Join us on Saturday, Oct 15, from 10 AM to 1 PM for our first stewardship event at Johnson Lake in NE Portland held jointly by Portland Parks & Recreation with Sumner Association of Neighbors (SAN).

Ground level view of Johnson Lake
Caption: Ground level view of Johnson Lake (source: BES)

Per Susan Hawes at PP&R:

Join Portland Parks & Recreation, Sumner Neighborhood Association and other community members to maintain trails, pick up litter and remove invasive species at this “hidden” natural area! All of these activities will improve the experience of Johnson Lake Park users. Please wear long pants and long sleeves, sturdy walking shoes, and bring a water bottle. Tools, gloves, water and treats will be provided.

For more information or to RSVP, contact PP&R City Nature East Stewardship Coordinator Susan Hawes: or (503) 823–5937.

Where to meet on Saturday, Oct 15

We’ll gather at the east end of NE Colfax St in the Airport Business Park at 10 AM. There should be adequate parking there and you’ll see a sign at the trailhead for the 8.76-acre PP&R natural area on the NE shore of the lake. Please note that we will not be doing any work on private Owens-Illinois property.

How to get there (map on Google): Drive east on Sandy Blvd, then turn left (north) on NE 105th at the traffic signal. Drive about half a mile to the 3-way stop at Alderwood Drive, and then turn left (west) onto Alderwood. Drive another half mile past the long-term parking lot. Turn left (south) on NE 92nd Drive. Cross the new bridge over the slough, and then turn left (east) onto NE Colfax St. Drive to the east end of the dead end street. That’s the trailhead where we’ll be set up.

Driving map to Johnson Lake
Caption: Driving map to NE Colfax St on Johnson Lake

As a special bonus: SAN will furnish lunch for the first 20 volunteers who sign up. To sign up, call Ronda at 503-823-3156 or email Scott at

This stewardship event is a first for SAN at Johnson Lake. We hope to make this a twice-yearly event, in the spring and fall, co-sponsored by SAN and PP&R. Next year, we hope to fund these Johnson Lake cleanups with small grants.

For more about Johnson Lake and the cleanup underway there by DEQ and Owens-Illinois, see our August neighborhood meeting notes and this background article about Johnson Lake.

[Update (1 Sept 2011): We picked up 140 pounds of litter Saturday. Thanks to Commissioner Fritz for helping out. She was very nice and she even said nice things about us (with pictures) on her blog!]

One thousand one hundred and fifty three.

That’s how many pounds of litter have been picked up around Sumner neighborhood so far this year during our monthly litter patrols.

Commissioner Amanda Fritz You are officially invited to our next Sumner Pride litter patrol this Saturday, Aug 27. We meet at 10 AM at the CNN office, 4415 NE 87th. We provide gloves, bags, vests and garbage picker tools.

And this month a special guest will join us for Sumner Pride litter patrol: Amanda Fritz, Portland city commissioner. Please come out to say hello to Amanda. We’ll let her talk (a little) before spreading out to pick up around the neighborhood.

One last thing: We are giving out — free of charge — garbage picker tools to Sumner neighborhood residents and businesses who ask for one. That way you can patrol the litter on your own block anytime you want. No need to wait until the last Saturday each month.

The so-called ‘SAN lot’ — located between NE 92nd and I-205 on the north side of Sandy Blvd — has long been the object of Sumner neighborhood interest here in NE Portland. Old newsletters dating back to 1996 show that the Sumner Association of Neighbors (SAN) discussed the possibility of making the lot — the remnant a former drive-in movie theater — into a neighborhood park.

This Tuesday, May 17, a rep of the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) will attend our SAN general meeting to answer your questions about the SAN lot. Doug Holley is the assistant district manager for maintenance of ODOT District 2B, which includes state roads around our neighborhood.

SAN lot, May 2011

Caption: The grass field in the foreground is the SAN lot. The dome in the background is City Bible Church on Rocky Butte.

(The meeting takes place at the Central Northeast Neighbors (CNN) office, 4415 NE 87th Ave., at 7 PM. Social time at 6:30 PM. We’ll also have our community coordinator Mark Wells, and we’ll be holding our board election.)

Our objective in inviting Mr Holley is to verify local lore about the SAN lot & forge as much of a partnership with ODOT as possible in terms of neighborhood usage of the property.

Here is a sampling of questions SAN sent to Mr Holley in advance of our meeting on Tuesday.

SAN lot questions – Maintenance & current usage

  • History – When was the property purchased and for how much. Please include or cite any supporting historical docs if you have them.
  • Planned usage – What is planned ODOT usage for this property? Local urban legend says that it was once planned for a s/b exit from I-205 but no such plan exists now. Any historical docs (such as engineering drafts) would be great.
  • Possible sale or disposal – Local urban legend says that because federal funds were used to purchase the property, a below-market price paid, there is federal red tape & a requirement to pay back the feds if the proprety were ever sold by ODOT. Please confirm or deny.
  • SAN lot as a park – The recent Eastside MAX Vision project earmarks the SAN lot as park. Gateway Green is in negotiation nearby. What is ODOT’s position with regard to a renewed effort to make the SAN lot into a park?

SAN lot questions – Maintenance & current usage

  • Public usage – What is ODOT’s position or regs on public usage? (If regs, please cite.)
  • Industrial usage – Portland Maps specifies an R2 zoning for the SAN lot. Last year, a subcontractor set up a staging area around the SAN lot sign for about 8 months. Are any future stagings scheduled? Would you kindly notify us if such a camp is slated to be set up in the future?
  • Planting and events – Friends of Trees planted on the SAN lot last year. What process did they follow to obtain permission? Can we use the same kind of request process? Three examples: Flower planting, community garden site, special event (such as a neighborhood barbecue).

SAN lot sign at NE Humboldt and NE 92ndCaption: The SAN lot sign, slated for upkeep on May 22, marks past cooperation between ODOT and SAN.

Property near the Grotto (@ NE 92nd and Skidmore)

  • Status — Please describe the status of this property. For example, it seems to be an informal dog park. It was also part of a BMX bike trail, a walking trail leading to Rocky Butte natural area, and possibly included in Gateway Green discussions.

ODOT roads bordering Sumner neighborhood, such as Sandy Blvd, Killingsworth, and NE 82nd Ave

  • Ownership — Which of these roads are owned and maintained by ODOT and which are shared with PBoT? If shared, to what extent do you own and maintain each?
  • Cleanliness — Trash and litter is heavy on Killingsworth and NE 82nd (especially north of K-worth). Does ODOT perform scheduled cleanup or street sweeping on these roads? Likewise, is there ODOT interest in partnering on cleanup with SAN and other groups?
  • Flower planting — Sections of K-worth near I-205 bordering Sumner neighborhood and at NE 82nd would be prime locations. What is ODOT’s position & process for alllowing flower planting?

Please join us for the Sumner Association of Neighbors (SAN) meeting this Tuesday, Apr 19 at 7 PM at the Central Northeast Neighbors (CNN) office, 4415 NE 87th Ave (side door of Fire Station 12).

We have two guest speakers scheduled:

  • Regional Illegal Dumping (RID) Patrol – Tiffany Gates with Metro will share details about their RID Patrol program. They clean up illegal dumps on public property, normally during the next business day. All for free.
  • Mosquito control – Matt Davis with the Multnomah County Environmental Health Department will discuss “transmission and symptoms of West Nile virus, how to prevent the spread of this disease, what kinds of control [the county] is implementing, and what citizens can do to prevent mosquito activity and protect their families.”

I believe (not 100% sure) we’ll also have a patrol officer on hand.

Other topics will cover upcoming events, including the Neighborhood Cleanup on May 14, Neighborhood Garage Sale on June 4 (sign up now!), and SAN board election at our May meeting (May 17).

Hope we see you Tuesday night!

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