Tales From The Trails:

Volunteer Spotlight: John Jamison

Since the start of its volunteer program in 2007, Forest Park Conservancy’s most loyal and consistent volunteer has been the one-and-only John Jamison. A Wisconsin native, John moved to Portland in 1979 to work for Tecktronix. He soon became a frequent visitor to Forest Park and spent decades exploring its trails. Once retired, John felt as if he owed the park for all those enjoyable years of hiking and has been volunteering with FPC ever since.  

John is one of a core group of weekly Thursday volunteers that helps Forest Park Conservancy with trail projects and invasive plant removal in Forest Park. Among FPC staff and volunteers, he’s known for lending out copies of Sometimes a Great Notion, impersonating Roseanne Roseannadanna from Saturday Night Live and bringing donuts from his local bakery to share at Thursday work parties. 

“John is just a good, solid person, the kind of person I’ve always valued – what you see is what you get… He’s the kind of person who is part of this group that always brings me back.” – Alan Borrud

This year at our summer volunteer appreciation party, Forest Park Conservancy presented John with a lifetime membership award for his tireless dedication to Forest Park. In addition to volunteering weekly and volunteer crew leading at larger work parties, John has invented additional ways to volunteer and raise the bar for the organization. 

For example, this year John developed and proposed a systematic way for reporting trail conditions in the aftermath of a storm. Launching later this month, the Rapid Response Team will be made up of volunteers who each adopt a hiking route and collectively survey all 47 miles of soft surface trail in Forest Park. The information gathered from these trail surveys, namely the location and diameter of downed trees, will be used by Forest Park Conservancy to pinpoint and remove passage barriers and/or safety hazards on the trails of Forest Park.

When he’s not volunteering with Forest Park Conservancy, John can be found hiking the trails with his Golden Retriever, Rylee; cleaning out drainage ditches with his favorite tool and jotting down trail conditions to share with FPC staff. 

If you’re interested in volunteering as part of the Rapid Response Team, or learning about our other volunteer opportunities, sign up for our volunteer email list. As a volunteer, you're bound to work alongside the legendary John Jamison and make Forest Park even more beautiful for all of us. 

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