April 26th was the 200th anniversary of famed landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted’s birthday.
Various lectures, symposiums, and discussions have been going on in 2022 to celebrate and call attention to the Olmsted family’s prolific and groundbreaking work.His sons, John Charles and Frederick Law Jr., carried on his work and worked in Portland on various projects starting in 1903. Most notable was their parks master plan for the city that recommended a “South Hillside Parkway” that became Terwilliger Parkway. A proclamation issued by Mayor Wheeler and the Portland City Council perhaps sums up best the impact of the Olmsteds:
A few months ago, a realtor’s “For Sale” sign in Terwilliger Parkway prompted concern from neighbors and Parkway supporters, fearful that a development might threaten the integrity of this linear park. This led to calls to both Friends of Terwilliger and the Portland Parks & Rec (PPR).
Friends of Terwilliger (FOT) Board Members met with the new Portland Parks and Recreation (PP&R) Director Adena Long and PP&R City Nature Manager, Rachel Felice recently. The goals for the meeting were to provide Director Long with information about FOT and its mission of protecting and advocating for Terwilliger Parkway, to describe the challenges FOT sees for the Parkway today, and to review the partnerships FOT has established with PP&R over the past 30 years.
November’s restoration work party brought us back to the Norris “foundation” to remove tree and ground ivy as well as blackberries. This 2-acre site was once considered by the Portland chapter of the Rhododendron Society for its test garden before locating to its current site at Crystal Springs.
Students from Lewis & Clark College, as part of their New Student Orientation (NSO) Service Day, helped Friends of Terwilliger “groom” Eagle Point in preparation for the upcoming Harvest Moon Social September 14th. Check out the before and after photos!
A Metro steering committee has decided that a new Southwest Portland light rail line will travel out Barbur Blvd. from downtown Portland to Tigard and Tualatin. A planned station at SW Gibbs St. (below the tram) is intended to serve OHSU and other Marquam Hill institutions that are located several hundred feet up a steep hillside with Terwilliger Parkway lying in between. TriMet and Metro have proposed a “Marquam Hill Connection” to get people up the hillside from the SW Barbur MAX station to OHSU. Three of the proposals involve a combination of above-ground elevator towers and bridges and ramps, most of which would be located in Terwilliger Parkway and will necessitate the removal of many trees and significant alterations to the park. A fourth proposal is to build a pedestrian tunnel under the hillside with an underground elevator to bring people up to OHSU.
One Saturday morning in July, Friends of Terwilliger(FOT) hosted a water/Gatorade table to engage with Parkway users. We wanted to know the who, what, and why stories behind people’s choice of Terwilliger Parkway as a place to exercise and enjoy day and night. We counted over 300 people exercising in the 4 hours we were there: half were runners and a third cyclists.Walkers, dogs with owners, strollers, and a skateboard were there too! Of the 300 active exercisers, we were able to engage with 200 asking them 3 questions:
Friends of Terwilliger volunteers have spent thousands of hours over the past 23 years removing invasive vegetation in Terwilliger Parkway.Perhaps chief among the bad-news invasives is English or Irish ivy.We all know what it looks like and that it is Bad—but what is it, really?
English Ivy (Hedera Helix) was brought to Oregon in the mid-1800’s as a way to remind early settlers of home. What started out as an innocent plan has come to represent one of the toughest problems Portland’s natural areas face today. It now invades more and more of our parks and will ultimately destroy our cherished tree canopy unless we remove it now. By allowing ivy to grow unchecked it will climb trees where it will mature, produce seeds, and continue the “seeds of destruction” by being transported by non-native birds.