By Pamela Shaw
On Sunday, April 29th, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., volunteers will be back at work on the “Edible Hillside” at Harbor View Park for the first Planting Day of 2018, supported by the West End Neighborhood Association (WENA) and Portland Parks and Recreation.
Last year we began work on the Edible Hillside. We replanted neglected plots of trees and shrubs with edible fruit and berries and companion plants to foster the health of the Park and its visitors and support birds and pollinating insects.
Also, we began reimagining the Park as a whole, looking at what would be needed to make Harbor View into a place that offers natural beauty, recreation, and community connection for residents, businesses, and visitors in this rapidly growing part of Portland.
Though little recognized and under-used since it was created three decades ago, Harbor View is the principal public green space on the southwestern side of the peninsula. With its rich mix of views and landscapes, from lawn to rolling hillside to distant harbor, to drawbridge, granite watercourse, and industrial waterfront, Harbor View has the potential to be a great urban park.
Over the next five years we’ll be working to restore and improve Harbor View on several fronts:
- Continuing to plant and cultivate the Edible Hillside, planting clusters of raspberry and blueberry bushes, native and novel fruits, an herb garden, an orchard, and a flowering meadow for pollinators at the bottom of the hill on Commercial Street.
- Engaging a community of residents, visitors, and Portland organizations in the life of the park through projects including:
- A website with information on the natural history of the plants in the park and the social history of the waterfront;
- Growing, gleaning, and sharing the produce from the park with local foodbanks;
- Music and neighborhood events for adults and children;
- Signs to help visitors connect to other parts of the city and learn about the natural and cultural history of the park.
- Creating infrastructure to improve access to and the aesthetics of the park, with the help of public and private partnerships.
We are looking for partners – individuals and organizations – who want to engage in building a beautiful landscape for Portland, one that combines urban appeal with the joy of being outdoors, a place that invites people to enjoy their city and engage with nature. It’s an opportunity to make a beautiful and permanent impact on our city’s future.
If you’d like to be part of this, or just want to spend a Sunday outdoors, join us any time from 10 to 4 on April 29th for the first planting day of 2018 at Harbor View Park.
Pamela Shaw is a West End resident.