Breaking News
More () »

Volunteers needed for Metro's community planting event on March 18

Metro Parks will hold a community planting day at Chehalem Ridge Nature Park near Gaston, OR.

PORTLAND, Ore. — In this week's Let's Get Out There, we head to North Portland for recreation, education and stewardship at Smith and Bybee Wetlands Natural Area.

Smith and Bybee Wetlands Natural Area in North Portland is a 2,000 acre slice of outdoor goodness. Maintained by Metro, it's one of a dozen parks and over 18,000 total acres in the greater Portland area. This park is great for its paved trails.

“It's great for little kids. It's great for folks who have maybe a little bit of limited mobility. And it's a really, really great place to see wildlife,” said Hannah Erickson, communications manager with Metro Parks & Nature.

Erickson had her attention on the mud on a sunny, late winter afternoon to show the important stuff going on.

“They used to be all up and down the Columbia River, but they have become critically imperiled,” she said talking about a native plant species, the Columbia sedge. The dull, brown plants are great for flood-prone areas such as wetlands and also great for filtering toxins from water in places like wetlands!

“These are native plants that really help to create a healthy ecosystem here in wetlands areas,” Erickson said.

Credit: Jon Goodwin, KGW

This past weekend, over 50 volunteers got their hands dirty at a Metro planting event, planting over 1,500 sedges.

“It's not just building a healthier habitat for our animals,” she said. “It's also building a healthier ecosystem and community for the people who live around here too.”

Credit: Jon Goodwin, KGW

Like most plants in the winter, the sedges aren’t much to look at, but summer will be their time to shine. They’ll grow up, green up, and become great hiding spots for salamanders, newts, and frogs. If rejuvenating an Metro park sounds like something you’d enjoy, there’s another event coming up in mid-March.

“We're having another volunteer event at Chehalem Ridge Nature Park on March 18,” Erickson said.

It starts at 10:30a.m. and Metro will provide the gloves and tools. You’re asked to register on the event page of the Metro web site. The planting is open to all ages and levels of expertise.

Credit: Jon Goodwin, KGW

“There will be some sedges, but also sword ferns, fringecup, woodland strawberries and some other native plant species that will be beneficial for that particular ecosystem,” said Erickson. “When you come out to an event like this, you make wonderful connections with nature. You make connections with other people, and you get to learn a lot about why areas like this are so important and what you can do to help keep them around for generations to come.”

Credit: Metro

As with any outdoor recreation site, know before you go! Smith and Bybee Wetlands Natural Area is a wildlife refuge, so no bikes or pets are allowed. Pets aren't allowed at Chehalem Ridge Nature Park either in order to protect sensitive habitat and threaten wildlife.

Let's Get Out there airs once a week on KGW's 4 p.m. newscast and The Good Stuff, which airs Monday-Thursday at 7 p.m. We're including viewer photos for this series. You can text your photos to 503-226-5088 or post them on the KGW Facebook page.


Before You Leave, Check This Out