A periodic cleanup is necessary when a neighborhood convinces a public agency to allow it to create parkland

DAVID F. ASHTON - Corinne Stefanick and Nanci Champlin pause for a moment, while helping to maintain the pollinator garden alongside the Springwater Trail in Sellwood thats called Springwater Meadows. On Saturday, May 15, volunteers got together to celebrate the anniversary of the planting of a plot of land that's been dubbed "Springwater Meadows", located in what's called the "Springwater Trail Gap" area – S.E. 9th Avenue between Marion and Linn streets in Sellwood.

At site, volunteer Corinne Stefanick recalled for THE BEE that the project actually started a decade ago, with a SMILE-sponsored community research project to determine the best use for the empty lot. An extensive community ascertainment resulted in the conclusion that a small nature park would be the appropriate use.

Which led to the planting, this particular May 15th, on the annual anniversary of that, and a call for volunteers to come clean it up and replant as necessary. "People are showing up; I think we may have as many as twenty volunteers working here on this beautiful summery morning!" grinned one of the project's coordinators, Nanci Champlin.

Some of the volunteers on May 15 were members of Boy Scout Troop 64.

"Metro owns the land; and it's managed by Portland Parks & Recreation, as part of their portfolio," Champlin reminded THE BEE. "When Metro purchased parcels along the Springwater Corridor to complete the Springwater Gap, this property was one of them.

"After a very extensive public involvement process, gathering input which extended over about five years, we broke ground and put in twelve varieties of all-native plants, geared to support wildlife, particularly pollinators," Champlin said.

"Today, we're making sure that the grass that's growing wildly, and the weeds that are encroaching on the plantings, are cut back, pulled, and removed. And we're a mulching around the plants to help them get through what looks like a long dry summer."

You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.

Have a thought or opinion on the news of the day? Get on your soapbox and share your opinions with the world. Send us a Letter to the Editor!