Fill the Hill work parties: Where do I begin?


Friday was small.

It was just John and me and Brett. I spent a long while speaking with Melissa, a new journalist for the Oregonian who is also new to Oregon. Welcome! While we talked, coffee and biscuits materialized from our neighborhood businesses. I would like to take a moment to shout out for the coffee from Speedboat Coffee, a regular dog-walk destination from my house (and they make a pretty rockin’ breakfast sandwich). Sarah from the Egg Carton at Carts on Foster also brought us some coffee and a simple treat that was out of this world: homemade biscuits with homemade jam. Somehow, 3 of us ate 10 biscuits, the likes of which can be found beneath gravy at the Egg Carton. Even though we had enough coffee for 20 people (and we feel bad to have wasted such deliciousness), the support of our neighborhood businesses meant the world to us. So what did we get done? For my part, I moved mud in 5 gallon buckets. I left the site broken and not looking forward to Saturday. Brett and John, however, moved wheelbarrow after wheelbarrow of mud up the hillside and got the landscape defined. Neighbors Donnie and Val stopped by with some bamboo screens. Thanks so much! It was a pretty solid day’s work and I was surprised what three people got done.



Saturday was a different kind of day. Thanks again to the Egg Carton for supplying us with some very refreshing iced tea and to our Foster Rd Dutch Bros. for caffeinating us! I started the day about 50th in line at the East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District’s (EMSWCD) Plant sale! I had pre-ordered the natives that we would be planting and was there to pick up. This was a busy place and I should say that the EMSWCD volunteers and staff were doing an awesome job moving the throngs of people through. Great job to all of those volunteers. 40 plants was merely a handful as bare root plants, but their full grown size will turn that hill into a jungle! When I arrived back on the lot there were several eager beings ready to plant. John was holding down the fort with Alex and Brett. Donnie and Val were back and leading a strong lasagna layering effort. Thanks especially to Donnie and Val for getting more cardboard and being so ready to lead when all of those people started pouring onto the lot… Daniel and Oliver laid out the plants and heeled them in, Allison took pictures (these pics are mostly hers). This already sounds like a good day, right? Then this happened:


Thanks to Grace Youth Ministries! Many neighbors will know them from the church on 62nd Ave near Foster Rd. More specifically, thank you to Liza, Matthew, Paul, Max, Karinna, Julie, Dina, Eugene, Dima, Dennis, Olga and Julian. Part of the joy of doing a project like this is meeting new neighbors. That feeling is compounded when we find that our neighbors are delightful, hard-working and community minded teens! It was a pleasure to meet you all and thank you so much for all of your hard work. You are the reason we met our goal of filling the hill and planting 40 native plants. We hope you’ll visit often and enjoy this garden with us.

So, to wrap this up. That was a big goal and it feels good to have met it. We will continue our weekend work parties: Saturdays 12-2 and Sundays 2-4 through March. After the fundraiser on April 12th (12-4 pm, plant sale, plot raffle and community mural painting party) we will post new work times for Spring and, hopefully, by the end of May we can announce any funds we’ve been awarded and our Spring and Summer plans. Thanks to everyone who is following along, even if you haven’t made it out to a work session, a yell from your car or beeping your horn or even just your good thoughts help.

A few more pics from Friday and Saturday:




Making plant labels…a very important job!


Making Lasagna (a la Val and Donnie)



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1 Response to Fill the Hill work parties: Where do I begin?

  1. Catharine says:

    What a fantastic idea, I cannot wait around to receive my first letter!

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