On Saturday of Labor Day weekend, I had the privilege of helping to put the finishing touches on the Lents Linear Garden on SE Ramona Street, off SE 92nd Avenue near the new Green Line Light Rail Station in the Lents Town Center. Here are some of the helpers that fine Oregon nearly-fall day:
Photo by Kristina Lake, Lents resident
Yeah, it rained, and yeah, we got soaked and filthy. It was well worth it, seeing the streetscape transformed after just three hours with many people working.
The Lents Linear Garden is a grassroots community project initiated and managed by Jeff Rose, a local leader and champion of Lents. Jeff is fourth from the left in the photograph, flanked by John the native plant expert who directed the planting on Ramona Street, and Nick who organized the volunteer crew on Saturday. With the help of more than 30 local and city-wide volunteers thus far, and financial assistance from the Portland Development Commission and the Bureau of Development Services, the Linear Garden utilizes public lands, such as parking strips and traffic barriers and dividers, to recreate a variety of native plant habitats found throughout Oregon. The intent is to provide educational opportunities for citizens throughout the City to enjoy as they walk and bike to and from the new Green Line Max.
Jeff termed the plantings in the planter strips on Ramona as "a petting garden - like the zoo only with plants". The plants are planted close enough to look good now. Some will likely need to be thinned or transplanted in the future, but for now they allow passers-by to get an immediate understanding of the different subcultures of plants found from ocean to desert in Oregon. At the end of the street closest to 92nd are the coastal strawberries and grasses found at the beach, through Willamette Valley ferns and flowering shrubs in the center, to the xeriscape plants of Eastern Oregon in the beds closest to the end of the cul-de-sac. It's now a fascinating couple of hundred feet to stroll past. in contrast to the ordinary planter strip grass that was there before.
9/9/9 addendum: See also this more in-depth article about the project on Neighborhood Notes.
Volunteers also picked up trash and raked leaves, in preparation for the big opening party for the Green Line next weekend.
Saturday, September 12, 2009
11:30 am to 5 pm
on the MAX Green Line
at SE Ramona Street & 92nd Ave. (map)
Live music * Vendors
Children's activities * Information booths
Local food establishments & area businesses
Live music schedule:
Casual Music – 11:30 a.m.
Pride of Portland Chorus – 12:30 p.m.
Fulton Fontaine – 1:30 p.m.
Gerardo Calderón – 2:30 p.m.
East Pete – 3:30 p.m.
For more information, please contact Kevin Cronin at 503.823.3305 or e-mail.
More information about many more great things going on in Lents, at IloveLents.com.
Thanks to Kristina Lake for help writing this post, and John, Jeff, Nick, and everyone who welcomed me to participate in this great project.