Friends of Tideman-Johnson Park also keep Johnson Creek clean

Discover why this group was at a key site during the latest Johnson Creek Watershed-wide clean-up event …

Lisa Gunion-Rinker and Laurie Kendall volunteer to help clean up trash and clean out invasive plant species along Johnson Creek in inner SE Portland.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
For the Friends of Tideman-Johnson Park, the Johnson Creek Watershed-wide clean-up project on August 18 isn’t a one-time event.

“We will be doing projects like this every month,” says co-chair Lisa Gunion-Rinker, as she takes a break from pulling ivy off a tree. “We’ll also be doing native plantings in the park.”

Considerable work has been done to improve Tideman-Johnson Park, including covering a once-exposed major sewer line, adding a boardwalk, and restoring natural habitat. “But, I’m surprised how many people haven’t visited it.”

Gunion-Rinker tells us their group was awarded a stewardship grant from the City of Portland’s Bureau of Environmental Services as a part of the Greater Johnson Creek Watershed improvement program

Many volunteers pitch in
“For the area-wide event today,” says Gunion-Rinker, “We’ve partnered up with Portland Parks & Recreation, the Johnson Creek Watershed Council, and Precision Castparts. About 60 people came to our site, and we’re getting a whole bunch of work done.”

Sixty volunteers from several organizations, including PCC Structural, pitched in to preen the land near the creek.

We see workers pulling ivy off trees, chopping down blackberry bushes, and removing other non-native species. Other volunteers gather and haul out trash.

“Our monthly projects will keep our park a better one for people to enjoy, and to see the natural area as it should be,” says Gunion-Rinker. “We hope others will join us – usually on the last Saturday of the month.”

Serving themselves some great barbecue, prepared by Clay’s Smokehouse, are volunteers Wes and Wiley Wolfe, at the JCWS’s “Jammin’ for Salmon” event that followed the watershed-wide cleanup.

Where to access the park
This park runs along the Springwater Corridor. From Eastmoreland, you’ll find the entrance just south of SE Crystal Springs Blvd. at the end of SE 38th Ave. On the south side of the creek, enter from Springwater Corridor access parking lot on SE 45th Ave just off Johnson Creek Blvd.

“This park is in the Ardenwald-Johnson Creek Neighborhood Association area, but we also have volunteers from Woodstock, Eastmoreland, and Sellwood today,” adds Gunion-Rinker.

Check to find the group’s activity dates. And, learn more about the Johnson Creek Watershed Council by visiting

© 2007 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News Service

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