by: SUBMITTED PHOTO   - Phil Hamilton has volunteered with the Friends of Tryon Creek for 20 years. He recently logged his 20,000th hour in stewardship work.

Phil Hamilton completed his 20,000th hour of volunteer stewardship work for Friends of Tryon Creek on May 18. The 80-year-old was honored at a celebration hosted by the Friends on June 24.

“Phil Hamilton is one of the most dedicated, inspiring, hardworking volunteers I have had the pleasure of working with,” said Sarah Kreisman, volunteer and outreach coordinator for the Friends of Tryon Creek. “He is a wonderful example of the incredible difference one individual can make in their community.”

Hamilton, a resident of Southwest Portland, began volunteering with the Friends of Tryon Creek 20 years ago. Averaging 1,000 volunteer hours per year, Hamilton has played a significant role in helping to clear 200 acres — nearly one-third of the park’s 675 acres — of non-native invasive species such as English ivy, English holly and Himalayan blackberry.

Hamilton helped create the 75-acre adopt-a-plot program, tracts of park property that vary in size from one to 40 acres, which are kept clear of invasive species by dedicated volunteers such as Hamilton. He personally tends 40 acres in the program.

Hamilton’s volunteer activities at Tryon Creek are not limited to stewardship work. He is a long-serving member of the Friends of Tryon Creek Board, acts as chairman of the stewardship committee and runs the field aspect of Tryon Creek State Natural Area’s restoration program.

For more information on the Friends of Tryon Creek’s stewardship and volunteer programs, visit

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