By Karen Wells | CNA Media Team
Portland Parks and Recreation (PP&R) selected Alberta Park to be the first in a series of 10 parks to receive facelifts via the inclusion of nature trails. Three ma i n goals will direct the project located adjacent to Alberta Park’s playground area:
- Reduce water, fertilizer, herbicide use and labor costs
- Create diverse park landscapes and habitat
- Build collaboration between PP&R, neighborhood associations and community members
Eric Rosewall is program coordinator and point person for PP&R’s Ecologically Sustainable Landscapes Program. He is originally from the Midwest and former executive director of Depave, a Portland nonprofit that promotes the transformation of over-paved places.
Alberta Park’s nature trail boundaries will be a combination of split rail fencing and nurse logs. Those are dead trees that have been cut down to provide micro habitat for small animals, birds and beneficial pollinating insects.
The trail will be ADA accessible, five feet wide and covered with finely crushed basalt.
Common Oregon natives such as sword fern (Polystichum munitum), vine maple (Acer circinatum), salal (Gaultheria shallon), Oregon grape (Mahonia aquifolium), Indian plum (Oemleria cerasiformis) and red-flowering currant (Ribes sanguineum) will be seasonal show stoppers along the trail.
Boulders will be scattered throughout for climbing or relaxing. The nature trail will use about 4,800 square yards of park space.
Eric has already seen progress on the project. Six dead trees have been cut and put in place, along with several boulders. Plantings begin this month.
He is actively reaching out to Vernon School; Concordia, Vernon and Woodlawn neighborhood associations; and Native American Youth and Family Center to build upon established partner relationships for volunteers. He expects the path will be in place by the end of the month, with it fully in use by spring.
Stay tuned: a nature trail will bloom in Alberta Park.
Karen is a retired early childhood community educator, health and safety trainer. Reach her at 619.244.7892.