Neighbors gather to raise awareness for natural gem in the Kelly Creek neighborhood

PMG PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER KEIZUR - Neighbors are coming together to save the historic Lind-Carpenter property.There are a lot of stories echoing through one of Gresham's most unique natural sites.

For nearly 150 years a local family has loved the Lind-Carpenter property. Now they want to sell it to the community and allow even more memories to be made.

"I would like this to be a park the community could use and visit," said Debbie Carpenter, who owns the property with her sister.

The Kelly Creek neighborhood came together Saturday, Sept. 17, for an open house at the 6-acre Lind-Carpenter property, 3842 S.E. Hillyard St., to raise awareness and begin the long-process of drumming up enough funds to purchase the land and protect it from developers.

PMG PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER KEIZUR - The open house had live music and refreshments.  The site, which is adjacent to the undeveloped Southeast Neighborhood Park, used to comprise the 1879 homestead of Olaf Lind. Later in life the property became a thriving nursery, which left behind a diverse mix of trees and shrubs that can't be found anywhere else in the city. There is a stand of towering Hogan cedars, Gresham's official tree; redwood maples and Sitka spruce; oaks and elms. One walnut tree that blew over in the late 1990s during a brutal storm just kept growing even as it lay on the ground.

"Our property has a hundred varieties of trees," said Jeff Hardin, Carpenter's husband. "You can go down the alphabet — ash, alder — and you will find it here. A true cornucopia of plants."

The hope is by inviting neighbors to walk the property, it will spark a desire to protect it. Though the owners have no desire to give it over to circling developers, who would likely turn the land into cookie-cutter homes, they can't hold onto it forever. While the city has been supportive, and the Parks Advisory Committee is mulling the land as a potential use of Gresham's portion of the Metro Parks Bond, it is unlikely a solution will come from City Hall.

PMG PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER KEIZUR - Jeff Hardin gave tours of the 6-acre site, showcasing many of the unique trees and shrubs.  Instead the neighbors are banking on other means to raise funds, including grants, that would allow for a public acquisition to turn the park over to the city and allow it to be saved. That would be a similar solution as to what was done at Nadaka Nature Park in Rockwood.

The Kelly Creek Neighborhood Association has formed a Parks Committee to helm the funding process, and needs help. If you have experience writing grants or leading campaigns, or want to volunteer, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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