ESCO Corporation on the Trails!The Forest Park Conservancy has newly partnered with one of the Northwest industrial district’s oldest manufacturing companies, ESCO Corporation. Founded in Portland in 1913 and still located just off NW Vaughn Street, ESCO has close ties to Forest Park. Now they’ve gotten their feet on the ground and sponsored a series of work parties to make Forest Park’s trail system even stronger.
In addition to outfitting the Conservancy’s crew and volunteers with tools and materials for the projects, ESCO employees joined our regular volunteers during these sponsored work parties. On October 10th and 26th, volunteers constructed rock drains and a turnpike to ameliorate dangerously muddy and misshapen segments of the Wildwood Trail. On October 24th, ESCO employees joined our Thursday work party to plant 140 native plants, rake fallen leaves off the trail and move gravel to trail projects along Wildwood off of the Newton Road trailhead.
This work is beneficial in a variety of ways. Raking removes the moisture-loving dead leaves from the trail, improving drainage through the rainy season. The turnpike and rock projects will allow the trail to drain while maintaining a solid, even walking surface. And while often thought of primarily for their wildlife habitat values, native shrubs and herbaceous plants planted on the downhill side of trail work sites will stabilize the slope, reducing erosion, improving water quality, and protecting the integrity of the trail for years to come.