"Diversity, Harmony, Community - Together WE can make a difference!”

What is the Dog Days of Summer?


The “dog days of summer” occur during the hottest and muggiest part of summer

It's a dogs life, especially during summer. Learn the origin of 'dog days of summer' here!
Dog Days of Summer?  Click to enlarge

The dictionary defines “dog days” as:

1:  the period between early July and early September when the hot sultry weather of summer usually occurs in the northern hemisphere
2:  a period of stagnation or inactivity

But where does the term come from? Why do we call the hot, sultry days of summer “dog days?” Here's the answer!

In ancient times, when the night sky was free from artificial lights people in different parts of the world drew images in the sky by “connecting the dots” of stars. These star pictures are called constellations, and the constellations as we know them came from our European ancestors.

Ancient star gazer's saw images in the stars of bears (Ursa Major and Ursa Minor), twins (Gemini), a bull (Taurus), and others objects, including dogs (Canis Major and Canis Minor). Click 'Read more' for the answer!

The Tale of Two Wilkes Neighborhoods

The Tale of Two Wilkes Neighborhoods. William C Wilkes Donation Land Grant 1846, Portland Oregon. Info here!
Click to enlarge

Love, Heartbreak, and Renewal

Local history says un the summer of 1845 Payton & Anna Wilkes and their seven children left Independence Missouri in a two-yolk oxen-drawn covered wagon and headed west on the Oregon Trail for Oregon.

They arrived by late fall after crossing the Cascade Mountains during a particularly strong snow storm and settled into their new life style in Oregon City. More than 3,000 wagons arrived in Oregon that year.

In 1850 their son William Wilkes took a Donation Land Claim on Sandy Road east of Portland.

The Donation Land Claim Act (DLC) became law on September 27, 1850 as a means to promote homestead settlements in the Oregon Territory (comprising the resent-day states of Oregon, Washington, Idaho and part of Wyoming).

The Act granted 320 acres of designated areas free-of-charge to every unmarried male citizen eighteen or older, and 640 acres to every married couple arriving in the Oregon Territory before December 1, 1850. A total of 7,437 land claims were issued under the Act which expired in late 1855.

Soon after receiving his land, William gave up his claim after his wife died and headed to California to mine gold.

Rich with cash, William Wilkes returned to east Portland and purchased the Milton Frazer DLC (see photo above), which was located immediately to the east of his original claim. And that's why there are two Wilkes neighborhoods.

Wilkes, the original land claim. And, Wilkes East, the purchased land to the east of William Wilkes original claim.

William C Wilkes, east Portland pioneer 1850's. Click to enlarge
William C Wilkes
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William C Wilkes, east Portland pioneer 1850's. Click to enlarge
William C Wilkes grave
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Sarah A Wilkes, wife of William C Wilkes, east Portland pioneer 1850's. Click to enlarge
Sarah A Wilkes
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To learn more about local history, read "Gresham, Stories of our Past". Available from the Gresham Historical Society, area book stores, and Amazon.com


Uptick in Crime Affecting Gresham businesses along Sandy Blvd

Uptick in Crime Affecting Gresham businesses along Sandy Blvd. Gresham police can do very little as jurisdiction ends along Gresham’s northern border. Read more!

Vandalism, theft, broken windows, fights and stolen vehicles

By Greg Hartung

Gresham area businesses along a stretch of NE Sandy Blvd had recently experienced an alarming uptick in criminal activities.

From NE 162th to NE 181st, reports of vandalism, theft, breaking of glass windows and doors, fences cut, harassment of employees, fights and stolen vehicles now have businesses on high alert. Many of these activities are thought to be contributed by the increased population of campers within the Big Four Corners wetlands area.

Big Four Corners is an area of about 165 acres of fragile wetlands located north of Gresham that is owned and managed by Portland Parks and Recreation. Some sources say as many as 250 people are currently camping in this area. It is an important habitat for deer, coyote, river otter as well as a variety of birds and amphibians.

Gresham police can do very little as jurisdiction ends along Gresham’s northern border. The Union Pacific rail line divides Gresham from East Portland and the Big Four Corners wetlands. It is just beyond the reach of Gresham Police where many of these campers reside, however they are still within yards of the businesses on the south side of the border. While Union Pacific does conduct its own law enforcement patrols, they are limited to about 50 feet on each side of the tracks. Portland Parks and Recreation has park rangers who patrol the area.

On April 5th, 2019, a meeting at Gresham City Hall was conducted by the City of Gresham’s Economic Development, Gresham Police and Gresham’s Homeless Services departments and was well attended by many of those businesses affected by these recent activities. Representatives from SEKO Logistics, Cedar Source, Royal Bearing, Northwest Handling, Teeny Foods, Portland Bakery as well as Wilkes East and North Gresham neighborhood associations expressed very similar concerns to the City of Gresham. The crime has been costly to these businesses. Some businesses have gone to great expense to shore up security, such as replacing windows with reinforced glass, fences and hiring security patrol at night.

City of Gresham will be working more closely with the City of Portland and other agencies, but it is feared to get worse before it gets better. Word of mouth and sweeps of campers from other areas are bringing more campers to the Big Four Corners wetlands.

Download the Wilkes East Neighborhood Spring 2019 Newsletter here!

Download the Wilkes East Neighborhood Spring 2019 Newsletter here! Wilkes East Neighborhood, Gresham Oregon USA. Diversity, Harmony, Community- Together 'WE' can make a difference.

2019 Spring Newsletter

"Diversity, Harmony, Community -
Together 'WE' can make a difference!”

Read it now!

Inside This Issue:


  • Rockwood Rising, A New Urban Hub
  • Migration Brewing Opens New Pub
  • Earth Day Recycling Event, April 20
  • Nadaka Happenings & Changes
  • WENA Spring Meeting March 11, 7PM

Download your copy here. (includes active web links)

Newsletters are a regular publication of the Wilkes East Neighborhood Association. They are hand-delivered to over 1,500 residences and businesses in our area 3 times per year, timed to correspond with our regular meetings.

View archive   |   Policy & Ad Rates

Got a story or tip to share?
Wilkes East residents are encouraged to submit articles and tips for the newsletter. Articles should be limited to 300-350 words and may be subject to editing. Send by email to info@wilkeseastna.org, or by postal mail to: PO Box 536 • Fairview, OR 97024.

Volunteers Needed
Newsletters are hand-delivered to Wilkes East residents and businesses by neighborhood volunteers. There are always routes that need delivery people. Routes are small and many. We can always use your help.
To volunteer contact info@wilkeseastna.org.

UPDATED: Rockwood Rising, one of Gresham’s urban renewal projects, prepares to break ground

Rockwood Rising, one of Gresham’s urban renewal projects, prepares to break ground. Info here.
Rockwood Rising, Gresham. Click to enlarge

A New Urban Hub

By Robyn Stower
Sr. Urban Renewal Project
Coordinator, City of Gresham

Rockwood Rising is a Gresham urban renewal project that will transform a 5.8 acre dilapidated lot into a thriving community hub. The development will include four buildings surrounding a public plaza that will focus on workforce development, job training, healthcare, education, food accessibility, small business development, and housing.

Rockwood Rising is located at 18535 SE Stark Street, in the heart of the Rockwood neighborhood. Rockwood has the youngest median age, greatest diversity, and highest concentration of poverty of any town center in the Portland metropolitan region. For decades the community struggled with disinvestment, lack of public infrastructure and limited access of community services.

In 2003, a citywide vote established the Rockwood-West Gresham Urban Renewal Area, which is governed by the Gresham Redevelopment Commission (GRDC), to empower the disadvantaged community. Urban renewal plan goals emphasized community engagement, the creation of a town center to provide a mix of high-quality housing, jobs, shopping and community services, the development of parks, and the creation and retention of family-wage jobs.

Beginning in 2013, the GRDC in partnerships with community-based organizations performed extensive outreach to develop Rockwood Rising. The development site, which was previously home to a Fred Meyer grocery store, had been vacant for almost ten years and despite neighborhood mural and park initiatives was slowly becoming an attractive nuisance where families did not feel safe to bring their children.
 Thousands of local stakeholders participated in the visioning for Rockwood Rising which identified access to healthy, affordable food and economic opportunities as the highest priorities.

The community also participated in the design of Rockwood Rising which consists of four buildings (Building A, B, C, and D) surrounding a public plaza. Building A is a newly constructed four-story structure containing approximately 52,824 square feet of commercial space.

Rockwood Rising, west Gresham Or. Aerial view
Rockwood Rising. Click to enlarge

It will house education, workforce and business development services such as WorkSource Oregon, Mt Hood Community College Small Business Development Center and MetroEast Community Media. Building B is a newly constructed mixed-use structure that will provide approximately 27, 913 square feet of commercial space and 104 workforce housing units, twenty percent of which will be income restricted. Building C is the newly constructed Market Hall which will include two commercial kitchens, eight small restaurants, office space and up to twenty-four vendor booths. Building D is a significant renovation of an existing 7,000 square feet facility which will house a community maker space and construction and manufacturing apprentice program operated by Oregon Tradeswomen and Portland Opportunities and Industrial Center. The public plaza is a place the whole community can come and enjoy. The plaza will feature three age-specific playgrounds, interactive water feature, public art, including the recreation of the iconic Plaza del Sol mural, and will incorporate free Wi-Fi and amenities to support festivals and farmers markets. All these services promote Rockwood Rising’s mission to create an economic engine that will break the generational cycle of poverty and build family and community prosperity.

The GRDC recruited and selected, RKm Development, Inc. (RKm) through a transparent Request for Proposal developer search. RKm’s commitment to community and exceptional track record of equitable and quality management and development, such as Bethany Village, made them the ideal candidate to manage the project. As developer RKm will own and manage all the buildings on the property while the GRDC will own the property. This arrangement gives the GRDC the ability to repossess the property if the development agreements are not met.

Groundbreaking for Rockwood Rising is TBD 2019

UPDATE: Rockwood Rising timeline updated again; groundbreaking could happen in April
The Gresham Outlook, March 26, 2019 (Read more)

The timeline for the Rockwood Rising project has been updated after a Gresham Redevelopment Commission meeting Tuesday afternoon, March 19, meaning the project could break ground in the next month. The project groundbreaking has been delayed several times, at one point being planned in the spring of 2018. Now it is supposed to happen in April, with construction being completed in early 2021.

Migration Brewing Opens Pub in West Gresham

Migration Brewing Opens Pub in West Gresham. Read more here.
Migration Brewing, Gresham. Click to enlarge

Focus on Community

Migration Brewing started as a neighborhood brewpub in NE Portland in 2010. They grew that business with a focus on making a great product and supporting the community and clientele.

After 9 years serving the community with a venue to call home for reunions, birthdays, weddings, baby showers and all life events in between it was time to grow their brand and find a second home.

After searching all the cities surrounding Portland, Gresham proved to be especially attractive. In particular, the City's capacity to get a large project permitted and complete on time, a building that suited their needs, and a location that still maintains the feel and engagement of a small town. "Gresham is one of the friendliest and tight knit communities you could imagine and that is exactly what spoke to our brand" said Colin Rath of Migration Brewing. "For a company that prides itself on being community oriented we felt Gresham was the perfect fit".

The 3,000-square foot pub with plenty of open seating has been host to multiple Gresham high school reunions, fundraiser's supporting Gresham nonprofit's, and community causes. Plus all Gresham teachers get a discount simply by showing their id badge. "We didn't choose Gresham simply because we found a building that suited our needs, we chose Gresham because it's a community we wanted to be a part of." said Rath.

Migration Brewing serves a large selection of house brewed beers, wine, appetizers, soups, salads, pizza and calzone. Open daily. Sun-Thur 11AM-9PM, Fri-Sat 11AM-10PM. 18188 NE Wilkes Rd, Gresham.

Migration Brewing. Open daily. Sun-Thur 11AM-9PM, Fri-Sat 11AM-10PM. 18188 NE Wilkes Rd, Gresham

Happening’s At Nadaka Nature Park & Garden, Spring 2019

Happening’s At Nadaka Nature Park & Garden. Nurturing Nature, Food, and Families. Come Visit Your Park Today! Read me here.
Monica McAllister, Nadaka. Click to enlarge

Nurturing Nature, Food, and Families

By Grace Graham,
Confluence AmeriCorps Member, Events & Outreach Specialist

The turning of winter over to spring is one of our favorite seasons at Nadaka Nature Park..

The forest is cool and quiet, patiently holding its breath for the first signs of new life, and the garden lies resting, silently preparing rich soils that will nurture new seeds in the coming months. This is a time of year that gives Friends of Nadaka (FON) the opportunity to reflect on the old year’s accomplishments, and welcome in a new season of beginnings, opportunities, and goals.

This 2019 New Year came with the bittersweet news that our incredible Nadaka Coordinator of the last 5 years, Monica McAllister, has decided to begin a new journey as the Community Connections Liaison with East Multnomah Soil & Water Conservation District. As Nadaka’s first and only Coordinator to-date, Monica leaves behind an amazing legacy of community engagement and education programs, lasting partnerships, and deep ties with our neighbors in West Gresham. We join our partners, neighbors, and park users in thanking Monica for years of dedication, leadership, and initiative in helping bring a community vision to life.

Friends of Nadaka is taking this shift in leadership as an opportunity to review the successes, challenges, and accomplishments of Nadaka’s first five years, and develop a strategic plan for moving forward. This review and planning process will last through the spring, and no permanent hires will be made to replace Monica until the review is complete. In the interim period, Jamie Stamberger of Stamberger Outreach Consulting has stepped in as a part-time Interim Coordinator for Friends of Nadaka, and has begun working closely with Nadaka’s current AmeriCorps Member, Grace Graham, to keep events and programs running through the next several months. Jamie recently served as the Interim Executive Director for the Columbia Slough Watershed Council (FON’s fiscal agent), so she is already familiar with Nadaka’s programs, systems, and partners. Please direct all Nadaka inquiries to info@friendsofnadaka.org, and expect a short delay in response as Grace and Jamie are frequently outdoors, meeting with partners, and navigating a new wave of projects and responsibilities.

Despite all of these organizational changes, Friends of Nadaka hosted a wildly successful MLK Day of Service event on January 21st, in partnership with Friends of Trees, the Nature Conservancy, and several other community organizations. Over 100 volunteers showed up to help us get 750 native plants in the ground in under three hours, an amazing feat that demonstrates the passion and energy our neighbors and partners have for giving back to their community and honoring the legacy of a great community servant and leader, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The cold snap and snow that followed forced us to cancel February 9th’s Community Planting Event, but we have decided to combine it with the coming Nadaka & Rockwood Neighborhood Planting Event this April 13th from 9am-12pm with Friends of Trees, to form one giant restoration party! If you are interested in volunteering with us, please sign up through Friends of Tree’s website at https://friendsoftrees.org/event-calendar/.

This year’s English-led Seed to Supper gardening course with the Oregon Food Bank kicked off on Thursday, February 21st, and will take place as a 5-class series every Thursday evening from 6:30-8:30pm through March 21st. This class is free to attend, and is a wonderful opportunity for beginner gardeners to learn how to get started growing their own food on a budget. Due to some unexpected conflicts, the Spanish-led Seed to Supper class has been tentatively postponed for later in the spring. Friends of Nadaka is working with the Oregon Food Bank to reschedule the Spanish Seed to Supper, and we will post details on our website and Facebook page as soon as possible. Please email info@friendsofnadaka.org with questions or requests to be notified when more details are available.

Friends of Nadaka is excited to announce that for the fourth year in a row, we are once again hosting the Welcome Back Vulture Day festival on Saturday, March 16th from 12-3pm, in partnership with the Audubon Society of Portland.

Welcome Back Vulture Day festival. Nadaka Nature Park, Gresham OR

This free, family-friendly event is filled with educational activities, live birds, food, games, and more! Attendees will have the opportunity to meet Ruby, Portland Audubon’s live Turkey Vulture, along with many of Audubon’s other education birds. Other activities will include comparing your wingspan to that of a California Condor, exploring the varied cultural significance of different birds, enjoying a scavenger hunt and bird walk in Nadaka Nature Park’s forest, and crafting your own unique bird mask! Learn more about this event at Audubon Society of Portland’s website: http://audubonportland.org/.

If you aren’t able to make it to our Seed to Supper series but are still interesting in buildling or freshening up your gardening skills, Outgrowing Hunger will be hosting a monthly hands-on Natural Gardening Class from 6-7:30pm in the Nadaka Community Garden, starting with April 16th, May 16th, June 20th, and continued once a month through the end of the growing season. Find more event dates at https://outgrowinghunger.org/calendar. We will also be hosting the Creating Edible Landscapes Workshop on May 18th from 9-11:30am with East Multnomah Soil & Water Conservation District. Registration is required for this event, and it will fill up fast, so don’t wait! Sign up here:

For more information about how to get involved in creating positive social and environmental change at Nadaka and the Wilkes East and Rockwood neighborhoods, sign up for Friends of Nadaka’s brand new e-newsletter! Newsletter subscribers will receive an email at the beginning of each month with event information, park news, and other community resources! Sign up here: http://eepurl.com/gb1A2r. You can also stay up-to-date by “liking” our page on Facebook @NadakaNaturePark, or following our new Instagram account, @nadakanaturepark_. If you have questions about any events, news, or programs at Nadaka Nature Park, please email info@friendsofnadaka.org. Thank you for your support, and we hope to see you at Nadaka soon!

Download the Wilkes East Neighborhood Fall 2018 Newsletter here!

Download the Wilkes East Neighborhood Fall 2018 Newsletter here! Wilkes East Neighborhood, Gresham Oregon USA. Diversity, Harmony, Community- Together 'WE' can make a difference.

2018 Fall Newsletter

"Diversity, Harmony, Community -
Together 'WE' can make a difference!”

Read it now!

Inside This Issue:


  • TriMet’s New 162nd Ave Bus Line
  • 2018 Reynolds Athletic Hall of Fame 11/16
  • Happenings at Nadaka Nature Park
  • Don’t ‘Leaf’ Debris In The Street
  • Holiday Cooking, Freeze the Grease
  • WENA Annual Election of Officers

Download your copy here. (includes active web links)

Newsletters are a regular publication of the Wilkes East Neighborhood Association. They are hand-delivered to over 1,500 residences and businesses in our area 3 times per year, timed to correspond with our regular meetings.

View archive   |   Policy & Ad Rates

Got a story or tip to share?
Wilkes East residents are encouraged to submit articles and tips for the newsletter. Articles should be limited to 300-350 words and may be subject to editing. Send by email to info@wilkeseastna.org, or by postal mail to: PO Box 536 • Fairview, OR 97024.

Volunteers Needed
Newsletters are hand-delivered to Wilkes East residents and businesses by neighborhood volunteers. There are always routes that need delivery people. Routes are small and many. We can always use your help.
To volunteer contact info@wilkeseastna.org.

Happening’s At Nadaka Nature Park & Garden Fall 2018

Happening’s At Nadaka Nature Park & Garden Fall 2018. A place that nurtures nature, food, and families

“A place that nurtures nature, food, and families”

Turned leaves are falling, the mornings are cool, and our plants are drinking up the first rains of the season as we settle into a beautiful autumn here at Nadaka Nature Park.

By Monica McAllister & Grace Graham

After a summer buzzing with community celebrations and gatherings, gardeners tending their bountiful harvests, and many educational workshops and volunteering events, we at Friends of Nadaka (FON) are looking forward to our winter programming and have already begun planning for next year’s events. Over the next several months, we will be offering indoor gardening workshops, forest restoration projects, and other community engagement events that we encourage all of our neighbors to attend. Before diving into information about our upcoming park activities, however, we would like to take a moment to reflect on the past season’s successes and thank our community members and partners who helped make them possible.

This year’s 8th Annual Nadaka Community Festival was a huge success! We had over 350 participants, 3 performances, and 34 partnering organizations & businesses. We were thrilled to have The Aztec Dancers, Ukrainian Folk Singer Natalia Hougan, and the NW Panmen Terry Baber and Brad Hirsch on the Steel Drums perform again at this year’s festival. The Audubon Society of Portland education birds and handlers, City of Gresham Police Cadets and Fire Department had a ton of fun connecting with the community and teaching them about the amazing work they do. Environmental education activities, crafts, and face painting were led by our Nadaka Interns, East County Nature Crew, Centennial Park High School, Gresham High School Key Club, and TALON Apprentices from Audubon Society of Portland while the Boys & Girls Club kept the fun going with games and activities at the picnic shelter! We extend a big thank you to our Festival Committee, volunteers, partners, and everyone else who made the festival a marvelous success! Our Festival sponsors and donors included: Owens Corning, City of Gresham, and St. Aidan’s Episcopal Church, as well as Albertsons, Starbucks, and Rockwood PUD who donated hot dogs & chips, coffee, and water respectively. We are extremely grateful for their support!

Friends of Nadaka would like to recognize the amazing work of our two Nadaka SummerWorks Interns and nine East County Nature Crew who helped lead and teach bilingual events for the Human Solutions apartment complexes and lead nature activities for the SKIP Program (City of Gresham’s Summer Kids In the Park Program, which includes free lunch and family-friendly activities) hosted at Nadaka with the Boys & Girls Club this summer. This year, Lilia from the SummerWorks Intern Program joined the ranks of the Nadaka Ambassadors, and Trey has returned as an Ambassador after his internship with the East County Nature Crew to continue working at the park year-round. We also want to recognize the amazing work of our year-round Ambassadors who have been working to engage the community, lead events, and keep the park safe and clean!

For the fall season, volunteers from the neighborhood showed their love for Nadaka at our SOLVE Beach and Riverside Cleanup in September and the No Ivy Day event in October. For this year’s No Ivy Day event, Friends of Nadaka was awarded a $2,000 SPACE Grant from East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District. This grant enabled us to purchase native plants and tools, and help support the Nadaka Park Coordinator and Nadaka Ambassadors in running the event. We were lucky to have “College Possible” high school youth and community members come together to prep the garden for winter. Another great annual event was our Fall Bird Walk with Audubon Society of Portland, where we cataloged the number and variety of species passing through the park during fall migration. In the garden, we finished up our free hands-on gardening workshop series with Outgrowing Hunger, and did an end-of-the-season cleanup. For those who are interested in gardening at the park, new garden registration for Nadaka begins February 1st. Contact Adam Kohl of Outgrowing Hunger (adam@outgrowinghunger.org) for more information and how to register for a garden plot.

New to our team at Nadaka Nature Park this fall is AmeriCorps Member Grace Graham, who recently started an 11-month term of service as the Events & Outreach Specialist for both Nadaka Nature Park & Garden and the Columbia Slough Watershed Council. Grace was born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska, and graduated from Willamette University in Salem, OR last May with a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Science and degree emphasis in Social Sciences. During her time in school, Grace managed her university’s Outdoor Program, assisted her academic advisor in climate research, and spent a semester studying biodiversity and the local social impacts of ecotourism in Bocas del Toro, Panama. After graduating, she worked for a diversified organic farm in Salem before moving to Portland to begin her service with AmeriCorps.

Grace is thrilled to have the opportunity to bring her passions for environmental conservation and social justice together through her position as the Events & Outreach Specialist. At Nadaka, she has begun facilitating and leading environmental stewardship programming with the SUN Program at HB Lee Middle School and students from Centennial Park Alternative High School. She is also looking forward to becoming more involved with communities and organizations in the Wilkes East neighborhood. At the Columbia Slough Watershed Council, she assists with outreach and communication efforts, and provides logistic and administrative support for community events. She is excited about becoming more engaged in diversity, equity, and inclusion work in the environmental field, and looks forward to building many more relationships with the communities she serves! If you have questions about Grace's role, the AmeriCorps program, or opportunities to collaborate, please contact her at grace.graham@columbiaslough.org.

Even though winter weather will be upon us shortly, Friends of Nadaka will still have many fun events coming up rain or shine! Join us for our Urban Weeds Workshop with EMSWCD on Thursday 11/8 from 6-8:30 PM in the community hall at St. Aidan’s Episcopal Church. MLK Day of Service will be at the park on Monday, January 21st, and the Community Planting Event will follow on February 9th. Starting in March, we will be offering our Annual Free Indoor Gardening Workshop Series with Oregon Food Bank in English, Spanish, and Russian. Another event to keep an eye out for is our Spring Bird and Nature Walk Day with Audubon Society of Portland.

These are just a few of the activities we have in store for the community at Nadaka. For more information and opportunities to get involved and help create a positive social and environmental change in the Wilkes East and Rockwood community, visit www.friendsofnadaka.org, “Friends of Nadaka” group and Nadaka Nature Park page on Facebook, or contact Monica at monica@friendsofnadaka.org or 503-956-8558.

We look forward to seeing everyone at the park!

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