Tales From The Trails:

Canopy Weeds Crew Back In Action

Forest Park Conservancy (FPC) and West Multnomah Soil & Water Conservation District are gearing up for their third season of the Canopy Weeds program, a collaborative effort to remove invasive ivy and clematis from private property surrounding Forest Park. Through this program, funded by West Multnomah Soil & Water Conservation District, FPC manages a five-member crew who not only remove invasive vines from trees, but also engage landowners through outreach and education. For this reason, crew members require a unique combination of qualifications: physical stamina and strong interpersonal skills. 

To help build such a crew, FPC recruited from Portland Parks & Recreation's Youth Conservation Crew (YCC), a program that provides summer employment to a diverse population of Portland-area youth. Part of the YCC program, the No Ivy League, has close ties to FPC and even shares work space at the Lower Macleay entrance to Forest Park. Now, FPC staff and off-season No Ivy League staff will join forces to form this season's Canopy Weeds Crew.

The Canopy Weeds program is a prime example of the Greater Forest Park Conservation Initiative in action. The Initiative is a 20-year strategy led by the Forest Park Conservancy to restore and protect Forest Park and the 10,000 acres surrounding the park.

By emphasizing partnerships, the Initiative allows each participating organization to maximize its strengths through collaboration. For example, as a nonprofit, FPC is well positioned to work in the space between public and private lands, which can sometimes go unmanaged for invasive species. By collaborating with West Multnomah Soil & Water Conservation District and Portland Parks & Recreation, FPC can bridge those gaps between public and private property to help ensure that the whole ecological unit is being restored, not just the forest within the park. 

Clearly, flora and fauna do not regard property boundaries as barriers, and in some cases management practices have to be able to cross those boundaries as well. 

Since its launch in 2013, the Canopy Weeds program has cleared weeds from nearly 10,000 trees on land surrounding Forest Park, and will carry that momentum into this season. If you live near Forest Park and would like to have the canopy weeds removed from your trees free of charge, please email FPC's Program Manager Matt Wagoner at matt@forestparkconservancy.org

Or, if you just cherish Forest Park would like to support a holistic approach to its restoration, sign up for one of our upcoming volunteer work parties or donate to the cause

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