January 13, 2011

In partnership with Friends of Trees and Portland Parks & Recreation, Portland Development Commission (PDC) will sponsor the planting of 10 new trees at Earl Boyles Park in the Powellhurst-Gilbert neighborhood on Saturday, January 15 from 9 a.m. to noon. Volunteers interested in the tree planting will meet at Pilgrim Lutheran Church, 4244 Southeast 91st Avenue, at 8:30 a.m. before heading over to the project site at the corner of SE Center and 107th Street. The event will take place rain or shine.

The Oregon ash trees to be planted along the north side of SE Center Street will replace filbert trees that were removed as part of a newly rebuilt section of the street. The event is part of a large annual tree planting by Friends of Trees in the Lents and Powellhurst-Gilbert neighborhoods.

“We’re excited to plant with PDC in Powellhurst-Gilbert,” said Friends of Trees Program Director Brighton West. “Over the past three years, we’ve grown our presence in East Portland neighborhoods, where many Douglas fir trees are being squeezed out by new development. PDC’s assistance will help us provide low-cost young trees that keep these neighborhoods beautiful.”

In addition to funding the tree planting, PDC partnered with the Portland Bureau of Transportation to reconstruct a 330-foot portion of SE Center Street that borders Earl Boyles Park to the south. The funds for the project come from the Lents Town Center Urban Renewal Area. Parker NW Paving, the general contractor, will complete the project this month. The project widened the street to eliminate the wide gravel shoulder on the north side, added curbs, gutters, new road bed and pavement, and storm water swales. The street reconstruction addresses neighborhood concerns over uncontrolled parking at the site by providing ample but limited on-street parking for neighbors and park users.

Since 1998, PDC has provided more than $150,000 to plant 35,000 trees and shrubs in the Lents Town Center URA, to enhance community livability, improve air quality, and revitalize neighborhoods through community building efforts. This investment has leveraged other funds, in-kind donations, and volunteer labor. On the transportation side, PDC has funded more than $12 million in more than 20 projects in the URA, including intersection improvements, rebuilding SE 92nd Avenue, and construction of the new MAX Green Line.

Friends of Trees brings people in the Portland-Vancouver area together to plant and care for city trees and green spaces. Since 1989, thousands of volunteers have planted more than 400,000 trees and shrubs through the Neighborhood Trees and Green Space Initiative programs. To learn more, visit www.FriendsofTrees.org.