To: Peggy Glascock, Portland Parks & Recreation, Maintenance Supervisor;
       Gary Naylor, Laurelhurst Neighborhood Association, President
From: Marilyn Harlin, Friends of Laurelhurst Park Coordinator
Date: 12 November 2005
 

Subject: Friends of Laurelhurst Park (FLP)-- 2005 Report
 

Initial Goals 
1. To exchange ideas and implement projects that will retain and enhance the status and operation of this jewel of a park.

2. To interface with PP&R staff, users of Laurelhurst Park, and neighborhood associations (especially Laurelhurst & Sunnyside) about ongoing projects and park significance.

3. To honor the designation on National Historic Registry by removing invasive species and restoring native and historically designated species.
 

Implementation Summary
1. Through historical search and discussions to learn how we might best contribute ideas for restoration and improvements.

2.  To identify areas most in need of attention and to promote improvements to lessen damage to park or danger to individuals using it.

3. To contribute labor– through pruning, planting, pulling, and some raking.

4. To re-evaluate our input as needed to make best use of our talents and to have fun in the process. 

5. To educate neighborhood associations about the status of this park and its operation—both orally and in writing.
 

Projects completed/2005
1. Landscape/maintenance: Most of our time was concentrated on the NW corner wooded section. We focused on this area because it had been most neglected. We removed masses of ivy, overgrowth and weeds; we pruned and cleared around trees and shrubs. Steve Rayne coordinated Ivy Day with 18 activists and contributed/researched lists of native species for appropriate plantings in place of ivy.  Himalayan blackberry vines presented a real challenge with spines that cut through gloves and skin. Along with these vines and smaller invasive weeds, we identified about 48 holly trees that had been permitted to grow over fifty years (based on my count of rings). We photo documented how these tree-sized “weeds“ have severely damaged the historical landscape design and how they are aggressively converting Rhody Hill to Holly Hill. We helped to remove smaller holly, then mulched and replanted with native dogwood, Oregon grape, and ferns.

 Other areas that we attacked included the SW corner where we planted Oregon grape to fill in a nonfunctional path and removed ivy; the N side along Ankeny St. for thinning, pruning, cleanup; E side along 39th Ave. for ivy pulling and leaf raking; southern and northern trails along lake for deep pruning and blackberry, weed and junk removal. Along 33rd Ave. blackberry, ivy and herbaceous weeds were ripped out. Along the brick stairs, we planted ferns, bleeding hearts and wood sorrel in bare spots.

2. Community links: Less tangible, but equally important successes, included building relationships. Examples included those between Friends and Parks staff, between Friends and park users, between Friends and neighborhood associations. Connections were made between FLP and Team for Portland Parks (T4PP),  members of the Parks Board, and Councilman Dan Saltzman. Saltzman will attend the LNA meeting on January 31, 2006, specifically to talk about LP, FLP and PP&R.

3. Nuisance reduction: We helped to reduce nuisance behavior by our presence and by opening thickets where people had hung out in privacy. We also reported abuses of the park to park personnel and/or police.

4. Projects in progress:  Gary Naylor initiated arrangements for a plaque designating Laurelhurst Park’s position on the National Historic Registry. Alice Knouff will be designing fliers that will identify specimen trees along a walking route. A couple of people have expressed interest in expanding tree plaque identifications put in place by Mary Segal over a decade ago.

5. Publicity & Education:  Articles were published in LNA Newsletter: one on the history written by Harlin with Glascock. Reports on FLP were written by Knouff with photos by Harlin. Commentary from Naylor was included in his presidential reports in LNA newsletters and orally at both LNA and SNA meetings. An oral presentation with Q & A was given by Glascock; and oral reports by Harlin at Team for Portland Parks (T4PP). Knouff published an article in the Southeast Examiner. She also printed a series of colorful calendars with FLP work dates and tasks, which were distributed to interested persons.

6. Ongoing goals:  We seek to and need to broaden our base of active contributors –be it in planning, pamphlet design, or fieldwork. And we still need access to tools outside park staff hours.
 A planning meeting will be at Marilyn Harlin’s home on January 4 from 7-8 PM. It is open to anyone wishing to participate in 2006. 
 

Parks and volunteer participants
PP&R Supervisor: Peggy Glascock; Horticulturists: Vince Moore, Steven Morgan, Gordon Brady, and seasonal workers Sacha Knowles and John X.  These knowledgeable and dedicated people have been a joy to work with.
 FLP contributed a total of 348 volunteer hours in the field from April through November. Individuals who provided extensive hands on labor (> 2 sessions) include: Alice Knouff, Steven Rayne, Gary Naylor, Lewis Van Winkle, Susan Van Winkle, Jim Parker, Nancy Chapman, Klindt Vielbig, Phil Bevans, Amanda Fritz, Dan Pedelaborde and Marilyn Harlin.  Besides the manual labor, countless hours have been invested in planning, telephoning, writing and meetings.  
 Additional volunteers, such as Dick Vetter and Lou Ann Bennett gathered trash on their own schedule.  John Bressler, Vetter and Chapman along with Harlin invested hours on an original plan (2004) to identify perceived park needs and launch a volunteer group. Still others on the current e-mail list wish to contribute in some capacity in the future.
 

SUMMARY:
FLP has now moved from planning to operation; from dreams of 2004 to reality of 2005. We are happy with our progress so far and look forward to expanding our base, our role and our fun in the coming year.