Growing Baltimore Woods

The Friends of Baltimore Woods (FoBW) are delighted to announce the acquisition of almost an acre parcel nicknamed the Acorn site near the North Reno entrance of the Baltimore Woods Natural Area. The site is adjacent to the future npGreenway Trail alignment on two sides. 

Although the property has been neglected for several years and has become overgrown, there are highly desirable mature native trees present. There are at least two native oak along with big-leaf maple, willow and black cottonwood.

Baltimore Woods acquisition, the Acorn site
Baltimore Woods acquisition, named the Acorn site

Purchasing the Acorn site has long been on the back burner of the FoBW “To Do” list, until last spring when a realtor’s “For Sale” sign was posted on North Reno, alerting the board into action. A quickly organized weekend neighborhood petition drive gathered over 120 signatures in favor of protecting the lot, plus many emails and phone calls were made to Metro, Portland Parks and Bureau of Environmental Services. 

The most significant boost to the effort came when board members attended North and Northeast Portland town hall meetings with City Commissioner Dan Ryan and his Communications and Special Projects Director TJ McHugh. Once he got the petition and letters of interest from the FoBW board, the ball started rolling. Soon, the property was taken off the Zillow website and Portland Parks was planning to seek approval from City Commissioners to confirm the purchase of the property. Since their approval earlier this year, this woodland habitat has been added to the already protected 20 acres of Baltimore Woods corridor.

Baltimore Woods' acquisition, the Acorn site, showing the river and St. Johns
Baltimore Woods’ acquisition, the Acorn site,
showing the river and St. Johns

Portland Parks has already begun work on the site and has cleared invasive shrubs and vines. The botanist in charge of restoration, Laura Guderyahn, has a 1-2 year plan to get the site under control using Park’s crews. After that, the Friends and volunteers look forward to accessing the site to help plant native shrubs, groundcover and wildflowers.

The group is planning to organize a walking tour of the new site and surrounding meadows of the Baltimore Woods corridor this summer. The dates will soon be announced.

It took a village. FoBW advocates credited the Portland Parks Bureau and Ryan’s staff for their help. None of this would have been possible without a dedicated group effort.

Long shot of Baltimore Woods acquisition, the Acorn site
Baltimore Woods acquisition, the Acorn site showing the npGreenway Trail alignment

By Lisa Manning