Eastmoreland neighbors, frustrated because they say the City of Portland abandoned all maintenance of the Linden Allée along S.E. Reed College Place, took matters into their own hands last year.
THE BEE has followed their efforts in a May 2010 story about a neighborhood meeting when they began a fundraising effort, and a November 2010 story when their fundraising effort was completed; then this February, as tree trimming and restoration began.
'I've been working with this since the beginning,' says one of the project's volunteer managers, Reed College Place resident David Groth. 'This is a public city park that gets used. We have 1,200 trick-or-treaters in the park at Hallowe'en, and others ride their bikes and jog and walk along this parkway all year.'
At one time, Groth continues, Portland Parks and Recreation took care of the strip. 'And they did a good job of maintaining it; everyone was happy. When it was turned over to Portland Bureau of Transportation, though, the city abandoned it.'
He recalls how, because they'd overshot their goal of raising $50,000 for the project - donors chipped in a total of $61,000 - the resident volunteers had promised to use the remaining funds to restore the lawn. Looking down, Groth points out the turf has indeed been thatched, aerated, and seeded.
Groth adds he speaks for many other neighbors when he complains of the 'exorbitant water bills' residents pay to keep the trees and grass alive during the summer months. 'It's salt in the wound.'
The prognosis for the health of the lengthy strip of grass and trees is now good, Groth said. 'We have a contract in place until the end of this year to get it back into good health.'
With the restoration work completed, neighbors are now putting up caution tape and signs to encourage park users not trample the newly-sprouting grass. Some signs are informational, while other banners express 'extreme frustration' for city abandonment of the century-old Reed College Place Linden Allée.
'We do appreciate the help we've received from the Portland's Urban Forestry Bureau,' Groth added, as the group unfurled another of their colorfully worded banners.