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600 planters swarm White Oak Savanna event

TIDINGS PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - Nora Bowyer of West Linn takes a turn on the rope swing at the White Oak Savanna during Saturday's bulb planting. An attempt to break a Guinness World Record at the White Oak Savanna fell just short last Saturday, but organizer Roberta Schwarz still called the event a success.

According to Schwarz, a total of 600 people showed up to plant camas and trillium bulbs at the park between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. April 18, short of the 851 needed to break a record for “most people planting bulbs simultaneously” set in the United Kingdom last November.

The event doubled as a fundraiser for the effort to acquire the last six unprotected acres of the park.

“This is the biggest event we have ever done at the Savanna,” Schwarz said. “The only one that will be bigger is the party we will have when the last 5.65 acres are acquired.”

In total, 1,100 blue camas bulbs and 150 trillium bulbs were planted at the event.

Schwarz also noted that the event helped volunteers pass the “10,000 hour mark” for volunteer hours spent at the park.

Moving forward, Schwarz and other volunteers will continue to fundraise in an effort to match a $500,000 Metro community grant, which was approved in May 2013.

The goal is to raise the total amount needed to purchase the last unprotected acres of the park and thus ensure that the entire swath of land remains protected as a city park.

The remaining acreage is currently owned by the RKM Development Corp.

The city has owned and operated 14 acres of the White Oak Savanna since 2009.

TIDINGS PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - Kai Pearce, front, Cornel Negoita, middle, and Nicole Pearce enjoy a savanna hike as they await the start of the world record attempt.

TIDINGS PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - Darryl and Rebecca Walters of West Linn relax at their favorite spot at the White Oak Savanna.

TIDINGS PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - Miss Oregon, Rebecca Anderson, visits with West Linn resident Teri Cummings and her grandson, Cash Adams.

TIDINGS PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - Blake Emmerson prepares a hole for a camas bulb.

TIDINGS PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - Participants line up to register for the event.

TIDINGS PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - Miss Oregon, Rebecca Anderson, talks to the hundreds of people who turnbed out to attempt to set a new world record for the number of people planting bulbs.

TIDINGS PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE -  Ed Hall spoke on behalf of Sen. Jeff Merkley during Saturday's event.

TIDINGS PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - Mark and Julia Barnes stand ready to plant some bulbs. 

TIDINGS PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - Jack Norby of West Linn provided some entertainment during the event.

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