FMTP Weed Warrior Service Projects
       (Invasive Removal & Revegetation) 

                                     2013 Weed Warrior Annual Report

 

 

Background & Goals      Guiding Our Efforts       Ways to Get Involved

  

 

 

 

 

 

 


Background & Goals

Mt. Tabor Park is located in the heart of SE Portland and treasured by community members including hikers, bikers, runners, dog walkers and nature lovers.  In recent years it has become apparent that the condition of the flora in the park is not adequate to sustain the long-term health of the ecosystem.  In response, about eight years ago, Friends of Mt. Tabor Park (FMTP), in cooperation with City of Portland Parks and Recreation (PP&R), initiated volunteer efforts to restore health to the park by removing invasive species such as Himalayan blackberry and English ivy that spread rapidly and dominate native plants, preventing them from growing.  Every last Saturday from March through October FMTP Weed Warrior volunteers meet at the kiosk of the main parking lot (near the amphitheatre) of Mt. Tabor Park. See below for a special event planned for the last Saturday in January.

In October 2012 the FMTP Weed Warriors were awarded a Spirit of Portland Award, the Sandy Diedrich Environmental Stewardship Award by the City of Portland. 

FMTP and the Bureau of Environmental Services (BES) of the City of Portland contributed funds to the environmental restoration efforts and enabled the hiring of a part-time volunteer service coordinator in March 2010. For a wealth of information about habitat restoration currently taking place in Mt. Tabor Park, go to: http://www.portlandonline.com/bes/mttabor

Goals of the FMTP Weed Warrior project for 2014 include: 

·       Organize and conduct the Saturday morning service projects aimed primarily at English Ivy, Himalayan blackberry, and Clematis vitalba removal. Also remove and control any other high ranked invasives such as Scotch broom, tansy ragwort, Japanese knotweed and others that continue to show up at particular times of the year;

·          Provide a comprehensive crew leader training program to increase volunteer knowledge of both invasive and native vegetation and to help volunteers work more efficiently and effectively; 

·         Continue to remove invasive vegetation from BES Unit 5 and make significant progress in BES Unit 6, both located east of Harvey Scott Circle;     

·         Increase the numbers of individual volunteers and organizational partners who choose to become more than episodic volunteers;

·         Continue to increase invasive species removal capacity by strengthening current collaboration with PP&R, BES, Hands on Greater Portland and SOLVe and establishing collaborative agreements with new partners interested in a park steward program or a service project alternative; and,

·        With PP&R, BES, and the Mt. Tabor Neighborhood Association work to increase community knowledge of the state of health of the natural areas of Mt. Tabor Park, habitat restoration efforts, the aims of this project, and how volunteers can become involved.
 

Guiding Our Efforts 

Volunteer Crew leaders who supervised the Saturday projects in 2012 were: Tony Cole, Brad Copenhaver, Carolyn Dixon, Nora Hanna, Mary Kinnick, Monique Leslie, Darvel Lloyd, Gayle Marechal, Eli Ritchie, and Ellen Simmons.  Alexa Todd, (FMTP Volunteer Service Coordinator), and Mary Kinnick (Program Coordinator) plan the projects, in coordination with PP&R staff. A newly formed FMTP Weed Warrior Service Project Advisory Committee advises on the long-term goals and strategies of the project. Members are Tony Cole, Brad Copenhaver, Carolyn Dixon, Nora Hanna, Monique Leslie, Darvel Lloyd, Gayle Marechal, Tom McNamara, and Ellen Simmons. A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between FMTP and PP&R-City Nature describes roles and responsibilities of each party and details plans for the next season.
 

Ways to Get Involved 

1.   Join a Last Saturday Weed Warrior Service Project

Volunteers meet for service projects the last Saturday of the month from March through October. The Weed Warrior volunteer service coordinator and volunteer crew leaders will share their knowledge of the natural habitat, demonstrate how to remove non-native vegetation, and help keep us organized, safe and motivated! We will make sure that you are comfortable and contribute in ways that match your skills and interests.

We’ll be focusing on BES Units 5 and 6, located on the eastside of the Park, on the hillside below Harvey Scott Circle drive, and just to the east of the grand staircase that takes visitors to the top of the mountain from the upper parking lot. 

          2014 Last Saturday Weed Warrior Schedule:

          DATE                             TIME

          January ----- 25th           10am – 1pm         Native planting

          March--------- 29th           9am – noon

          April----------- 26th           9am – noon

          May------------ 31st           9am – noon

          June----------- 28th           9am – noon

          July------------ 26th           9am – noon

          August-------- 30th           9am – noon

          September--- 27th           9am – noon

          October------- 25th           9am – noon                                                                                 

Where to meet:

Meet at the kiosk near the main parking lot adjacent to the amphitheatre in the park. Enter from SE 69th & Yamhill, turning west up the hill or come all the way up the road from the SE 60th & SE Salmon entrance.

Plan to come 5-10 minutes early to sign-in. If you arrive late, we’ll have information at the sign-in table regarding our whereabouts.

What to bring:

Bring work gloves if you have them; leather gloves or rubber palmed work gloves are recommended. It’s also highly recommended that you wear sturdy boots, pants with thick fabric (such as jeans or canvas Carhartts), and long sleeves to protect yourself as you work alongside trees and bushes, including thorny blackberry. Bring your own water bottle to stay hydrated. If you have your own hand clippers and a true temper hand trowel, please bring these as well. Otherwise, we provide hand clippers and gloves, as well as other needed tools.  

Age restrictions:

Volunteers of all ages are welcome to participate.  However, any volunteer under 16 must attend with a parent or adult chaperone; and children under 8 must be in the company of an adult for the duration of the service project. 

More information:

For further information on these Weed Warrior service projects and to sign up, contact Alexa Todd at alexatodd.fmtp@gmail.com or look for Friends of Mt Tabor Park Weed Warriors on the website calendar of one of our partners:           

Hands on Greater Portland (www.handsonportland.org

SOLVe (www.solv.org

Sign-up online or just show up! 

2.   Become a Crew Leader—We need you! 

We are always recruiting volunteer crew leaders to help supervise and support the individuals and organizations who volunteer. Ideally, there is one crew leader for 10-12 volunteers. We’re looking for individuals with: 

ü  Passion for restoring habitat health to the park

ü  Desire to make a difference

ü  Interest in gaining new knowledge about effective invasive vegetation removal techniques and native vegetation in the park

ü  Enjoyment of working with a small group of volunteers to keep them motivated and working safely

ü  Availability to turn out for at least two service projects in 2014

ü  Desire to spend time outdoors with positive people


          2014 Crew Leader Training Schedule:
 

          DATE                                          TIME

          Wed.,  March------ 19th               10am – noon

          Sat.,    March------ 22nd              10am – noon

Other trainings will be arranged as needed; contact Mary Kinnick (see below)  

See information in the previous section (Saturday service projects) about where to come and what to bring to the training. For further information and to sign up for future trainings, contact Mary Kinnick at m.kinnick@comcast.net or call 503-287-6959.

3.   Become an Organizational Partner and a Park Steward 

If your organization is interested in becoming a partnercontact Mary Kinnick at m.kinnick@comcast.net or 503-287-6959. We’re interested in identifying organizations and agencies willing to commit to a particular level of volunteering at specific times of the year and in specific areas. Another way to help is to make a financial contribution to the effort. Funds are needed each year to replenish tools and supplies. Also consider joining Friends of Mt. Tabor Park! Your membership dues and donations help contribute to this project. 

4.    FMTP Weed Warrior Advisory Committee 

If you’re interested in finding out more about serving on this Advisory Committee, contact Mary Kinnick at m.kinnick@comcast.net or 503-287-6959.

Special areas of expertise sought include: knowledge of native and non-native/invasive flora and fauna, invasive vegetation removal techniques, birds (including migration patterns, nesting habitat, etc.), trees, and grant-writing skills. Members have an interest in learning more about and contributing ideas to the native habitat restoration plans and current efforts in Mt. Tabor Park, and a passion for this Douglas fir forest gem. The Committee meets twice a year. 

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” (Margaret Mead)


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