Happening’s At Nadaka Nature Park & Garden, Spring 2019

Happening’s At Nadaka Nature Park & Garden. Nurturing Nature, Food, and Families. Come Visit Your Park Today! Read me here.
Monica McAllister, Nadaka. Click to enlarge

Nurturing Nature, Food, and Families

By Grace Graham,
Confluence AmeriCorps Member, Events & Outreach Specialist

The turning of winter over to spring is one of our favorite seasons at Nadaka Nature Park..

The forest is cool and quiet, patiently holding its breath for the first signs of new life, and the garden lies resting, silently preparing rich soils that will nurture new seeds in the coming months. This is a time of year that gives Friends of Nadaka (FON) the opportunity to reflect on the old year’s accomplishments, and welcome in a new season of beginnings, opportunities, and goals.

This 2019 New Year came with the bittersweet news that our incredible Nadaka Coordinator of the last 5 years, Monica McAllister, has decided to begin a new journey as the Community Connections Liaison with East Multnomah Soil & Water Conservation District. As Nadaka’s first and only Coordinator to-date, Monica leaves behind an amazing legacy of community engagement and education programs, lasting partnerships, and deep ties with our neighbors in West Gresham. We join our partners, neighbors, and park users in thanking Monica for years of dedication, leadership, and initiative in helping bring a community vision to life.

Friends of Nadaka is taking this shift in leadership as an opportunity to review the successes, challenges, and accomplishments of Nadaka’s first five years, and develop a strategic plan for moving forward. This review and planning process will last through the spring, and no permanent hires will be made to replace Monica until the review is complete. In the interim period, Jamie Stamberger of Stamberger Outreach Consulting has stepped in as a part-time Interim Coordinator for Friends of Nadaka, and has begun working closely with Nadaka’s current AmeriCorps Member, Grace Graham, to keep events and programs running through the next several months. Jamie recently served as the Interim Executive Director for the Columbia Slough Watershed Council (FON’s fiscal agent), so she is already familiar with Nadaka’s programs, systems, and partners. Please direct all Nadaka inquiries to info@friendsofnadaka.org, and expect a short delay in response as Grace and Jamie are frequently outdoors, meeting with partners, and navigating a new wave of projects and responsibilities.

Despite all of these organizational changes, Friends of Nadaka hosted a wildly successful MLK Day of Service event on January 21st, in partnership with Friends of Trees, the Nature Conservancy, and several other community organizations. Over 100 volunteers showed up to help us get 750 native plants in the ground in under three hours, an amazing feat that demonstrates the passion and energy our neighbors and partners have for giving back to their community and honoring the legacy of a great community servant and leader, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The cold snap and snow that followed forced us to cancel February 9th’s Community Planting Event, but we have decided to combine it with the coming Nadaka & Rockwood Neighborhood Planting Event this April 13th from 9am-12pm with Friends of Trees, to form one giant restoration party! If you are interested in volunteering with us, please sign up through Friends of Tree’s website at https://friendsoftrees.org/event-calendar/.

This year’s English-led Seed to Supper gardening course with the Oregon Food Bank kicked off on Thursday, February 21st, and will take place as a 5-class series every Thursday evening from 6:30-8:30pm through March 21st. This class is free to attend, and is a wonderful opportunity for beginner gardeners to learn how to get started growing their own food on a budget. Due to some unexpected conflicts, the Spanish-led Seed to Supper class has been tentatively postponed for later in the spring. Friends of Nadaka is working with the Oregon Food Bank to reschedule the Spanish Seed to Supper, and we will post details on our website and Facebook page as soon as possible. Please email info@friendsofnadaka.org with questions or requests to be notified when more details are available.

Friends of Nadaka is excited to announce that for the fourth year in a row, we are once again hosting the Welcome Back Vulture Day festival on Saturday, March 16th from 12-3pm, in partnership with the Audubon Society of Portland.

Welcome Back Vulture Day festival. Nadaka Nature Park, Gresham OR

This free, family-friendly event is filled with educational activities, live birds, food, games, and more! Attendees will have the opportunity to meet Ruby, Portland Audubon’s live Turkey Vulture, along with many of Audubon’s other education birds. Other activities will include comparing your wingspan to that of a California Condor, exploring the varied cultural significance of different birds, enjoying a scavenger hunt and bird walk in Nadaka Nature Park’s forest, and crafting your own unique bird mask! Learn more about this event at Audubon Society of Portland’s website: http://audubonportland.org/.

If you aren’t able to make it to our Seed to Supper series but are still interesting in buildling or freshening up your gardening skills, Outgrowing Hunger will be hosting a monthly hands-on Natural Gardening Class from 6-7:30pm in the Nadaka Community Garden, starting with April 16th, May 16th, June 20th, and continued once a month through the end of the growing season. Find more event dates at https://outgrowinghunger.org/calendar. We will also be hosting the Creating Edible Landscapes Workshop on May 18th from 9-11:30am with East Multnomah Soil & Water Conservation District. Registration is required for this event, and it will fill up fast, so don’t wait! Sign up here:

For more information about how to get involved in creating positive social and environmental change at Nadaka and the Wilkes East and Rockwood neighborhoods, sign up for Friends of Nadaka’s brand new e-newsletter! Newsletter subscribers will receive an email at the beginning of each month with event information, park news, and other community resources! Sign up here: http://eepurl.com/gb1A2r. You can also stay up-to-date by “liking” our page on Facebook @NadakaNaturePark, or following our new Instagram account, @nadakanaturepark_. If you have questions about any events, news, or programs at Nadaka Nature Park, please email info@friendsofnadaka.org. Thank you for your support, and we hope to see you at Nadaka soon!