by: SUBMITTED PHOTO -  Here's one of the trails that winds through Springbrook Park. Thanks to efforts by the Friends of Springbrook Park and others, the trail system has been well maintained.Forty years ago, neighbors and citizens of Lake Oswego passed a bond measure to save a large strip of natural area that is now called Springbrook Park, located in the Uplands neighborhood. The 52 acres are an urban forest that was last logged in the 1950s. Ten years ago a few of us formed a friends group to help preserve and restore Springbrook. We have since enjoyed a productive partnership with the Lake Oswego Parks & Recreation staff in building trails, removing invasive species, planting natives and creating outdoor educational programs with nearby schools. And, the tennis center is located on the western side of the park.

Hundreds of residents use Springbrook Park for walking their pets, pushing strollers, running and enjoying nature. There have been several Eagle Scout projects building kiosks and trail signs. In 1994, Uplands resident Ed Chinn published a book, “The View from Springbrook Park  — An Illustrated Natural History.” It is a comprehensive history of Native American tribes that lived in our region through cutting of forests for the iron smelter. The illustrations, also by Ed Chinn, cover all of the native species in our region. Copies are available at our public library.

Students from Lake Oswego High School track teams use the park for training. For several years, more than 80 athletic students donate a few hours twice a year to upgrade the trails with gravel. Our trail standards follow recommendations from the state parks department. Hundreds of neighbors have helped pull English ivy off the trees and replant areas with native trees. One Saturday morning about a year ago dozens of neighbors showed up to plant bare-root native trees. In about three hours, we planted more than 400 trees, and they are doing well.

For several years, the parks budget included several thousand dollars for use in Springbrook Park to buy gravel for trails, remove invasives with mechanical removal techniques and purchase native trees. While we value our strong partner relationship with the parks department, there is little or no money to help maintain our park let alone remove more English ivy.

Please view our websites at and and the trail map, which shows how much progress has been made in rebuilding trails, removing ivy and replanting natives. But, there is still lots more to do.

On behalf of the Friends of Springbrook Park, thanks to the residents of Lake Oswego for your support and involvement.

Paul J. Lyons, Lake Oswego, is a member of the Friends of Springbrook Park.

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