Growing More Than Trees: Partnerships and Healthy Urban Watersheds
July 24, 2018
We know green infrastructure is about more than the plants. When we plant a tree to help manage stormwater, we’re introducing a new, long-lived resident into the landscape. A tree is shade on a playground, a restorative view from a classroom window, an air filter for the fallout of urban life. Our investments enhance the lives of Portlanders, and they’re only possible through partnerships with the community. Thanks to these community partnerships, our work – and celebration – of healthy watersheds and community has come to fruit in the Lents neighborhood.
Since 2011, the Environmental Services Tree Program has partnered with the Confluence Environmental Center to helps us better serve community through AmeriCorps service placements. Our AmeriCorps members provide opportunities for underserved Portlanders through education, leadership, and the chance to make tangible change in the landscape. Last winter, our AmeriCorps member (Max Rodrigues, pictured below, front row, right) teamed up with Rosemary Anderson High School students to plant trees at the Wattles Boys and Girls Club. Max and Friends of Trees staff spent time in the classroom with students teaching them about trees and the many benefits trees provide for people. Students helped choose the trees they wanted to see on their campus, and then spent an afternoon hands-on, planting their new trees in the school yard. The trees include our native Oregon white oak, evergreen interior live oak, and beautifully flowering cultivars of silverbell and dogwood. While students enjoy their summer break, we’ll be watering the trees for the next three summers to help get them going in their new homes.
These new school yard trees join street trees planted in front of the school and throughout the Lents neighborhood and the Jade District through other BES-community partnerships.
If you’re interested in a map of the school trees to test your tree identification skills, come find us at the Lents Fair on Sunday, August 5th, from 11am to 4pm. We’ll be at SE 92nd and SE Harold, near Wattles Boys and Girls Club and the Belmont goats. In addition to the trees, Environmental Services staff are also excited to share the latest information about our most recent commitment to Lents: The Lents Stabilization and Job Creation Collaborative.
Wattles campus is adjacent to busy transportation corridors. Trees help to provide clean air and visual barriers.
Students at work!
Planting crew poses for a post-planting photo.
A blooming Rosy Ridge silverbell, Halesia carolina ‘Rosy Ridge’
Greening the Jade District one tree at a time