Elegant garden dinner supports volunteers’ mission

See how Friends of Leach Garden concluded their 30th anniversary year – and what they have coming up in December …

Colleen Lockovitch is checking-in guest Linda Morrow, at the Leach Botanical Garden 30th Anniversary Garden Party.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
An amazing outer East Portland place – Leach Botanical Garden – deserves celebrating, believes the volunteers group, “Friend of Leach Garden.”

And, they’ve been commemorating the Garden’s 30 years of public ownership for the past year.

> See how the year-long celebration started in our November, 2011 article on that event: CLICK HERE.

During the cocktail hour, Eddie Parente and John Keyser provide live jazz music.

Leach Botanical Garden Executive Director David Porter greets arrivals at their 30th Anniversary Garden Party.

Portland Parks & Recreation Director Mike Abbaté and Vicky Abbaté greet the former Bureau director, Zari Santner.

“Indeed, we’re wrapping up honoring the Garden’s 30th anniversary with a dinner party this evening,” Executive Director David Porter told East Portland News.

“And, we are unveiling the plans for the development of the Upper Garden, which is a major step forward,” Porter added. “One might say we’re getting ready to roll for the next 30 years. It’s very exciting!”

The reception hour gives guests an opportunity to meet and mingle.

Jim Sjulin, Friends of Leach Garden President Gay Greger, and long-time volunteer Nan Finch, all enjoy the reception.

Retired PP&R Senior Manager Michelle Harper greets Dion Jordan – who stands in for his father, former Portland City Commissioner Charles Jordan – and Portland’s Parks Commissioner Nick Fish.

One of the hundred celebrants at the October 14 outer East Portland event was Portland City Commissioner Nick Fish.

“Leach Botanical Garden is one of our ‘showcase facilities’ in East Portland,” Fish remarked, just after he arrived at the gala.

“Thanks to Scott Andrews, Mike Abbate, and leaders here in the community, we’re able to preserve about $1.2 million in funding from this year’s budget to help them develop their Master Plan.”

Fish said the funding will come from the Portland Development Commission (PDC) to kick off the development of the Upper Garden and make other improvements. “I’m grateful that the PDC saw the incredible value of Leach Botanical Garden to this community, and saw it as an economic development driver.”

Guests sample many of the fine food offerings provided at the garden party.

Debbie Bahr and Jerry Petrick dine al fresco during the gala.

Lydia Reissmueller from Tender Bar supplied celebrants with “Cocktails from the Collection” – her special style of herb-infused beverages. Then, guests were treated to scrumptious-looking food provided by catering service Vibrant Table.

Also, guests were given the first peek at the newly completed design for the Upper Garden – with landscape architect Carol Mayer Reed on hand to describe the design details, aided by lovely watercolor renderings highlighting key features in the new landscape.

As part of Porter’s welcoming remarks, he told the group, “Tonight, we’ll be honoring some of the people who made it possible for the Garden even to exist – such as Charles Jordan. We’re giving our gratitude to these people.”

Holiday Bazaar coming in December
On December 7 and 8, the Leach Botanical Garden Holiday Bazaar & Artist Market is open to the public from 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.

It’s a place to kick off your Holiday season while you support this outer East Portland place of natural wonder.

The festive Holiday event features freshly-made wreaths, swags, centerpieces, cut greens, and baked goods. Also, discover the Artist Market, featuring work by local glass, ceramic, metal, and fabric artists. In addition to experiencing the winter garden, sip hot cider in the historic Manor House, and enjoy Holiday music while you shop.

It’s all happening in, behind and around the Manor House.

Leach Botanical Garden is located at 6704 SE 122nd Avenue, a long-winding block south of SE Foster Road (park in the lot across Johnson Creek). Find out more in their website: CLICK HERE or call (503) 823-1671.

© 2012 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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