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

Rockwood might get their courthouse afterall. County votes for Rockwood courthouse (again).

County votes for Rockwood, East County Justice Center (again).  Finding funding for the multi-million dollar project still an issue. Read here!

County commissioners approve scaled-down facility,

Finding funding for the multi-million dollar project still an issue

Source: The Gresham Outlook, Thursday Oct 1, 2009
By Mara Stine

Rockwood might get their courthouse afterall

By a unanimous vote, Multnomah County commissioners approved moving forward with a plan for a new courthouse in Gresham’s Rockwood area Thursday, Oct. 1.

If built – and it is still an if as the county has yet to approve funding for the $17 million to $21 million project – the courthouse will replace Gresham’s old, single courtroom facility on Powell Boulevard. Get Map!

Because so many citizens signed up to testify – all in favor of the project – the 90-minute hearing ran over and two of the five commissioners had to leave for scheduled engagements before voting. But commissioners Jeff Cogen and Deborah Kafoury voiced support for the resolution before leaving.

Volunteer opportunities at Nadaka Nature Park. Join the effort to restore this urban habitat.

Friends of Nadaka invite you to join us in restoring our urban habitat at Nadaka Nature Park.  Info here!
Nadaka Nature Park.
Click to enlarge

Volunteer opportunities at
Nadaka Nature Park

Get your Green on!

Join us in restoring this
beautiful urban habitat.

Wilkes East Neighborhood has received a Metro Nature in Neighborhood grant for improvements in Nadaka Nature Park which requires matching volunteer hours so your support is needed and greatly appreciated. See you at the park!


  • When was the last time you visited Nadaka Nature Park?
  • Do you know Nadaka is located in the Wilkes East neighborhood?
  • Did you know there is a Friends of Nadaka group working to improve Nadaka?
  • Do you want to volunteer time - even 1 or 2 hours per month for Nadaka?


The entrance to Nadaka Nature Park is located at NE 175th Ave & NE Pacific St. Parking is curbside. Get Map!

Volunteer opportunities for Nadaka Nature Park include:

  • Organizing monthly cleanups
  • Removal of invasive plants
  • Planting native plants & trees
  • Removing graffiti
  • Writing a history of Nadaka Nature Park
  • Reaching out to organizations, businesses, churches, schools, etc. to become partners for improvements in Nadaka
  • Fulfilling Metro's Nature in Neighborhood grant which includes:
    • A new bench
    • Dog waste stations
    • Trash can
    • Purchase of native plants & trees, etc.
    • Expansion of Nadaka Nature Park onto the recently acquired Nelson property for a community garden, orchard, nature based play area, etc.
  • Art project on North fence
  • Handling registration at cleanups
  • Furnishing baked goods or drinks for volunteers
  • Donating funds for projects at Nadaka.

Join the effort!

Volunteers are critical for accomplishing these tasks. Volunteer time is also required for fulfilling grants. As you can see there are many tasks to choose from -- so volunteer for one, two, or more, and join our effort! Together we can make a difference!

Everything Columbia View Park. Neighbors pitch-in to help City care for the park.

Everything Columbia View Park. Neighbors pitch-in to help City care for the park. Info here!
Columbia View Park.
Click to enlarge

Gresham parks languish
as funds dry up.

Neighbors pitch-in to care for Columbia View Park.

Gresham $32 million behind in park maintenance

Because of lack of funds the City's Parks Department has only been able to mow the perimeter of Columbia View Park (See 'Related Content' below. Editor). Columbia View Park is located at NE 169th & NE Pacific Dr. Get Map!

Neighbors pitch-in

Neighbors who frequent the park have been picking up litter, mowing areas the City isn't, mulching around new trees, hauling debris to disposal stations and watering young trees that have been planted in the last couple of years. A big THANK YOU to these many volunteers.

How you can help

Some ivy is beginning to appear under the tree canopy areas and this needs to be removed before it spreads to the trees. This is something anyone can do anytime on their own. It is a good project to take your children to the park, teach them to identify ivy and remove it. This activity can be as simple as taking one grocery bag, filling it with ivy, taking it home and disposing of it.

Update: Community Paints Rockwood Bright! Meet the new Plaza Del Sol!

Rockwood Paints It Bright!  Meet the new Plaza Del Sol! Gresham, Oregon.  Click for info!
Volunteers paint the plaza
Click to enlarge

Splashes of Color
mark a new beginning!

Plaza del Sol comes to the Rockwood Cultural Marketplace

Rockwood, Sep 19, 2009
When Rockwood coverage happens its commonly due to negative events. So, we felt it was very important to share an amazing community building event that took place today in Rockwood.

Welcome Rockwood's Plaza Del Sol painting!

Plaza del Sol is one of several new interim uses being sited by the Gresham Redevelopment Commission on the Cultural Marketplace (former Fred Meyer store) property in Rockwood at SE 187th & SE Stark St. Get Map!

The plaza is the first piece of a recently approved interim use plan for the Rockwood Cultural Marketplace to transform the site with new sidewalks, paths, benches, a wildflower garden, play area, basketball courts, a food-cart area, and many other family friendly activities.

Using supplies donated by Parr Lumber and Miller Paint, volunteers worked throughout the day to paint the huge 13,000-square-foot “Plaza del Sol,” a colorful scale model of the solar system on the Southeast corner of the site.

Reynolds to rehire some laid-off teachers with extra funds from Legislature

Reynolds to rehire laid-off teachers with extra funds from Legislature

Finally some good news.
District receives additional $6.2 million in funding

Board votes $2 million to rehire teachers, $2 million for obligations. Places $2.2 million in contingency fund.

Reynolds board votes to spend added millions now, rehire teachers

by Betsy Hammond
The Oregonian, Thursday Aug 13, 2009

A unanimous Reynolds school board voted (tonight) to spend $2 milllion to immediately hire back laid-off teachers in order to reduce class sizes before school starts Sept. 8.

A standing-room-only crowd of teachers and parents applauded loudly.

Many had testified that students would suffer from a lack of attention and individualized instruction if the district stuck to its earlier plans to eliminate one of every four teaching positions and raise class sizes to 35 or larger at most grade levels.

Volunteers remove invasives, install new signs at July 2009 Nadaka Nature Park cleanup event

Volunteers remove invasives, install new signs at 2009 Nadaka Nature Park cleanup event sponsored by Friends of Nadaka and the Wilkes East Neighborhood Association, Gresham Oregon
Nadaka Nature Park

Great things are happening!

"Nadaka Nature Park" sign
and a new nature-based play area enhance the park

Volunteers remove invasives, create new play area

Approximately 25 hearty volunteers showed-up to the July 11th cleanup to help restore Nadaka Nature Park's urban habitat. Volunteers removed and disposed of wood waste, including invasive ivy, blackberries and holly, filling a 40 cubic yard drop box provided by the Wilkes East Neighborhood Association to capacity. Volunteers pitched-in to create a small nature based play area at the south edge of the park beside the meadow (photos below).

Nadaka gets a "sign"

Volunteers also installed a beautiful new "Nadaka Nature Park" sign at the entrance to park, and added "Friends of Nadaka" and "Wilkes East Neighborhood Association" to the list of groups contributing to park improvements on the Park Supporter's sign post (photos below). The signs, purchased by WENA through a generous grant from the City of Gresham, are a great addition to our wonderful park.

Cypress Park neighbors join-in National Night Out 2009

Cypress Park joins Nation Night Out 2009

Cypress Park neighbors send a message to criminals!

Residents join-in the 26th National Night Out

Neighbors gather against crime

The Wasco St. Neighborhood Watch (NE Wasco St. from 172nd to 179th) celebrated their first National Night Out "block party" Friday, Aug. 7, 2009 from 6PM-9PM. Two watch members took the initiative to prepare a flier invitation and others members distributed it.

Great participation

The block party attracted 40 members of the neighborhood, some who had never met. Conversation was fun and lively, one student performed magic.

The neighborhood potluck consisted of wonderful dishes from all families including Russian and Philippine cuisine. Everyone commented on what a great time it was.

An annual event

Wasco St. Neighborhood Watch plans to host an annual National Night Out block party each year.

Solar array requires tree removal along Columbia Slough. Wilkes Community Group to hold emergency meeting: Jul 17, 2009 6:30PM

07/17/2009 - 6:30pm
Trees to be removed along Columbia Slough at NE 164th to make way for new solar array.  Wilkes Community Group to hold emergency general meeting Thursday July 16th, 2009 6:30PM. Public invited

Wilkes Community Group Emergency Meeting. Public Invited

Trees to be removed along Columbia Slough at NE 164th to make way for new solar array

When: Thursday, July 16th, 2009 6:30PM
Where: East Portland Neighborhood Office
1017 NE 117th Avenue
Get Map!

Purpose of meeting

As part of the City of Portland’s commitment to sustainability and the development of alternative energy sources, the Portland Water Bureau is currently working with a Solar Developer to install a 270 kW Solar Array in a field on Water Bureau property at the Groundwater Pump Station at 16400 NE Airport Way. This $3.5 million solar project will generate approximately 300,000 kWh of electricity; enough to offset part of the electricity consumed by the pump station and the equivalent to approximately 50 Oregon homes.

Unfortunately the orientation of the Solar Array requires removal of 32 red alder, Douglas fir and western red cedar trees along the south property line in order to prevent shading of the panels. All of the trees are between 15 feet and 30 feet tall.

The removed trees will be replaced by a 36 native cascara, western flowering dogwood and black hawthorne trees, which will not grow tall enough to shade the solar array.


To prepare testimony for environmental land use review of Portland Water Bureau's Application (LU 09-128253EN) to remove trees from and environmental zone along the Columbia Slough in Wilkes at 16400 NE Airport Way. Click here to review the City of Portland's complete proposal.

Because the City of Portland must publish their decision within 28 days, they must to receive written comments by 5PM on July 17, 2009.


Please contact Alice Blatt phone 503-253-6247 email aliceb@pacifier.com.

Capri Terrace holds June 2009 Neighborhood Watch meeting

Officer John Pemberton, East Metro Gang Enforcement Team (EMGET) speaks to the Capri Neighborhood Watch group June 14th
Officer Pemberton discusses local gang activity. Click to enlarge

East Metro Gang Enforcement Team slideshow brings local gang activity home to Capri Terrace residents

Neighbors hear gang presentation

Officer John Pemberton, East Metro Gang Enforcement Team (EMGET) spoke to the Capri Neighborhood Watch group in mid-June. 17 families along with 8 children heard about graffiti & gangs in the surrounding areas.
During the slideshow presentation neighbors learned in East Multnomah County alone there are over 129 active documented criminal street gangs, over 700 active documented gang members, and only 7 cops dedicated to combating gangs and gang violence. Officer Pemberton reminded everyone to photograph any graffiti they found before removing it and to mark the location & date the tagging was found before sending the photo to the Police. Neighbors were urged to report gang activity to 503-666-1844.

Bob & Mary Lundbom & their grandson hosted the event with hot dogs, multitudes of toppings along with lots of potluck sides and goodies.

Member presentations

Jerry Dunn gave an update on neighbor Gail Anderson. She is still in the hospital in Charlotte North Carolina. Everyone had signed a card for her the previous week & had been received by her with much appreciation.

Discussion regarding Code Enforcement & debris on a couple of neighborhood sites was discussed. A reminder about the up coming neighborhood Clean-Up and the Capri Terrace Neighborhood Garage Sale were mentioned.

Glenn Mathew, Watch Coordinator, gave an update of the happenings in our Watch area, which were relatively ZERO. He had hand outs, but also reminded members to check out the website CrimeReports.com, to follow crimes in the Gresham area.

UPDATE: Rockwood 10 years later: millions wasted, the former Fred Meyer site remains a vacant lot

The former Rockwood Fred Meyer store (since demolished) property continues to languish after years of failed urban development and millions wasted. Once a thriving middle-class community, the area has fallen into ruin - riddled with crime and poverty
Rockwood Fred Meyer (demolished),
185th & SE Stark. Click to enlarge.

Once the 'heart' of a thriving middle-class community, Rockwood continues to remain on life-support

UPDATE: Jan 2013

Ask anyone in East County to describe Rockwood and you're likely to hear them say "slum", "trouble", or simply "stay away".

From everything to nothing
Not long ago -- or so it seems, Rockwood was a vibrant community, serving the regional needs of folks living in unincorporated East Multnomah County between the cities of Portland and Gresham. Whatever your need, Rockwood had it: grocerers, retailers, furniture, fast-food & restaurants, services, medical and more. Rockwood was buzzing with activity.

Those days are gone along with businesses like Fred Meyer, GI Joes, Girrods, Star Furniture, Rockwood Lanes, Fred's Travelrama, the laundromat, the urgent-care, Burger King, KFC, Dairy Queen, Winchell's, Skippers, and countless others.

Ignored for years by local government, Rockwood has been in decline for decades. Crime-infested, and poverty-sticken. Today Rockwood is fighting for its very survival.

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