Tales From The Trails:

Protecting Our Natural Crown Jewel

Forest Park was one of the first places I visited when I moved to Portland. It’s the place that told me I’d found a new home. And, it’s still that place I go to when I need to connect with nature and gather my thoughts.

Hiking on nearly 80 miles of beautiful trails and an opportunity to get back to nature, all located within just 10 minutes of downtown. No other city in the nation can claim to have such a wonderful 5,200 acre forested oasis right in their midst.

But today, Forest Park is at a turning point. Climate change, population increases and development, and threats from invasive species – the issues confronting our beloved Forest Park – are extremely serious. Thanks to the efforts of hundreds of volunteers, partners, supporters and FPC staff, we are tackling some of the toughest problems Forest Park faces, yet there is so much more to be done.   

We’re taking major action now to save Forest Park for future generations. Called the Greater Forest Park Conservation Initiative (GFPCI), Forest Park Conservancy is leading a collaborative effort designed to tackle Forest Park’s toughest environmental challenges. That includes working together with key partners and the community to address threats, not only inside Forest Park but beyond, with a 20-year vision to bring the entire ecosystem back to health.  

We made great strides in 2015. Thanks to your support, here are just a few things we accomplished in 2015: 

  • Recruited, trained and mobilized more than 900 volunteers who worked more than 5,000 hours in the park. 
  • Maintained and repaired 30 miles of trail to reduce runoff into streams and improve public access; 
  • Initiated, in partnership with Portland Parks & Recreation, the largest restoration project in Forest Park, focusing on 217 acres in Balch Creek; and   
  • Freed 4,300 trees of ivy on adjacent private land, helping prevent invasive plants from spreading into the park. 

In 2016, we will continue to bring together volunteers and supporters to push towards our goal of a fully restored Forest Park. Thanks to strong community support, we will achieve our goal of fully restoring Forest Park and the greater Forest Park ecosystem. Our work will mean we protect this amazing place right in our own backyard, keep our air and water is clean, and have opportunities to explore nature so close to downtown Portland.

Stay tuned to learn more about how we’re making progress and how you can join our efforts in 2016!  

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