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A vacant lot overrun with invasive blackberries in the Lents neighborhood — considered a neighborhood eyesore — will soon be transformed into a
community orchard and gathering place. The Friends of Malden Court Community Orchard neighborhood group is about to involve neighborhood residents in the next steps of placemaking: design meetings. The Bureau of Environmental Services (BES) and the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS) have provided financial support through a Community Watershed Stewardship Grant and project planning and siting support.
“The one-third acre site was identified in the 2005 Diggable City project that created an inventory of surplus city properties with potential for growing food and providing a community benefit,” explained Steve Cohen, Sustainable Food program manager at BPS. “It took awhile to figure out the best use for the land, identify neighborhood partners, and secure the non-profit Green Lents, who will act as the fiscal agent. We are so lucky to work with such a dedicated group of volunteers.”
Green Lents will lease the land from the City of Portland on behalf of the Malden Court Community Orchard project. The Lents property was acquired by the City in August 1992 from Multnomah County Tax Title to be used for the public good in service of the programs and goals of the Bureau of Environmental Services.
The community orchard will be located on Malden Court where SE 87th Avenue meets the Springwater Corridor, but design meetings will be held at the following locations at the following dates and times:
Saturday, November 15 | 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
St. Mary Ethiopian Orthodox Church ( 7715 SE 92ND Ave.)
Wednesday, November 19 | 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Kelly Elementary School Cafeteria (9030 SE Cooper St)
Refreshments and snacks will be provided.