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Nadaka festival set for August

By Mara Stine
Gresham Outlook

Just in time to celebrate its second Nature in Neighborhoods grant, Friends of Nadaka Nature Park is hosting its second annual Nadaka Community Festival from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 11.

Just in time to celebrate its second Nature in Neighborhoods grant, Friends of Nadaka Nature Park is hosting its second annual Nadaka Community Festival from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 11.

Enjoy free live music, hot dogs, children's activities and face painting while learning more about plans for a community garden and other improvements on a small part of the site, located at Northeast 174th Avenue and Glisan Street.

In May, Metro awarded Friends of Nadaka Nature Park nearly $239,000, which allows the Friends to dig into its garden plan.

The garden project includes a rain garden, orchard, berry patch, natural meadow, pathways, restrooms, a nature-based play area and a 60-plot community garden, which will double the number of community garden plots in Gresham.

It is one of six projects to be awarded a total of $1.7 million in grants financed by the 2006 natural areas bond measure. This is the fifth year of the Nature in Neighborhoods grant program, which has awarded $6.6 million to projects across the region.

The grant will help the Friends create a park and garden on 2 acres of the 12-acre site located at Northeast 174th Avenue and Glisan Street. The future garden area is next to St. Aidan's Episcopal Church on Glisan.

The project also includes a five-year plan to improve the habitat, remove invasive species and diseased trees, and provide nature-based education on wildlife, gardening and stormwater management.

Friends of Nadaka Park will continue to include the community in actively caring for the park.

Neighbors and nearby residents often meet for morning cleanup parties - two of which are set for Saturday, July 21, and Saturday, Aug. 11. In fact, to date the project includes more than $40,000 in volunteer labor and in-kind donations.

To donate labor, plants, gravel or other supplies to carry out the project, contact Jane Van Dyke by email at jane.vandyke@columbiaslough.org.

In 2009, Metro awarded Nadaka a $220,000 Nature in Neighborhoods grant, which helped purchase an adjoining 2-acre parcel, allowing people to access the park from Northeast Glisan Street.

The access was vital if the park were to serve the low-income ethnically diverse Wilkes East and Rockwood neighborhoods.

Before that, the 10 acres were covered with Douglas firs with its only amenity being a quarter-mile loop trail.

Partners include the Columbia Slough Watershed Council, Audubon Society of Portland, Wilkes East Neighborhood Association, Rockwood Neighborhood Association, City of Gresham, East Multnomah Soil & Water Conservation District, St. Aidan's Episcopal Church, Verde, H.B. Lee Community School, SnowCap Charities, Police Activities League, Pacific Gardens Alzheimer's Special Care Center, Metropolitan Family Services, Human Solutions, Grow Portland, El Programa Hispano, Eastrose Fellowship and Coalition for a Livable Future.

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