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Healthy Parks, Healthy Portland

phone: 503-823-7529

1120 SW Fifth Avenue, Portland, OR 97204

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The Arboreal Legacy of the Albina Neighborhood Improvement Project

By Dave Hedberg, Urban Forestry Community Service Aide II

"You are the key to improving your neighborhood."
---Albina Neighborhood Improvement Project, 1962


Albina Neighborhood Improvement Project Block Leaders, March 1964. City of Portland Archives, A2010-003.2405.

Join Dave Hedberg, Urban Forestry, and the Humboldt Tree Team for a Walk & Talk
on the Arboreal Legacy of the Albina Neighborhood Improvement Project

When: 9:00 - 11:00 am on Saturday April 1, 2017
Where: UNITE Oregon |  700 N Killingsworth St, Portland, OR 97217

Register Here! 

Often, history fails to recognize the significant contributions of seemingly average citizens. However, every day you see plenty of artifacts that represent the work of dedicated citizens—Portland’s 218,000 street trees are excellent examples. In 1961, a self-organized group of Albina area residents made a lasting mark in their neighborhood when they created an organized and well-planned tree planting program.  This small group of citizens gave birth to the Neighborhood Tree Team and inspired generations of citizen leaders in Portland's urban forest. Their work, which many of us continue, should not be forgotten.

Albina Neighborhood Improvement Program, March 1964. Note the Tree Program on the board. City of Portland Archives, A2010-003.2388.

Concern for trees was only a small part of the overall Albina Neighborhood Improvement Project (ANIP). In the 1960s, the Albina neighborhood was suffering from a serious lack of city investments, poverty, and lack of green spaces. Urban renewal projects, like Memorial Coliseum and Legacy Emanuel Hospital, had displaced citizens in the African American community. Prejudicial lending not only limited African Americans to buying homes in the Albina area, but also restricted their access to credit for home loans, repairs, and even business loans. Albina residents worried that their neighborhood was next for demolition.

The grass-roots Albina Neighborhood Improvement Program started addressing the decades of disinvestment. Led by the Reverend Cortlandt Cambric of Hughes Memorial Methodist Church and co-chaired by Reverend T.X. Graham of the Portland First AME Zion Church and Father Mell Stead of Immaculate Heart Catholic Church, ANIP secured federal funding for much-needed improvements like neighborhood streetlights, street trees, sidewalks, general home maintenance, alleyway cleaning, and the creation of DeNorval Unthank Park. Dozens of Block Group Leaders managed the various projects while even more volunteers took to action by helping their neighbors cleanup and beautify Albina.

Albina Neighborhood Improvement Project planted over 500 flowering cherries in March 1964, especially along N Kerby and N Height streets. City of Portland Archives, A2010-003.2402.

In 1962, the ANIP Tree Program Sub-Committee, consisting of the Rev. F. J. Crear, Mrs. Robert Kutch, Mr. Herbert Lewis, and Mr. E. H. Thiel, designed and led an innovative tree removal and replacement program. Applying for their own funding, the program removed large-form trees from the small, narrow 3.5 ft. planting strips. They replaced these trees with a mix of Incense Cedar, Japanese maple, Dogwoods, Birch, and mostly Kwanzan flowering cherry. They secured support from Portland General Electric and Logger Jacks Tree Service for the stump grinding and auguring for the new cherries, which nursery owner Glen Handy supplied from Boring, Oregon. You can still see many of the spectacular flowing cherries when they bloom every spring. 


In 1964, the Albina Neighborhood Improvement Project’s flowering cherries came from Glen Handy’s nursery in Boring, Oregon. City of Portland Archives, A2010-003.2397.

The program, which also included pruning work parties, was so successful that it grew over the years, expanding the number of trees pruned, removed, and replanted to over 500 in 1964 alone! Other neighborhoods like Woodlawn, Humboldt, King, and Irvington were inspired by ANIP’s Tree Committee and began forming their own tree planting programs with funding from the federal Model Cities Program. These 1960s and 1970s citizen-led plantings, in part, inspired the creation of the Urban Forestry Commission and Urban Forestry. 


An Albina Neighborhood Improvement Project street tree pruning, December 1961. City of Portland Archives, A2010-003.2304.

With dozens of Neighborhood Tree Teams working as stewards of the Urban Forest today, many have forgotten the historical legacy of the extra ordinary Albina Neighborhood Improvement Project. In essence, you can see ANIP’s legacy across the city. As you walk down the street enjoying our urban forest, remember that these trees are artifacts of citizens like yourself! 

Albina Neighborhood Improvement Project tree planting January 1963. City of Portland Archives A2010-003.2364.

Want to know more? Or, do you have a story about tree plantings in the greater Albina area? Please consider sharing it with us! Register for the free upcoming Tree History in the Humboldt Neighborhood on April 1. We will share stories, explore the past and present efforts for beautification in the neighborhood, and take a short walk to see some historic trees. 

Register Here!

For more information, or if you have something you want to talk about, contact:
Mason Wordell
Tree Plan Coordinator & AmeriCorps Member
Mason.Wordell@PortlandOregon.gov
503-201-3133

 

Planting Advisory Committee Members Needed - Apply by April 23, 2017

 Help us Plant the Future of Portland

Tree canopy in Portland is not equitably distributed throughout the city: lower income neighborhoods have significantly lower tree canopy coverage and fewer street trees than other neighborhoods. As the responsible bureau for the management and regulation of trees, Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) Urban Forestry is mandated to maximize the benefits of the urban forest for all Portland residents (Urban Forest Management Plan 2004). PP&R Urban Forestry has been tasked to create a Citywide Tree Planting Strategy to guide efforts of expanding the urban tree canopy, with a strong focus on equity. PP&R Urban Forestry will be partnering with community members, stakeholders of targeted neighborhoods, and Portland State University to identify barriers for tree planting in low canopy areas and provide recommendations on how to gain community support for tree planting. 

The Citywide Tree Planting Strategy Advisory Committee will provide input to Portland Parks & Recreation on tree planting strategy recommendations made by Portland State University. The committee will meet five times from June through October 2017 and will assist with the following:

  • Reviewing City bureau and public agency priorities around tree planting
  • Reviewing a prioritization data tool for selecting tree planting sites
  • Identifying barriers to tree planting for low income communities
  • Providing recommendations on how to best work with communities to plant trees and gain community support for tree planting, with special attention to communities of color and low income communities

Applications are due April 23, 2017

Download the information packet
Download the application

About the Citywide Tree Planting Strategy

Portland State University and Portland Parks & Recreation have partnered to evaluate ways to equitably increase Portland's urban tree canopy.

Portland has a goal of increasing tree canopy and its distribution to improve not only the environment, but also public health and livability. The project seeks to identify the best ways to increase canopy, with a special focus on equity. Currently tree canopy in Portland is below the city’s goal. Additionally, existing canopy is not equitably distributed throughout the city: lower income neighborhoods have significantly lower tree canopy coverage and fewer street trees than other neighborhoods. The reasons behind this inequitable distribution of trees are complex, and influencing factors include property owner income (trees cost money to maintain), past planting practices, quality and availability of planting spaces, pressure from development, and community attitudes towards trees.

Portland Parks & Recreation Urban Forestry (PP&R UF) is committed to improving the equitable distribution of trees in the city. As the responsible bureau for the management and regulation of trees, PP&R UF is mandated to maximize the benefits of the urban forest for all residents (Urban Forest Management Plan 2004). PP&R UF has engaged Portland State University (PSU) to research this important issue and create a Citywide Tree Planting Strategy.

The goals of this project are to:

  • Publish a strategy that includes a city plan analysis, spatial analysis, and recommendations.
  • Ensure historically underserved neighborhoods benefit and are involved in this important work for their communities.
  • Strengthen collaboration around tree canopy goals and planting efforts - internally between Portland city bureaus, as well as externally between the City of Portland and community groups.
  • Create a publicly available, interactive planting map to help identify plantable areas based on city and community priorities.

For more details, contact Angie.DiSalvo@portlandoregon.gov

Registration open for Tree Stewardship Gathering on Arbor Day

Saturday April 22, 2017 from 10 am – 12:30 pm

Calling all Tree Teams and Neighborhood Tree Stewards

Join us on Arbor Day for a for a morning of inspiration, connection, ideas, and fun! All presented by your fellow volunteers!

Saturday April 22, 2017   |   10 am – 12:30 pm
Mt Scott Community Center Auditorium, 5530 SE 72nd Ave, Portland, OR 97206
Register at tinyurl.com/arbordaygathering2017


Agenda

10:00 – 10:15 am  Registration, Brag and Swag, Collaboration Mapping

  • Bring an item to show off at our brag and swag table: event photos, favorite outreach flyers, team swag, etc. Each participant will get to vote for their favorite and the two with the most votes receive gift cards for $50 to spend on their next volunteer meeting!
  • Collaboration Mapping! Want to find a group or partner to collaborate with? Add your name and topic to the map on the wall and we’ll get you connected! 

10:15 – 11:00  Success Stories

  • Planting Projects (15 minutes)
    • Roseway Tree Team, Catherine Clark
    • Sylvan Neighborhood Tree Steward, Bryan Burch
  • Re-Leaf: Tree Removal and Replacement (15 minutes)
    • Albina Neighborhood Tree Team, Heather Wheeler
    • King-Sabin Tree Team, Julie Fukuda
  • Outreach and Education (15 minutes)
    • Revitalizing a dormant team and pruning block by block, Kyle Janus, St Johns Tree Team
    • Education and outreach, Laurelhurst Tree Team, Bruce Richards

11:05-11:15  Tree-via Challenge

  • Ruth Williams, Woodstock Tree Team

11:15-11:25  Break and vote at the swag and brag table

11:25-noon  Project Idea Powerhouse

  • Group identifies top issues or projects for discussion
  • Move to tables for discussion with facilitators
    • Ginger Edwards, Arbor Lodge Tree Team
    • Bruce Richard, Laurelhurst Tree Team
    • Barbara Wharton, Concordia Team
    • Ruth Williams, Woodstock Tree Team
  • Two-minute project pitch contest!

Noon – 12:30  Lunch Connections

  • Continue connecting at themed tables over lunch from Tierra del Sol and Sisters Fusion
  • Follow the squirrel and join us afterwards at the Arbor Day Ceremony at 1:00 pm

Questions?
Please contact Angie DiSalvo at angie.disalvo@portlandoregon.gov or call 503-823-4484.

Pruning workshop with the Alameda & Beaumont-Wilshire Tree Teams – learn to care for young trees

Join Urban Forestry, the Alameda & Beaumont-Wilshire Tree Teams for a pruning workshop and work party!

By Mason Wordell, Urban Forestry Tree Plan Coordinator and AmeriCorps Member

Join Urban Forestry, the Alameda & Beaumont-Wilshire Tree Teams
for a pruning workshop and work party!

When: 8:45 am - 12:00 pm, March 25, 2017
Where: Wilshire United Methodist Native American Fellowship | 3917 NE Shaver St.

Click here to register!

Agenda:
8:45 – 9:00 am – Sign-in, coffee & bagels
9:00 – 9:30 am – Pruning Demonstration
9:30 – 11:45 am – Pruning neighborhood trees in small groups
11:45 – 12:00pm – Return and wrap up

Portland Parks & Recreation Urban Forestry and the Alameda & Beaumont-Wilshire Tree Teams are partnering to offer this street tree pruning workshop to care for young street trees in the neighborhood. The Alameda & Beaumont-Wilshire Tree Teams are in their first year of tree stewardship, and this is their first pruning workshop in the neighborhood.  In Alameda, Small trees account for 33.2% of the street tree population, and 44.6% in Beaumont-Wilshire. Clearly, there is a high need to care for these young, small trees as they mature and grow. One important aspect of tree maintenance is structural pruning.

Pruning is an important part of tree care and maintenance, and everyone is welcome to participate in this workshop to learn more about how they can actively care for their trees.  Knowing when to prune and what to look for can help you make successful cuts that will help cultivate beautiful, structurally sound, and long living trees.  Read our previous blog post to learn more about pruning! View the City’s official pruning standards here.  

Meet us on March 25th at the Wilshire United Methodist Native American Fellowship! We will be out rain or shine -  we recommend long pants and long sleeves, sturdy shoes and a rain/sunhat and bring a backpack, rain gear and water bottle. Instruction, tools, gloves, coffee, water and snacks will be provided.

For more information, or if you have something you want to talk about, contact:
Mason Wordell
Tree Plan Coordinator and AmeriCorps member
Mason.Wordell@PortlandOregon.gov
(503) 201-3133

Certified Arborists can receive 3 hours of ISA CEUs for participating and leading small groups. Contact Mason for details!

Street Tree Pruning Work Party with the King-Sabin Tree Team

Join the King-Sabin Tree Team and Urban Forestry as we care for young trees in need of structural pruning.

By Mason Wordell, Urban Forestry Tree Plan Coordinator and AmeriCorps Member

Join Urban Forestry, the King-Sabin Tree Team,
and Green King for a pruning workshop and work party!

When: 8:45 am - 12:00 pm, March 18, 2017
Where: Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods | 4815 NE 7th Ave. 

Click here to register!

Agenda:
8:45 – 9:00 am – Sign-in, coffee & bagels
9:00 – 9:30 am – Pruning Demonstration
9:30 – 11:45 am – Pruning neighborhood trees in small groups
11:45 – 12:00pm – Return and wrap up

Portland Parks & Recreation Urban Forestry, the King-Sabin Tree Team, and Green King are partnering to offer this street tree pruning workshop to care for young street trees in the neighborhood. The King-Sabin Tree Team is in their second year of tree stewardship, and this is their second annual pruning workshop in the neighborhood.  Green King is a small group that aims to promote sustainable environmental practices in the King neighborhood. Currently, Green King is working to design new green areas in the King School Park.  They have been active in fundraising and developing a concept plan for the project. Their past successes include depaving part of the parking lot to create a bioswale at the King’s Farmer’s Market location, and restoring the courts of the King School Park for mixed used sports, such as Tennis and Futsal. The King-Sabin Tree Team and Green King have partnered together to provide support during the King School Park improvements and planting projects.

Pruning is an important part of tree care and maintenance, and everyone is welcome to participate in this workshop to learn more about how they can actively care for their trees.  Knowing when to prune and what to look for can help you make successful cuts that will help cultivate beautiful, structurally sound, and long living trees.  Read our previous blog post to learn more about pruning! View the City’s official pruning standards here.  

Meet us on March 18th at the Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods! We will be out rain or shine -  we recommend long pants and long sleeves, sturdy shoes and a rain/sunhat and bring a backpack, rain gear and water bottle. Instruction, tools, gloves, coffee, water and snacks will be provided.

For more information, or if you have something you want to talk about, contact:

Mason Wordell
Tree Plan Coordinator and AmeriCorps member
Mason.Wordell@PortlandOregon.gov
(503) 201-3133

To learn more about the King-Sabin Tree Team visit: https://kingsabintreeteam.wordpress.com/

For more about Green King visit: http://kingneighborhood.org/green-king/

Certified Arborists can receive 3 hours of ISA CEUs for participating and leading small groups. Contact Mason for details!