We have two fun outdoor events coming up in the next few weeks in Sumner neighborhood here in NE Portland. Greet fall by meeting some new neighbors and getting your hands dirty!

Event #1: Stewardship at Johnson Lake on Saturday, Sept 28

Johnson Lake, 2011 (DEQ photo)

What it is: The Johnson Lake natural area has a long and interesting history and it needs your help to stay healthy, safe and beautiful. Join Portland Parks & Recretion and the Sumner Association of Neighbors to help remove invasive weeds, pick up trash and improve trails in this small, but pleasant park.  Snacks, light refreshments, gloves, tools and training will be provided. Activities include: Invasive Plant Removal, Litter Cleanup, Maintenance & Monitoring. If you’re lucky, you might even see a crane or beaver. Cosponsored by Portland Parks and Recreation and SOLV(E).

Time: 10 AM to 1 PM (free lunch from Cascade Station Subway included)

Where: Meet at trailhead at the east end of NE Colfax Street (it’s a cul-de-sac), off NE 92nd behind the glass factory (map)

Signup and more info: Go to the SOLV(E) signup page or contact Marissa at PP&R. If you already signed up at the annual barbecue or at a recent neighborhood meeting, you don’t have to sign up again. And if you just show up, no one will be turned away! The more the merrier. More background on Johnson Lake.

Event #2: Parke Diem at Helensview Community Garden on Saturday, Oct 12

Parke Diem LogoWhat it is: Get “Down & Dirty” with the gardeners of Helensview Community Garden! Help to prepare/cover crop plots for the winter, build up pathways with bark chips and when the work is done, join in for a volunteer potluck picnic to celebrate all our hard work! If you have not been down to the garden yet, this is a great chance to see what the fuss is about! Cosponsored by Portland Parks and Recreation (PP&R) and the Portland Parks Foundation

Time: 11 AM to 1 PM

Where: Helensview Community Garden, 8678 NE Sumner (access via NE 87th), in the NW corner of the Helensview schoolyard (map)

Signup and more info: Go to the Parklandia signup page or contact helensviewcomgard@gmail.com or call (503) 348-9813. And if you just show up, no one will be turned away! The more the merrier.

The newsletter for spring 2013 (2 MB PDF) for Sumner Association of Neighbors (SAN) in NE Portland, Oregon, is now available online!

Sumner newsletter for winter 2013 This issue was delivered over the last two weekends. Thanks to Patricia for another georgeous design and layout.

Thanks also to our many neighborhood volunteers to deliver the newsletter to your very door handle: Marcy, Janet, Cyril, Henry, Karen, Katherine, Colin, Tish, Molly, Erica, Heather, Katana, Jay, Emily, Cindy, Ronda, Jacob and Joan (the newsletter delivery ringleader)!

Items in this issue include:

  • Annual neighborhood cleanup at Helensview School on Saturday, May 11
  • SAN board elections on May 21 (and the deadline for filing by Wed, May 8
  • Top five reasons to sign up for the annual neighborhood garage sale on Saturday, June 1 (sign up free online)
  • An earthquake map as a preview for our guest speaker from the Red Cross Oregon Trail chapter about disaster preparedness at our May 21 meeting
  • Calendar of events through June, including litter patrols
  • Notes from February and March meetings
  • And much more!

But wait, there’s more! An insert (1 MB PDF) includes the following:

  • Flyer with details about the May 11 neighborhood cleanup
  • Application form to run for the SAN board, file by May 8
  • Application form to join our neighborhood garage sale on Saturday, June 1

Any grand opening is a big deal. As fitting for the great good luck we’ve had from the start of this project, the Helensview Community Garden opening in Sumner neighborhood in NE Portland was blessed with grand weather and a grand turnout.

Gardeners selecting their new plots at the Helensview Community Garden grand opening

Caption: Gardeners selecting their new plots at the Helensview Community Garden grand opening

Sandwiches donated by Subway at Cascade Station

Caption: Sandwiches & fixin’s donated by Subway at Cascade Station (next to Target). Attendees were surprised — and very pleased — to see Subway.

Scott thanks a long list of partners and neighbors

Caption: Sumner neighborhood chair Scott Somohano stands at the shed entrance (right) to thank a long list of partners and neighbors

Kris, principal of Helensview School

Caption: Helensview School Principal Kris Persson spoke about how the students will use the garden in their curriculum — and in their lunches

Portland City Commissioner Nick Fish

Caption: Commissioner Nick Fish, who oversaw the Parks Bureau during the city’s drive to add 1,000 Gardens, spoke about how the Helensview garden was the last project completed under the initiative — and the fastest from start to finish.

Portland City Commissioner Amanda Fritz

Caption: Commissioner Amanda Fritz also joined us for the celebration — just as she did for a work party last fall. However, this time she did not wear her trademark zebra-striped boots.

Bryce from Oregon Tilth demonstrating top gardening practices

Caption: Bryce from Oregon Tilth demonstrated top gardening techniques

Kids playing

Caption: A youngster expressed his approval for the new garden (& otherwise enjoyed the sunny weather)

Most of the garden is booked but there are still a few plots available. Several of the attendees commented favorabily about the size and potential of the 11-acre site for future school/park style development. Not to mention its grand view of Mount St Helens.

A final note: Thanks to Dan and Heather for taking photos!

About 50 people turned out for the grand opening of Helensview Community Garden on Saturday, including Portland City Commissioners, Nick Fish and Amanda Fritz.

Helensview Community Garden, plots selected at grand opening Not only was the event a big draw — thanks to gorgeous weather and lots of sandwiches donated by Subway at Cascade Station (next to Target) — the selection of plots by gardeners who registered early became a friendly land grab.

As shown in the illustration (larger view), only the plots highlighted in yellow are unclaimed. A few gardeners who registered before the opening did not attend Satruday and so have not yet selected their plots, so the availability is even fewer than shown. Those gardeners will have a chance to select their plots at the gardener orientation onsite this Saturday, March 16. (Time, I think, is 2 PM.)

We’ll have photos from the event posted soon. In the meantime, we’ve gotten some press, including these items in the Oregonian and on KGW TV.

How to sign up

Signing up is easy:

  1. Go to the Garden Plot Request Form on the Portalnd Community Gardens website.
  2. Fill in the requested information, and then in the 1st Community Garden Selection field, select Helensview.
  3. Click Submit.

No payment is required when you reserve a plot online. Garden rental rates are $21 per year for a  ‘half plot’ (10′-by-10′) or $43 per year for a ‘standard plot’ (10′-by-20′). There might be one chance to combine two standard plots into a double.

Financial aid scholarships are available from Portland Community Gardens for those who qualify, and Sumner Association of Neighbors (SAN) has also approved $105 in scholarship funding to help Sumner residents who want to garden at Helensview.

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