Leach Botanical Park expansion announced at volunteer luncheon

Catch up on what’s happening at this unique outer East Portland park – and see why you should especially plan to visit on December 4th or 5th …

Jane Taterau, Mary Lou Kaylor, and a new volunteer at Leach Botanical Garden, Sarah Kelsey, sample items at the volunteer’s potluck luncheon.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Volunteers at Leach Botanical Garden made their way to the Grand Room in the Manor House – on a beautiful fall day, a couple of weeks ago – to enjoy an volunteers’ potluck luncheon.

“I arranged this because I wanted to meet our volunteers,” said Elizabeth Callison, the new volunteer coordinator at Leach. “Ever since the beginning, our volunteers have really kept the place running. Every job around here, with the exception of three positions, is a volunteer position.”

Ever since she first saw the fireplace in the Manor House, Callison told us, she has wanted to make use of the room for a volunteer’s fireside lunch. Her idea worked out well; about 45 volunteers came to the event.

Volunteers enjoy a good meal, and each other’s company, at this special event.

Land purchased for expansion
The executive director of Leach Botanical Garden, Karen Young, brought us up to date on the Garden’s progress. “The Master Plan has been completed; it looks like it will be approved.”

An item included in the updated Master Plan, Young confided, is a revision that includes the purchase of additional property adjacent on the west side of the garden. “This is at the northwest corner of the garden. It will benefit the garden by providing more space, and it has good street visibility on SE 122nd Avenue.”

Portland Parks & Recreation spokesperson Beth Sorenson confirmed the purchase. “The .45 acre parcel, immediately adjacent to the park, is located at 6604 SE 122nd Avenue. It will provide much-needed additional space. It has not yet been determined how the new property – particularly a house situated on the lot – will be used. PP&R will work with the Leach Garden Friends to determine the best use of the house.”

Sorenson said the purchase price for the property was $175,000, funded by a partnership which combined Park SDC (System Development Charge) acquisition funds and Portland’s share of Metro’s voter-approved 2006 “natural areas” bond measure funds.

You will enjoy the fall colors (while they last!), as much as does this spider – which makes its home at Leach Botanical Garden.

Plan to visit their December Holiday Bazaar
On December 4 & 5, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Leach Garden Friends will be holding their 23rd Annual Holiday Bazaar.

A wide variety of fresh greens will be available in bulk, along with wreaths, swags & centerpieces, cones and dried flowers, handcrafted items, and baked goods. Their gift shop will be open and their nursery plants for sale.

Get into the spirit of the season, stroll the winter garden, and sip hot cider in the historic Leach Garden Manor. Admission is free. The Garden is located at 6704 SE 122nd Avenue (just south of Foster Road).

All proceeds benefit the programs and maintenance of the Garden’s botanical collection of over 3,000 species and cultivars. Leach Botanical Garden is Portland’s only public botanical garden.

For further information call the office at (503) 823-1671, or see their web site: CLICK HERE. (If this website doesn’t work, find basic information at the parks bureau website: CLICK HERE.)

The public garden, nicknamed Sleepy Hollow by the couple who originally owned the property, is open six days a week.

The garden is open from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and 1:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. Sunday. They’re closed on Mondays and major holidays.

To volunteer, call the garden or go online. E-mail Callison at: info@leachgarden.org or call (503) 823- 1671; she’s in the office Monday and Wednesday afternoons and all day Friday.

© 2009 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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