Tag Archives: Oregon

Project Earth Day Ivy Pull in Washington Park

I’m a tree hugger!

Seriously, since my childhood camping in the woods on a regular basis with  my family, I’ve developed a deep and abiding love of trees and nature. So naturally when I saw that Kalso Earth Shoes was awarding community service project scholarships for Earth Day, I wanted to apply and do something great for trees.

Several of my coworkers at Oregon Zoo are raising awareness and funds for Acres for the Atmosphere, which has the goal of planting more trees to combat climate change. Climate change, of course, being the biggest threat to polar bears.

Photo courtesy City of Portland, No Ivy League. The No Ivy League hosts ivy removal projects on the first and third Saturdays of every month. Take the kids!

But instead of planting more trees, I’ve decided to rally around the removal of ivy. I love planting trees – it provides instant gratification! In fact, I’ve been a crew leader, volunteer and board member for Friends of Trees.

But so many of our existing, big giant trees in Portland are being suffocated by invasive English ivy. Ivy in Oregon is devastating and inexorable. Pulling ivy is hard work. Which is why we need to draw more attention to it, and rally people to fight for our urban forests!

So here’s my plan:

WHAT • Ivy removal in Washington Park: “girdle” as many trees as possible!

WHEN • Wednesday, April 18, 3 – 5 p.m.  (I chose this time because most zoo keepers get off work at 3:30, plus kids are out of school. Also, who doesn’t want a good excuse to get out of work early – for those that work until 5?)

WHO • Specific target will be all the staff of the attractions around Washington Park (Oregon Zoo, Children’s Museum, World Forestry Center, Hoyt Arboretum, Japanese Garden, International Rose Test Gardens, City of Portland). Anyone else who can take an hour to come help, plus my kids, your kids, their kids!

HOW • Gather equipment in a central location. Keep a trainer to orient people as they drop in to give instruction and send them to work sites.

COMMUNICATION • insert into employee newsletters of above institutions, targeted online advertising, and earned media via press release to local papers, television and radio stations. Email to neighborhood associations surrounding Washington Park to invite neighbors to join.

AFTER PARTY, 5 – 7 p.m. • Approach local restaurant (Sylvan Steakhouse!) to co-host an after party to celebrate our success – which should help encourage more volunteers!

 

I really believe that most people want to do good for our community, but often we don’t know where to start, or our good intentions just turn into delayed action until nothing happens. By providing this Earth Day opportunity, Kalso Earth Shoes and I will give people a fun and direct way to help wildlife habitats, and the planet itself! I know I am looking forward to pulling some ivy with my family!

 

Thanks to Leah Segedie and Mamavation for making me aware of this opportunity!

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{Wordless Wednesday} Have you hugged a tree today?

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A Dam Good Day

I used to enjoy a good Super Bowl Commercial Party – my friends and I would mute the tv during all the cumbersome football, and watch the commercials and half time with glee. That’s “glee,” not “Glee,” BTW.  Brian is always occupied with his annual poker game during the super bowl, so I’m left to my own devices.

But once I had kids, the old Champagne-drinking commercial-watching party just wouldn’t do anymore.

Blessed with gorgeous weather today (seriously – is it really February in Oregon?), we headed eastward to meet up with Dayl and Zephyr for some outdoor play. Other than the snacks we brought and the fuel to get there, it was all FREE family fun!

We stopped first at Bonneville Dam. The visitor center was fairly empty, so the kids could run around a bit.

We didn’t want to be inside too much with the sun shining, but thought the fish ladders would be pretty cool to check out.

Now that is a giant turbine! I was surprised at how interested they were in this thing. They made me read the whole sign, and they had a lot of questions about how it worked.

This video was way over their heads, but they liked being able to push the buttons! Interactive = popular.

Fortunately nobody minded that they were running...

Unfortunately, the ladders were empty. I mean really empty. The guy manning the visitor center informed us that since the ladders were empty, we could see some baby fish in an aquarium, so we headed down to check it out.

No water, and certainly no fish!

Eric thinks he saw a fish in here. I'm not convinced!

After the visitor center, we made our way to the fish hatchery to feed some fish and visit with Herman the Sturgeon, the famous 70+ year-old sturgeon. The Fish Hatchery has beautiful grounds, with pretty ponds and old stone paths. I was a bit paranoid about one of the kids falling in to a pond, but it didn’t happen, and everyone had a great time.

The viewing house at Herman's pond

Herman, in the flesh

Dayl made a new friend, and named him Fred

We stopped for a snack, always a good idea with little ones. Herman's House was a great place for this, with built in benches and awesome fish to watch.

Bring quarters! Several fish-food dispensers are placed around the grounds, and the proceeds go to park maintenance. The fish get all jumpy and active when you feed them, which is fun for the kidlets. We won't talk about the accidental graham cracker feeding.

We had a great time at Bonneville Dam and the Fish Hatchery with Dayl and Zephyr. We had some great discussions about the fur trade, and carnivorous animals, got to play in nature, and spend time with our good friends.

We followed it up with a short hike on the Pacific Crest Trail from Cascade Locks, and then a late lunch at Charburger. Perfect for our non-Super Bowl Day!

~Krista

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Birthday Bliss

“I come to the sea to breathe.”

I once received a notebook from then-Cannon Beach artist and poet Mary Anne Radmacher with those words written on the front. I think of them every time I visit the Oregon Coast. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll take just about any ocean beach, but the Oregon Coast is where my compass gets reset, my inner tides get aligned, and where I find myself.

It’s no wonder, then, that I long for the beach on my birthday.

Eric’s school auction was Saturday, preventing us from spending even one night, so a day trip would have to do. And it did!  We were blessed with an amazingly fantastic day. While I missed out on sitting in a cabin drinking wine watching the ocean planning out my goals for the year (I’ll take a raincheck on that activity), I’ll still call it a success.

We went to Gearhart, where a 10-mile stretch of beach is car-friendly. The only reason this is important is because it’s so much easier to deal with kids and sand at the beach at sunset when we can drive right out there and then not have to hike back out to the car after dark. We love Smuggler’s Cove and Manzanita for daytime beach play, but for sunset – we drive out past Gearhart.

Here are a few pics from the day. We were fortunate enough to have my brother Jeff join us, so we put him to work as staff photographer. Thanks, Brother!

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pink light makes me happy

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Eric and Brian enjoying a snuggle on the top of our climbing structure.

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as silly as we want to be

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horses heading south at dusk...

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We stay off the higher dunes so as to not disturb the grasses, but a little bit of duney sand play is usually in order.

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I just can't get enough of silver sunlight on water. It brings me peace like nothing else.

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We parked near this big old tree, I think it must have washed up in the recent storms. Can you imagine this big thing bobbing around the ocean?

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The view south, toward Gearhart and Seaside.

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...and horses heading north at sunset!

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Governor Neil Goldschmidt’s Top 5 Oregonians

Read more: Here it is: Governor Neil Goldschmidt’s Top 5 Oregonians.

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My Friend is Cool

I was sitting at West Cafe having lunch with my dear friend April Severson, when who should pop by but former Governor Neil Goldschmidt?

He informed us that “someone” had recently asked him who his list of top 10 Oregonians would be. I can’t imagine who would have asked him this, but in any case, he said he hadn’t finalized his list, but he had the first 5. So ladies and gentlemen, I present to you:

Governor Neil Goldschmidt’s Top 5 Oregonians (in the order he listed them, he said I could quote him on this)
1. Phil Knight
2. Dan Wieden
3. Thomas Lauderdale
4. April Severson
5. Arlene Schnitzer

So there you have it – I already knew that April is mighty special, but it’s always nice to hear it from unsolicited outside sources.
“They broke the mold after making this one,” he said.
I couldn’t agree more!


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Christmas Ships #inPDX

One of our Advent Calendar family activities was to watch to the “Christmas Ships” on the Willamette River. I have very few free evenings this time of year – between ZooLights and Brian’s pool night, and holiday parties and school meetings – so I was glad that my one free night last week coincided with the ships parading near us. Here’s what the website says:

Tuesday, Dec. 13th – OMSI to Fremont Bridge
At 7:00PM, the Willamette Fleet assembles in front of Riverplace Marina, (1750 SW Harbor Way, Portland). The parade will begin across the river in front of OMSI and travel downriver to area of the Fremont Bridge  The fleet will go under the bridge and then turns to return to Riverplace Marina. The fleet will be out for about two hours. Restaurant and hotel links, outdoor viewing location and further details

Eric loved that these boats were decorated as a fire truck and an airplane

We bundled up in coats, scarves, hats & mittens, with my favorite little cashmere hand warmers from Restoration Hardware. We raced to get near the start of the parade by 7 pm, not wanting to miss it. We parked ourselves on the beach under the Hawthorne Bridge, where Brian and I used to go to watch fireworks. It’s nice to be so close to the water, and not many people go down there. Anna was terribly worried that perhaps we weren’t supposed to be there, actually refusing to come with us at first. But Brian explained, “This is our city, and we are allowed to be here in our city.” That finally convinced her. I’m so glad she’s so concerned about doing the right thing!

The colorfully lit & decorated ships circled in front of us (okay, technically in front of Riverplace Marina) for a good 40 minutes. The kids enjoyed talking about the lights on each one. We were wondering why it took so long to get started with the actual “parade,” but once it finally started, it was kind of anticlimactic. The circling & assembling brought the boats fairly close to us on the east side of the river, but once they started their promenade, they were close to the west shore, and very small to us!

Santa's sleigh. Sorry so fuzzy from my phone!

Next time, we’ll just count on watching the assembling & circling. If we want to watch the parade part, we’ll find a spot at Waterfront Park on the west side of the river to hunker down. I think we’ll bring hot chocolate in a thermos, as well, along with the real camera! My phone takes some great photos, but it wasn’t quite up to this challenge.

Both the Willamette and Columbia River fleets parade together each night starting the weekend of the 17th, so it should be much more spectacular with more boats. Here’s the rest of the schedule, below, and details here:

Wednesday, Dec. 14th – Riverplace Marina to Milwaukie Boat Ramp • 7 pm

Thursday, Dec. 15th – OMSI to Fremont Bridge • 7 pm

Friday, Dec. 16th – Riverplace Marina to Milwaukie Boat Ramp • 7 pm (loops by Oaks Park)

Saturday, Dec. 17th – Riverplace Marina to Lake Oswego • 5 pm

Sunday, Dec. 18th –  Riverplace Marina to St John’s area, continuing on to Columbia River • 5 pm

Monday, Dec. 19th – James M Gleason Boat Ramp, WA Shores, Wintler Park, I-5 Bridge (Columbia) • 7 pm
Tuesday, Dec. 20th – I-5 Bridge/Hayden Bay (Columbia) • 7 pm
Happy holidays,
~Krista

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