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.