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Citizen's View: Group celebrates restoring natural areas

SUBMITTED PHOTO - Jim Fisher, one of the coordinators of the Friends of Hallinan Heights Woods, stands with an English ivy stalk he removed from the natural area.Thank you to everyone who has worked in Hallinan Woods and Freepons Park Woods this past year. Together, we have made an important contribution in our effort to restore these wonderful natural areas in our neighborhood.

Hallinan Woods: We held three volunteer work parties (February, October and November) and were able to plant a total of 900 native species provided by the city. In the spring, when many of these trees and plants begin to leaf out, the results should start showing.

In December, another 560 plants were planted, part of mitigation for the Lake Oswego-Tigard Water Partnership project. As you walk along the paved path, you will see the new planting on the east side of the path, north and south of Hallinan Creek. You might be wondering what the “firewood” is doing there. The landscaper explained that as the wood decomposes, it provides nutrients for the plants and improves the rate of survival.

You also might have noticed restoration work on the other side of the cyclone fence in Hallinan Woods. The Oswego Lake Watershed Council has worked along Hallinan Creek on the Yates Street private property. Volunteers have removed ivy and planted native species to improve the watershed. You can learn more about them on their website: oswegowatershed.org

Freepons Park Woods: This is the first year we have worked in Freepons Park Woods, and the results are pretty amazing. Our goal has been to “free the trees” of ivy. We started in June with our first party. The city selected Freepons Park for a major volunteer effort by “Just Serve,” a Mormon Church organization. In September, 100-200 volunteers and Hallinan Heights neighbors were able to free about 75 percent of the trees on this five-acre site.

Due to our dedication, the city has selected Freepons Park Woods to be treated for ivy removal. A professional crew will spray the ivy and remove any other invasive plants this winter.

During another LO-Tigard mitigation effort in December, red maples and western red cedar trees were planted on the north side of the park to help screen the new Cedar Street development.

Friends of Hallinan Heights Woods: We have worked in partnership with the city from the beginning (2003), and this year they asked us to form an official Friends group. A number of Hallinan Heights Neighborhood Association members met in June to begin the process. We created a mission statement, created a five-year work strategy and an annual work plan. We received final approval at the City Council meeting on Jan. 5.

Friends of Hallinan Heights Woods (Hallinan Woods, Freepons Park Woods and Cornell Corridor of Trees) welcomes anyone interested in our work to become a member. Your interest and support are all that are required. We have 19 members at this time. Jim and Barbara Fisher are the coordinators. Board members include Debbie Craig and Chris Huettemeyer. We would like to have at least one more board member. If you would like to become a Friends member or a Friends board member, please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 503-636-3153.

Upcoming Events: Hoping to finish “freeing the trees” in Freepons Park Woods, we are having a work party on Sunday, Jan. 24, from 1-3 p.m. — rain or shine. This is a family-friendly event, so put on your warm work clothes, bring the kids and enjoy working with nature. Every tree counts. The city will provide gloves & tools. Hope to see you there!

Jim and Barbara Fisher are residents of Lake Oswego.