Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Redmond Revival

The re-location of US 97 away from the still beating heart of “downtown” Redmond, Oregon has created exciting new opportunities for community parks and tree planting.

Redmond’s “shovel ready” city arborist Rick Torassa led a fascinating walking tour of new tree planting projects for the directors of Oregon Community Trees (OCT) on a clear, cold Friday morning, September 7.

The new site of the Centennial Park, adjacent to the attractive city hall building on Deschutes Avenue is sure to provide a welcoming, shaded and way cool (with new kid-friendly fountains) gathering spot for community events, lunch breaks, and lucky tourists who are sure to discover this “hidden” gem in Central Oregon.

Placement and maintenance of large new street trees in the central business district created engineering and planting challenges familiar to hard rock miners and high desert gardeners.

With just 12 inches of rain, 300 days of sunshine, and one of the fastest growing populations in the state, this community is clearly going in a new direction while trying hard to do the right thing. Many fingers are crossed that the new trees, sidewalks, curbs, planters, local businesses, and growing number of residents and visitors continue to work together in the future.

Tree loving Redmond City Commissioner Shirlee Evans and the city’s enlightened Public Works Director Chris Doty, joined Torassa to exchange information with the OCT group in the city council chambers. The meeting was also attended by directors Art Anderson (Brooks), Ramona Arechica (Corvallis), John Bellon (Klamath Falls), Brian French (Milwaukee), Greg Giesy (Eugene), Jim Johnson (OSU), Laura Lehman (Sisters), Laura Lesher (Salem), David Odom (Portland), Mark Synder (Eugene), Brian Wegener (Tigard), and Oregon Department of Forestry’s Katie Lompa (Prineville) and Paul Ries (Salem).

The next OCT meeting will be held at Oregon State University on Thursday, December 3.

-- Rick Zenn, President, Oregon Community Trees

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Tree Planting Opportunities for Volunteers

SOLV Clean & Green
Saturday October 10 - 9am - 1pm
Various Sites in Washington and Multnomah Counties

Tualatin Riverkeepers
Saturday, October 17th -9am - noon
Saturday, November 7th - 9am - noon

Get your hands dirty out in Scholls this fall planting some native plants with Tualatin Riverkeepers. TRK has leveraged funds to restore the beautiful 72-acre Metro’s Greenspace property on Munger Lane. We are on our way to completing phase I of this restoration of natural wetland and oak savanna habitat.

Contact Vicki at 503-620-7507 or for more information.

Friends of Trees - Portland and vicinity
Several opportunities in October and November

Friday, September 11, 2009


The Oregonian reported that the Arbor Day Foundation is offering free Arizona Cyprus trees via mail. They chose this species because of its drought tolerance. You can read the article online.

I am not sure that this exotic species is the best choice for your Oregon landscape. To help choose appropriate plants for the Willamette Valley, try out the Native Plant finder offered by Clean Water Services.

Until September 30, 2009 the City of Tigard is offering free street trees to its residents.

On October 3 you can buy a wide variety of beautiful native landscape plants for a reasonable price at Tualatin Hills Nature Park in Beaverton. Their website has a list of plants that will be available.

Tualatin Riverkeepers is looking for parking lots in Washington County to plant trees for stormwater management. If you would like to participate contact Brian Wegener

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Green Workshops at Chemeketa Community College

SPROut is offering 2 all-day workshops this fall:

Ecological Design Principles for Water Treatment on Sept 26

Greenroofs and Living Walls on Oct 3

To register, go to the Natural Resources site at Chemeketa

The registration info is at the very bottom of the page.

Brief descriptions of the workshops are included in this email, but you can also visit the SPROut website at

Ecological Design Principles for Water Treatment

Ecological design principles have been the basis for many commercially-available, plant-based engineered systems for water treatment such as Living Machines, Eco-Machines, and Lake Restorers. Applications of these principles have been rapidly evolving into new technologies for treatment of rainbarrels, stormwater, greywater, irrigation run-off, and agricultural wastewaters. This course will provide foundations of ecological design, from which you can begin to develop your own systems. The day will begin with a 2-hour lecture on ecological design concepts and various applications for plant-based water treatment. A tour of SPROut’s Ecoreactor will allow participants to examine up-close a model of a plant-based water treatment system in tanks. Participants will then collectively build a table-top version of a tank system. The day will conclude with a tour of the Oregon Garden's treatment wetlands and innovative floating wetlands that integrate ecological water treatment with nursery crop production.

Greenroofs and Living Walls

The day will begin with a 2-hour lecture on green roofs and living walls, covering the basics of roof and wall types, design, layered components, functions, and benefits. Green roofs and living walls will be explored in the context of horticultural applications that provide ecosystem services to the built environment. For the remainder of the morning, the class will tour several projects at The Oregon Garden that apply ecological horticulture to the sustainable landscape, including raingarden, green roof, floating wetland, tunnel green roof, living wall, biofilter strips for parking lots, and constructed wetland bog filters. The afternoon will be split between 2 installations. First, the class will layer and plant a green roof on a tool shed (using multiple planting techniques), where the waterproof membrane, edge boards, and gutters have already been installed. Second, the class will install growing media and plants into modular units of a custom living wall, while exploring the structural challenges that accompany the vertical dimension.