Tree ‘friends’ plant dozens in six neighborhoods

Check in on this outer East Portland tree-planting by Friends of Trees volunteers …

Getting a briefing before heading out to the Argay Terrace, Parkrose, Parkrose Heights, Russell, Wilkes, and Woodland Park neighborhoods to plant trees, are these Friends of Trees volunteers.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

Many volunteers, including 75 students from the David Douglas High School English as a Second Language program, gathered in the Russell neighborhood on the morning of February 22, at the Parkrose United Church of Christ, for a Friends of Trees planting.

Welcoming volunteers is Friends of Trees Senior Neighborhood Tree Specialist Andrew Land.

“Today we’re going to plant 105 trees in Argay Terrace, Parkrose, Parkrose Heights, Russell, Wilkes and Woodland Park,” remarked Friends of Trees Senior Neighborhood Tree Specialist Andrew Land, as he checked in volunteers.

“This is our third and last planting of the season,” Land told East Portland News.

In the parking lot, volunteers and “Crew Leaders” load up trucks with trees, getting ready to plant.

“I think we are having so many volunteers help us out because they know how important trees are. They provide ‘green infrastructure’ in our city – trees are the ‘air filters’ and the ‘water cleaners’ of our communities,” Land pointed out.

Anne Downing spends a moment with two of her graduated DDHS students – now, students at Portland State University – Sun Ye and Yili Tan, both of whom are now Friends of Trees Team Leaders.

Along with other staff members from David Douglas High School, ESL Teacher Anne Downing told East Portland News that this was the second planting the students from her program participated in this season.

“Doing this helps connect them with their community,” Downing commented. “We want to connect our students as quickly as we can, meeting longtime Americans and their neighbors here – and, planting a tree is something that will benefit others for decades, perhaps generations.”

Near NE 117th Avenue at Siskiyou Street, this group of volunteers set about planting a “street tree”.

As volunteers left to plant trees, Land smiled. “The best part of this, for me personally, is it brings together so many different diverse people in our community.

“Think about it: We have a diverse community of volunteers, planting a diverse group of trees,” mused Land. “I just love the fact that this is the Friends of Trees family – we always have a good time together!”

Along NE Knott Street, in the Parkrose Heights neighborhood, another group of volunteers plant a tree in the front yard of a resident.

© 2020 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™


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