Lents Park hosts Portland’s 2021 ‘Arbor Day’ celebration

INCLUDES VIDEO VIGNETTE | Here’s why we celebrated Arbor Day in outer East Portland a couple of weeks ago – instead of in April. And, discover why this celebration is important to all Portlanders …

These volunteers have been trained to correctly plant trees, ensuring that they grow and thrive, here in Lents Park.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

As the day began on the chilly and breezy morning of Saturday, October 30, Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) and various non-profit organizations were setting up canopies and exhibits in Lents Park, along SE 92nd Avenue.

The word was out: PP&R was welcoming everyone in the area to a family-friendly tree planting event, along with exhibits of arts and crafts, and educational activities – all in celebration of Arbor Day.

Watch our Video Vignette of this event,
to get a feel for what took place!

But wait; wasn’t National Arbor Day actually on April 30, 2021?

“Yes It’s true; but we are celebrating Arbor Day today,” said Portland Parks & Recreation Director Adena Long.

Trees planted in the fall and winter do better, explains Portland Parks & Recreation Director Adena Long.

“But, here in Portland, three years ago, we decided to permanently move the date of our own celebration to this day – exactly six months later, to the end of October,” Long told East Portland News. “The reason is this: Later in the year is a better time to plant trees, because they do much better when we plant them in the fall and in the winter.

“An important reason to hold this event is to let our community know how important it is to plant and care for trees,” Long continued. “And, enhancing and protecting our urban forest is a key component to the City’s efforts to mitigate climate change,” she pointed out.

“It’s especially important for our observance to be here, in Lents Park, this year – because this is where will be focusing a lot of our efforts for community tree planting in the future.”

Three people ready for the “Free Tree Give-away” on October 30 are tree-planting volunteer Rebecca Weatherby, PP&R Urban Forestry Community Tree Planting Specialist Molly Wilson, and volunteer Katie Murff.

We came across PP&R Urban Forestry Community Tree Planting Specialist Alex Javier, providing tree-planting instructions to a group of volunteers.

Before the formal program got underway, as those present waited for officials to arrive, many volunteers took in a tree-planting primer, as they got ready to plant dozens of trees around Lents Park.

Families had the opportunity to learn why trees are important to people, wildlife, and the environment by visiting booths, including one set up by the Johnson Creek Watershed Council.

These members of the PP&R Youth Conservation Crew – Estefanie Barrientos, David Nguyen, Priscilla Kotey, and Yanci Manzo – are offering information about trees, and also about Arbor Day.

City of Portland Commissioner Carmen Rubio spends a moment with Oregon State Representative Khanh Pham (D), of House District 46.

“This observance is so important, because we have a lot of work to do in closing the disparity of city tree distribution,” Portland City Position #1 Commissioner Carmen Rubio, Portland’s Parks Commissioner, told us as she arrived at the event. “Portland’s trees provide shade, wildlife habitat, beauty, cleaner air, and are part of the very fabric of our city.”

As the formal program started, Commissioner Rubio presented an official proclamation signed by Mayor Ted Wheeler, announcing that for the 44th consecutive year, Portland is to be recognized by the National Arbor Day Foundation with a “Tree City USA” award.

Displaying their plaques are awardee Bruce Amick, tree planting crew leader with Wisdom of the Eldersand Kyna Rubin, founder of Trees for Life Oregon. Both received Bill Naito Community Trees Awards for Outstanding Service.

After the formal program was over, the gathered volunteers spread through Lents Park to plant trees in celebration of Arbor Day.

To find out more about PP&R’s Urban Forestry division, see their official home page: CLICK HERE.

© 2021 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News



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