By: Eric Rosewall, PP&R Program Coordinator
Portland Parks & Recreation is creating a nature patch at Brentwood Darlington’s Hazeltine Park – improving habitat for birds and pollinators, adding interesting natural features to explore, and creating places for people to enjoy.
A new program of Portland Parks & Recreation Ecologically Sustainable Landscapes is bringing nature to neighborhood parks and enhancing park health. The program will add patches of natural habitat to developed parks to create more diverse landscapes that support native pollinators, increase soil and plant health, and offer educational and stewardship opportunities.
The nature patch at Hazeltine Park will be focused around the edges of the park to maintain the central lawn area for activities. The project includes planting a variety of native and ornamental plants, replacing unhealthy trees with trees better for wildlife, adding split-rail fencing, improving the picnic area surface, and making several nature spots with logs and boulders.
The major elements of the nature patch will be in place by the end of the year, and planting will take place in phases fall 2018 through spring of 2019. A beautiful assortment of flowering evergreen and deciduous native and Pacific Northwest-friendly plants will be installed to create a landscape with lots of colors. Woodland plants such as sword fern, salal, red-flowering currant, vine maple, and huckleberry will create a beautiful backdrop along the park’s lower edge and sides, while a long wildflower bed will hug the lawn and adjacent nature spots welcoming visitors in from Flavel Drive.
The first nature patch, at Alberta Park in NE Portland, is a preview of what’s to come at Hazeltine Park.
This nature patch is the second pilot in a series of ten spread across the city. For a taste of what’s in store for Hazeltine Park, check out the nature patch recently completed at the center of Alberta Park at NE 22nd and Killingsworth. The area adds a magical, wild character different than other spaces you’ll find in most parks a small chunk of forest nestled in among the ballfield, playground, and off-leash area. The project is designed with pollinators in mind. Plants and other elements were selected to create a space with real ecological function that will provide habitat and food for pollinating insects and birds. Even small patches of natural habitat in parks can support wildlife, while at the same time giving more Portlanders a chance to engage with nature closer to home. Portland Parks wants to see these more of these benefits and is beginning with pilots like these two at Alberta and Hazeltine Parks.
You can be a part of bringing this urban habitat to life! Look out for planting events hosted at Hazeltine Park this fall.
Community members dug in earlier this year to help create the nature patch at Alberta Park.
Learn more about the project at portlandoregon.gov/parks/eco or contact Eric Rosewall at firstname.lastname@example.org or 503-341-0855 with questions.