Major Improvements Transform Nadaka Nature Park & Community Garden

Nature-based play area
Nadaka Park. Click to enlarge

Nadaka Nature Park
A Neighborhood Destination

Nature-based Play Area, Picnic Shelter, Community Garden, Pacific Street Improvements and more.

By Lee Dayfield, Friends of Nadaka

Wow, 2014 has certainly been the most amazing year yet at Nadaka. Construction began in August on the south two acre site next to St. Aidan.s Episcopal Church. At the time of this article the community garden has been plowed and irrigation installed. The covered picnic shelter should be complete by newsletter distribution. The north end of the nature based play area is finished and the rest is halfway complete. Construction should be complete by the end of November.

So far this year there have been 478 volunteers working at Nadaka for a total of 1,286 volunteer hours! These volunteer hours are used as match for the grants we have received. In addition to groups mentioned in the last WENA newsletter Springwater Trail High School students, Confluence Environmental Center AmeriCorp members and East Hill Church have volunteered at Nadaka.

On July 19th the 2nd Walk & Talk took place. Three former Camp Fire Girls shared stories about their days at Nadaka. This Spring we hope to hold a Camp Fire Girls Tea fundraiser. If you were a Camp Fire Girl or would like to be involved in this event contact Lee at 503-998-1044 or

The Oregon Tradeswomen have built two sheds, four ADA raised beds and eight berry trellises for the community garden. During their seven week project St. Aidan.s generously made their facilities available to the women. Thank you so much St. Aidan.s.

Picnic shelter, gardens
Nadaka Park, Click to enlarge

Cedar Mills, the City of Gresham.s general contractor on the job has been working really well with the Nadaka Team of Verde, Oregon Tradeswomen and Belkor Log Works. This project is truly a team effort. Just a reminder that grant funds are paying for the building of this park from Metro, East Multnomah Soil & Water Conservation District and Oregon Parks & Recreation, not City funds.

Some additional interesting facts about this one of a kind citizen driven project:

  • Logs for the longhouse play structure were donated by .Tualatin Hills Parks & Recreation.
  • All other wood elements are from Douglas Firs removed from Nadaka because of laminated root rot.
  • The gravel removed from the easement road that was down the middle of the two acres was reused onsite.
  • Sustainable juniper from Northwest Sustainable Wood was used for the ADA boxes and trellises.
  • Boulders for the play area were from the Rockwood Police Station on NE 181st when it was being built.
  • It has provided jobs and job training for women and minorities through Oregon Tradeswomen, Inc, and Verde.

In July the Friends of Nadaka received a $61,000 Nature in Neighborhoods grant from Metro. This will be used to hire a Nadaka Project Coordinator in January 2015. It will also enable us to have programs for youth at Nadaka next summer. The Columbia Slough Watershed Council and Audubon Society of Portland will take the lead on these programs. Outgrowing Hunger will also provide some classes around the community garden. An Ambassador Program is planned to create more eyes on the park as well as environmental education.

The Audubon Society of Portland through its TALON program (TALON stands for Teach, Advocate, Lead, Observe, and Nurture) has created a .Birds of Nadaka. brochure which should be available soon. Audubon.s Conservation Education Coordinator Gladys Ruiz staff.s Audubon.s Eastside Office at Leach Botanical Garden along with Urban Conservationist Jim Labbe.

October 6th was the first day the new group of HB Lee SUN students went to Nadaka. They will be going every Wednesday after school, weather permitting. The students learn about the plants and trees in the forest and remove invasives. St. Aidan.s is again providing snacks for the students each Wednesday.

Work began October 16th on NE Pacific with removal of the chain link fence. A sidewalk will be installed, rain gardens on the north side, ADA ramps at the corners and the entry improved. It is now beginning to look like a real park that the neighborhood can be proud of. The Pacific Street project is being funded with Federal grant dollars.

Pacific Street improvements
Nadaka Park, Click to enlarge

The Friends of Nadaka and St. Aidan.s Episcopal Church wrote letters of support for the City.s HEAL Cities Small Grant application for a pedestrian crossing to hopefully slow traffic down along this stretch of NE Glisan making it safer to cross. The grant was awarded and the crossing will go in next year.

On October 25th a No Ivy Day Event was held at Nadaka. This was organized by the City of Gresham and Friends of Nadaka to coincide with the City of Portland.s 2014 No Ivy Day which they have held once a year. This is the first time a group in Gresham has participated. Another first for Nadaka.

The Friends of Nadaka still need contributions from individuals, businesses and organizations to continue to build this project. Columbia Slough Watershed Council (CSWC) is the Friends. fiscal agent and they are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization so any donations are tax deductible. Grant funds have covered most major construction but contributions are still needed to cover things like community garden tools, signage, bike racks, benches, printing, copying, paint for sheds, etc.

The community garden will be run by Adam Kohl of Outgrowing Hunger. If you are interested in a plot or volunteering contact Adam at 971-231-4191 or

For Nadaka updates visit, check out Friends of Nadaka on Facebook or visit