Nadaka Nature Park

Nadaka Park Winter Cleanup #1 Sunday Dec 7, 2008

12/07/2008 - 9:00am
12/07/2008 - 3:00pm
Etc/GMT-8
Nadaka Park Winter Cleanup #1 Sunday Dec 7, 2008

Let's Get Dirty!

Bring your clippers and gloves to Nadaka Park this Sunday Dec 7th!

When: Sunday Dec 7, 2008 9:00AM - 3:00PM
Where: Nadaka Park
NE 176th Ave and NE Pacific St
(Click here for a map)
Gresham, OR

Nadaka Winter Cleanup #1

On Sunday, December 7th from 9:00AM to 3:00PM the Wilkes East Neighborhood Association will be holding the first of three Winter cleanup's at Nadaka Park. Come on by and give us a hand! Dress warmly. Bring your gloves and clippers.

If you haven't stopped by Nadaka Park lately you owe it to yourself to see the many improvements made over the past several months!

Download the Wilkes East Neighborhood Summer 2020 Newsletter here!

Download the Wilkes East Neighborhood Summer 2020 Newsletter here! Wilkes East Neighborhood, Gresham Oregon USA. Diversity, Harmony, Community- Together 'WE' can make a difference.

2020 Summer Newsletter

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


alt=
Read it now!

Summer 2020 Newsletter

Inside This Issue:

  • An Inclusive Neighborhood
  • Columbia View Park Concept
  • Nature-Deficit Disorder
  • Coping During the Pandemic
  • Importance of Our Parks
  • Albertina Kerr Housing Update

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 300-500 words and may be subject to editing Include a related photo. Send by email to chair@wilkeseastna.org, or by postal mail to: 17104 NE Oregon St • Portland OR 97230.

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 chair@wilkeseastna.org.

Importance of Our Parks & Some Suggestions

Lee Dayfield, Neighbor & Parks Activist

It’s a fact that people who live closer to parks report better mental health even if they don’t actually exercise there. This is particularly true for parks with a lot of trees, grass and other natural features, as studies show that exposure to nature can reduce stress and promote relaxation. The Wilkes East neighborhood is fortunate to have two such wonderful parks, Nadaka and Columbia View.

For any citizens of Gresham who have followed City Council meetings, Budget Committee meetings and many other committees, you should know we are in trouble. The City of Gresham was in a budget crisis before COVID19 and it is even worse now. I was at Nadaka recently doing a walk around with a City official who indicated the parks would be in even worse shape next year and staff may have to be cut to three people.

So if you care at all about our parks I would strongly suggest you start speaking up by letting the Mayor and City Council know. You can do this by going to the City’s website and emailing your elected officials. Email addresses for Mayor and Council are on the City’s website. Or send written testimony or ask to give oral testimony at the next City Council meeting. Email Susanjoy.Wright@GreshamOregon.gov and tell her you want to be notified of upcoming Council meetings so you can participate via Zoom by phone or computer. Her phone number is 503-618-2697.

Nadaka Update   We are very fortunate that Play Grow Learn youth have been working at Nadaka on Thursday mornings for about five weeks primarily removing invasives. If you see them at the park please say Thank You! Beginning in August I think that group will be joined by Rosemary Anderson Summer Works youth. If that happens the plan is to work at Nadaka two or three days a week. They are wearing masks and maintaining safe distances.

If you are someone who wants to get out and make a difference at Nadaka you are always welcome to remove invasives. You don’t need an appointment and you can spend as much time as you want. The forest is full of ivy which most people know what it looks like. If you are familiar with weeds you can work on the planted beds near the entry at NE Glisan. The mulched areas north of the play area as well as the rocks surrounding the sand pit at the south end of the play area are also full of weeds. You can’t miss the large piles of invasives at the north end of the play area on the east side of the road. All debris go there. There is also plenty of ivy in Columbia View Park that should be removed. It can be piled next to the trash can on NE 169th.

If you are on Nextdoor there is a brand new group called Our Parks, Our Future Discussion Group. It will be a group of Gresham citizens who can share ideas, learn about parks districts and get engaged with City Hall regarding parks.

Cultivating solutions for Gresham's parks

Youth volunteers tend Nadaka Nature Park as city parks funding woes take root

Cultivating solutions for Gresham's parks. Youth volunteers tend Nadaka Nature Park as city parks funding woes take root. Info here!
PMG PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER KEIZUR - Germaine Flentroy Jr. lugs a bucket of water across Nadaka Nature Park while helping maintain the greenspace.

Source: Gresham Outlook, Jun 22, 2020
By Christopher Keizur

A group of youth made a troubling discovery one afternoon while volunteering at Nadaka Nature Park.

Vandals had ripped out a young tree planted to provide shade in the Nadaka meadow for a popular bench among those seeking a quiet way to spend the afternoon. The tree, which had been planted earlier this spring, had been carelessly tossed to the side.

So the youth got to work. They re-dug a hole and got the tree back upright. Then they lugged water across the park to give the tree the best chance for survival. The work in Nadaka is just one way youth counselors with nonprofit Play Grow Learn are giving back to their community.

"I'm so grateful you all are helping maintain this park, because the city isn't able to," said Lee Dayfield, the creative force behind Nadaka.

Their support comes at a crucial time for one of the most unique parks in Gresham. Funding officially dried up at Nadaka, 17615 N.E. Glisan St., on June 1 — marking a major shift in what was once touted as the model for future parks in the city.

What made it special was the ongoing bevy of activities happening within the space.

There were cleanups, partnerships with schools, bird walks and workshops on native plants and pollinators. Nadaka hosted an annual free community festival that celebrated Rockwood's diversity, and employed a group of "Park Ambassadors," who served as the face of Nadaka — educating visitors and ensuring the park stayed safe and clean.

Cultivating solutions for Gresham's parks. Youth volunteers tend Nadaka Nature Park as city parks funding woes take root. Info here!

PMG PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER KEIZUR - Nick Johnson, 20, lives only a few blocks away from Nadaka Nature Park.

All of it was made possible by chasing grants.

"We knew raising funds this way was not sustainable," Dayfield said. "We hoped the city of Gresham would fill in the gaps, but that didn't happen."

City staff, who are overstretched among the 56 parks with more than 300 acres of space, can only mow the grass and empty the trash cans at Nadaka. Funding is also a major issue in Gresham, leading many voices to call for innovative new ways to raise money for parks.

A new coalition has been meeting virtually and is outlining a formal plan. So far, more than a dozen organizations have joined, including Play Grow Learn. It's a diverse mix of people that are all united in seeking a better way to reinvest in the parks system.

Several short and long-term funding ideas have been earmarked, though nothing is at the stage to make a formal pitch to the city. So in the meantime, it will be groups like the Play Grow Learn youth who do the majority of the work.

"We are doing the stuff that otherwise isn't going to get done," said Anthony Bradley, executive director of Play Grow Learn. "We are showing what can be done at our parks on a small budget."

Problems at Nadaka

Cultivating solutions for Gresham's parks. Youth volunteers tend Nadaka Nature Park as city parks funding woes take root. Info here!
PMG PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER KEIZUR - Play Grow Learn youth volunteers replant a tree in Nadaka Nature Park that had been ripped out by vandals.

Nineteen-year-old Rico Garland had never been to Nadaka before he found himself removing invasive ivy from the wooded-trail system as part of Play Grow Learn's Days at Nadaka.

But soon the East Portland teen fell in love with the park.

"It's great to help out the community," Garland said. "This place is so beautiful."

Nadaka is a 10-acre property acquired from the Camp Fire Columbia organization in 1995. It was purchased thanks to Gresham voters passing an open-spaces bond measure in 1990.

In spring 2015, Nadaka celebrated an opening to the public, featuring wooden play structures, a community garden, restroom, picnic shelter, walking loop and public art.

"All of this is because of the hard work of community members," Dayfield said. "We all volunteered because we love this place."

Dayfield poured a lot of herself into supporting Nadaka. She spearheaded the charge to transform her dream park into a reality, overcoming red tape and bureaucracy to found Friends of Nadaka to secure grants and other funding.

For many years the Columbia Slough Watershed Council, a Portland-based organization, had supported the Gresham park. But with changes to the board and executive director, the watershed council decided to focus on other projects.

That caused the funding to run out at the beginning of this month, leaving a beautiful green space with nothing to do. There is some hope for the park — nonprofit Outgrowing Hunger has stepped in as the new fiscal agent for Friends of Nadaka, and was able to capture a $25,000 grant from the East Multnomah Soil & Water Conservation District. That grant was secured thanks to a funding match from the city.

But still Dayfield, and other members of the parks coalition, are seeking more permanent answers for the entire community.

The problems began two decades ago with a pair of ballot measures passed in Gresham that hamstrung the city's ability to fund parks. The votes set a permanent property tax that was the second lowest in the state.

The fallout was immediate

In 1990, Gresham's property taxes paid for 100% of police and fire services. Now, those taxes are only able to foot 40% of those expenses. As a result the city had to get creative in filling in the gaps. With the priority being safety, police and fire get the lion's share, leaving parks to wither.

Cultivating solutions for Gresham's parks. Youth volunteers tend Nadaka Nature Park as city parks funding woes take root. Info here!
PMG PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER KEIZUR - Germain Flentroy Jr. and Jim Labbe fill a device with water that will give a replanted tree the best chance at survival.

Ideas have been bandied about by the parks coalition.

One long-term answer would be to look into forming a parks district, which has the power to construct, reconstruct, alter, enlarge, operate and maintain lakes, parks, recreation grounds and buildings; acquire necessary lands; and to call necessary elections after being formed. It isn't easy to implement a parks district, necessitating city leadership lessening its control over greenspaces, a feasibility study and public vote.

Other solutions have been a new parks utility fee; increasing the existing Police-Fire-Parks fee that was enacted in 2012; or vying for an Operations Levy/Bond Measure, that would also collect from property taxes.

Perhaps the most immediate proposal is participatory budgeting, which involves the community in choosing how to spend funds.

The city could start small, setting aside $100,000 in the first year. Different groups would pitch proposals on how to spend that pot, eventually leading to a community vote on what to fund. The city could set up guidelines that would shape what sort of proposals could be considered, but otherwise it places the onus in the hands of the community to grow and develop parks.

If participatory budgeting proved to be successful, it could be expanded.

"We could scale up and better fund all of our parks," said Jim Labbe, a former urban conservationist with the Audubon Society of Portland.

Lending a hand

Cultivating solutions for Gresham's parks. Youth volunteers tend Nadaka Nature Park as city parks funding woes take root. Info here!
PMG PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER KEIZUR - A group of volunteers spent an afternoon replanting a tree that had been ripped out of the ground.

Germaine Flentroy loves to visit Nadaka Nature Park with his youngest children, ages 4, 6 and 9.

They fondly refer to it as "the water park" because one of their favorite activities is playing with a water spigot by the climbing structure. When the weather is nice the Flentroys will enjoy a picnic in the grass, scratching that camping itch put on hold due to restrictions from the COVID-19 pandemic.

So for Flentroy, program coordinator with Play Grow Learn, setting up a program to maintain the greenspace was a no-brainer.

"We want to be involved in our parks beyond having conversations," he said. "We have to do our part to represent and teach kids of color."

Normally this time of the year, the youth involved with Play Grow Learn would be helming camps for homeless and foster children as counselors. With the pandemic, the nonprofit organization based in Rockwood pivoted to food boxes for underserved families and the park cleanups. It is the youth who would have been camp counselors that have dived into their new roles.

Every week, 8-10 volunteers spend a couple of hours weeding, picking up trash, and undoing damage done by vandals. They also water plants in need of attention. The youth are paid by Play Grow Learn for their time in the park, and it is being used as an opportunity to teach them and hopefully foster a love for horticulture.

Eventually, when COVID-19 restrictions loosen, Play Grow Learn will have a field trip day where it brings the younger campers to Nadaka for an afternoon of fun.

And soon another group of teens will begin helping at Nadaka. Rosemary Anderson High School's Summer Works Group will be doing forest restoration at the park.

"These types of programs send a message to the city that people care about our parks," Labbe said.

Until Gresham is able to figure out funding, it will be up to volunteers to continue caring for their parks.

"Nature is for all," Flentroy said. "It's a safe place where you can get healed."

This story first appeared in The Outlook. Support community newspapers. Subscribe at http://savinglocalnews.com

Now, more than ever, wisely enjoy and invest in Gresham's parks

Metro-approved parks funding should not be used as an excuse by the city of Gresham to reduce parks funding. Info here!
Lee Dayfield

Lee Dayfield says Metro-approved parks funding should not be used as an excuse by the city of Gresham to reduce parks funding.

Meanwhile, stay-at-home orders ask that you only venture out for essential needs. Notably, access to public parks for exercise and fresh air while still practicing social distancing is among those allowed needs, and for good reasons.

Source: Pamplin Media Group
Thursday, April 16, 2020

If you have been out and about in our local parks and trails this past week you might have noticed how many of your neighbors are doing the same. It is not just the improving weather.

The pandemic has put a renewed premium on proximity to parks and nature. For those of us fortunate enough to have high quality public greenspace nearby, the value is especially self-evident. But long before this pandemic, research has demonstrated what people know intuitively: access to parks and nature is no simple frill or amenity, but an essential determinant of individual and community health.

Unfortunately, Gresham's City budget has made parks a low priority in recent years. Park investments made by Gresham voters a generation ago have not kept pace. To be sure, our community has many volunteers and private donors who make some parks shine.

Friends of Nadaka and the Gresham Japanese Garden are effectively harnessing volunteers and private donations; Ricki Ruiz continues to secure grants to develop futsal courts; and North Gresham Neighborhood Association is poised to build a playground at Kirk Park funded primarily through private donations.

However significant, these isolated projects belie systemic divestment. In recent years, fewer and fewer general fund dollars have gone to parks and recreation. Gresham's almost non-existent recreation programming leaves vital services to underfunded nonprofit organization like Gresham-based Play Grow Learn, which mentors at-risk adolescents using nature-play, urban gardening and athletics in our parks. Relying on nonprofits, grants, private donations, and the generosity of volunteers is not a sustainable path to a vibrant thriving parks and recreation system that bolsters our health and prosperity.

We can do a lot better.
Today, as the fourth largest city in Oregon, Gresham has the lowest per-capita investment in local parks and recreation in the Metro region.

In a hopeful turn, the majority of Gresham voters passed Metro's regional parks and nature funding measure in November 2019. The measure will infuse some additional capital funds into Gresham's local parks system. Public officials should not use that as an excuse to backfill further cuts to parks. Now is the time to launch a parks feasibility study of new local investment options and to give the community greater voice and vote in decisions with innovative tools like participatory budgeting.

As federal stimulus funds become available, Gresham would be wise to creatively invest in the city's backlog in park stewardship and deficient parks programming while putting people to work. The Nadaka Ambassador Program, which employs Rockwood residents to steward the park and garden, is a great model.

In these difficult and uneasy times, we must not lose sight of the value of stewarding our parks and nature which, now more than ever, are helping keep us healthy and connected.

Lee Dayfield is a parks advocate. In 2009, Friends of Nadaka, with Dayfield at the helm, organized the purchase and development of Nadaka Nature Park.

Download the Wilkes East Neighborhood Spring 2020 Newsletter here!

Download the Wilkes East Neighborhood Spring 2020 Newsletter here! Wilkes East Neighborhood, Gresham Oregon USA. Diversity, Harmony, Community- Together 'WE' can make a difference.

2020 Spring Newsletter

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


alt=
Read it now!

Spring 2020 Newsletter

Inside This Issue:

  • Pining for a Parks District
  • Albertina Kerr Housing Update
  • Wilkes East Land-Use Update
  • Glisan Street Lane Reduction

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 300-500 words and may be subject to editing Include a related photo. Send by email to chair@wilkeseastna.org, or by postal mail to: 17104 NE Oregon St • Portland OR 97230.

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 chair@wilkeseastna.org.

Nadaka Nature Park future uncertain; community members call for dedicated recreation funding

Nadaka Nature Park won't have much of a reason to celebrate the new year.

Nadaka Nature Park future uncertain; community members call for dedicated recreation funding. Lee Dayfield said a parks district funding mechanism is the best option for maintaining Nadaka Nature Park, which lost its fiscal agent and programming at the end of 2019. Info here!
PMG PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER KEIZUR - Lee Dayfield said a parks district funding mechanism is the best option for maintaining Nadaka Nature Park, which lost its fiscal agent and programming at the end of 2019. Click to enlarge

By Christopher Keizur
Source: Gresham Outlook (Oct 18, 2019)

The beautiful green space in the heart of the Wilkes East Neighborhood will be empty after losing its fiscal agent — transforming what was once thought of as the model for future parks in Gresham into just another open area. Despite the work that has been poured into the park, residents will have less of a reason to visit than ever before.

"It almost makes me cry to walk through here and know all those kids won't be coming here to be educated," said Lee Dayfield. "This park was their backyard, playground and forest."

There is no better person to talk to about Nadaka Nature Park than Dayfield. She spearheaded the charge to transform her dream park into a reality. She overcame red tape and bureaucracy, founding Friends of Nadaka to help secure grants and other funding.

The Columbia Slough Watershed Council, a Portland-based organization, had supported the Gresham park since its inception. But with some changes to the board and executive director, the group has decided to focus on other projects.

The backing for Nadaka will end when the money runs dry, which is estimated to happen in January 2020. That means no more activities — from community cleanups to educational gatherings for local schoolchildren — that made the park so special.

"They were so strong and supportive of us for seven years," Dayfield said. "People will notice a big difference."

Click "Read more" (below) to continue reading this article.

Download the Wilkes East Neighborhood Fall 2019 Newsletter here!

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

2019 Fall Newsletter

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


alt=
Read it now!

Fall 2019 Newsletter

Inside This Issue:

  • Albertina Kerr Workforce Housing
  • WENA Board Elections Nov 11th
  • Extreme Weather In Our Region
  • Nadaka Happenings & Changes
  • Update: A Playground For Kirk Park

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 300-500 words and may be subject to editing Include a related photo. Send by email to chair@wilkeseastna.org, or by postal mail to: 17104 NE Oregon St • Portland OR 97230.

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 chair@wilkeseastna.org.

Download the Wilkes East Neighborhood Summer 2019 Newsletter here!

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

2019 Summer Newsletter

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


alt=
Read it now!

Summer 2019 Newsletter

Inside This Issue:

  • Columbia View Park improvements
  • National Night Out, Tuesday Aug 6th
  • Back to School, Movies in the Park
  • Nadaka Happenings & Changes
  • WENA Meeting Mon, Aug 12, 6:30PM

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 300-500 words and may be subject to editing Include a related photo. Send by email to chair@wilkeseastna.org, or by postal mail to: 17104 NE Oregon St • Portland OR 97230.

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 chair@wilkeseastna.org.

Volunteer! Nadaka Nature Park Community Work Party! Sat Jun 15, 2019 9AM-12PM

06/15/2019 - 9:00am
06/15/2019 - 12:00pm
Etc/GMT-8

Volunteer! Nadaka Nature Park Community Work Party! Sat Jun 15, 2019 9AM-12PM, 176th & NE Glisan, Gresham OR. Tools, gloves, coffee and snacks provided. Info here!

Now that spring has sprung, the invasive plants in Nadaka’s forest are growing rapidly, making it difficult for our native plants to grow and obstructing the line of sight that discourages illicit activity from happening in the forest.

Get Your Green On!

When: Sat Jun 15, 2019 9AM-12PM
Where: Nadaka Nature Park & Garden
17615 NE Glisan
Get Map!

Friends of Nadaka would love your help tackling these pesky invasives and restoring a safe and healthy park at our Nadaka Community Work Party on Saturday, June 15th from 9am-12pm! Please consider joining us to help make this beloved park a more beautiful and safe place for community members to enjoy.

Tools, gloves, coffee, and snacks will be provided!

Register online HERE!

More Info
Contact Grace Graham, Interim Nadaka Park Coordinator, Friends of Nadaka Nature Park. Office: 503-956-8558. Mobile: 907-240-3620. General Hours: Tues-Fri, 9AM-5PM

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