last three years, the city and its partners have removed invasive plants on 61 acres and planted 23,150 native plants on 44 acres. The Friends of Mt. Tabor Park Weed Warriors have hand-pulled invasives from six acres and planted over 1,700 native plants on two acres. The Weed Warriors welcome volunteers and post volunteer opportunities at www.taborfriends.org.
The East Multnomah Soil & Water Conservation District and the Audubon Society of Portland also work with the city on the project. Mt. Tabor Park is an urban refuge for many species of resident and migratory birds. Audubon and the city conduct annual spring breeding bird surveys and winter bird surveys in the park to gauge over time how the project affects bird populations.
Environmental Services crews will continue removing invasive plants and restoring native vegetation through June 2017. Then Portland Parks & Recreation will take over maintenance of park natural areas and the new, healthy communities of native plants.
The restoration work in Mt.Tabor Park is part of Portland’s Tabor to the River Program. The Mt. Tabor project enhances natural area stormwater management just as Tabor to the River green streets do in urban areas. More information about the Mt. Tabor Park Invasive Plant Control and Revegetation Project is available at www.portlandoregon.gov/bes/mttabor.
The Bureau of Environmental Services works with Portland residents and businesses to protect water quality, public health, and the environment through wastewater collection and treatment, sewer construction and maintenance, stormwater management, and stream and watershed restoration.
For more information contact Linc Mann, 503-823-5328.