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Ready, get set, work

Saturday 'parties' give citizens chance to help their neighborhoods

Almost every Saturday, work parties are happening around Lake Oswego, and it's a win/win proposition.

Citizens not only can contribute toward beautifying the parks and recreation areas in their neighborhoods but they can get to know their neighbors also.

'It's great to see it happening,' said AmeriCorps' Annie Bergelin, who is serving as natural area volunteers coordinator for the City of Lake Oswego. 'Work parties are nice community bonding events. They're a way for them to connect.'

Upcoming workday dates and sites are:

Oct. 14, Southwood Park - The park is located on the edge of the city in the Westlake area.

'It's full of blackberries,' Bergelin said. 'People can take ownership of it so it feels a little more safe, and they can let the native plants come back.'

Oct. 28, Spring Brook Park - The Friends of Spring Brook Park, a nonprofit organization, will be heading up a cleanup effort from 9 a.m. to noon. It is located next to Lake Oswego Junior High School and Uplands Elementary School.

Workers will revisit the Arbor Day site at which 500 plants were placed. The park also recently had a Boy Scout project in which invasive plants were removed and native plants put in.

'The elementary school has been very active pulling ivy,' Bergelin said. 'One-half hour a week, instead of recess, they come pull ivy.'

All volunteers are welcome at the nearly 50-acre park.

Nov. 4, Lamont Springs Service, Plans are still being made for the event at the area located between Lakeview Boulevard and Bryant.

'It's not huge, so the ivy removal is not overwhelming,' Bergelin said. 'You can envision the end of the ivy and blackberry. We're hoping to engage the church and neighborhood.'

One attractive feature of Lamont Springs is a natural spring right in the middle of the area.

'Every Saturday there's a work party happening at a natural area,' Bergelin said. 'We're encouraging neighborhoods to take care of their parks.'

All community workdays in Lake Oswego can be found on the community calendar at the city's online Web site at www.ci.oswego.or.us.

They include Bulbs at Foothills Park at the end of October.

'It's a kid-friendly activity,' Bergelin said.