Nadaka Nature Park & Gardens Summer 2017 Update & Events

Nadaka Nature Park & Gardens Summer 2017 Update & Events. Nadaka Nature Park Festival, Tadpole Tales, Audubon Society Bird Walks, Community gardens and more. Info here!

by Monica McAllister
Nadaka Nature Park Coordinator

Summer is here, delicious berries are ripe, baby birds are taking flight, and we hope you have been able to get out and enjoy it all at Nadaka Nature Park! The past couple of months have been bustling with families enjoying the new swing set, community members gathering for parties at the picnic shelter, gardeners tending their veggies and flowers, and nature lovers of all ages exploring the forest. The past few months ‘Friends of Nadaka’ (FON) has been hard at work providing environmental education activities, community events, and stewardship opportunities for our neighbors, schools, and partnering organizations.

We are most excited about the upcoming Seventh Annual Nadaka Nature Park Festival that will take place August 12th from 12-3pm. This family friendly event will include a visit from the Audubon Society of Portland’s Education Birds, free hot dogs and drinks, crafts, games, face painting, dance and music performances. Various partnering organizations will have information booths and fun hands on activities for the whole family. We would love to have volunteers from the Wilkes East neighborhood to help with the event. If you are interested please contact Monica, the Nadaka Coordinator.

Nadaka Nature Park Festival, August 12th 2017 from 12-3pm. Audubon birds, free hot dogs and drinks, crafts, games, face painting, Aztec Dancers, music performances and more. Info here!

Another great way to get involved at Nadaka is to help restore a healthy habitat at Nadaka Nature Park with SOLVE for the Beach and Riverside Cleanup event on September 23rd 9-12pm! We will be removing invasive species such as English ivy & Himalayan blackberry from the forest. Tools, gloves, training and light refreshments will be provided. Dress to work in natural areas: long pants, brimmed hat, and closed-toe sturdy shoes. Please bring a water bottle and a friend! Businesses, schools and community groups are welcome! Activities include: native shrub and ground cover planting, invasive plant removal, litter cleanup, working in the community garden. This event is a great way to give back to the community and meet others in the neighborhood with similar interests. To register for the event, visit

For those bird watchers out there, we will be having a Fall Migration Bird Walk with the Audubon Society of Portland Saturday, September 30th at 9 AM-10 AM. Meet us at the picnic shelter to borrow binoculars, bird guides, and enjoy light refreshments. We will have translators for Spanish speakers and bi-lingual birding cards to use! Birds are not your thing but bugs are? Come to the Beneficial Insects Workshop taught by Celeste Mazzacano with East Multnomah Soil & Water Conservation District (EMSWCD) Saturday, November 4th 9 AM-11:30 AM at St. Aidan’s Episcopal Church Community Hall! Beneficial insects work around the clock to protect your garden from pests. Meet the diverse cast of predators that provide free pest control, discover plant types and management practices that provide food, water, and shelter to attract and sustain beneficial insects that help your garden thrive. To register visit:

Starting this past April, we have been hosting free hands on gardening workshops once a month in the garden with Outgrowing Hunger as a follow-up to our Free Seed to Supper Workshops with Oregon Food Bank and OSU Extension Service this past winter. The last two workshops will be held Thursday evenings 5:30 -7:00 PM on August, 24th and September, 21st; workshop topics are “Harvesting Your Bounty” & “Shutting Down the Garden” respectively. To save your spot, contact Adam Kohl at 971-231-4191 or

Since March, we have partnered with Audubon Society of Portland to host the “Welcome Back Vulture Day”, Jim Labbe led a Bird Walk for Russian Speakers, EMSWCD to teach a Native Plant Workshop and SOLVE for our Annual SOLVE It for Earth Day Cleanup at Nadaka. Private stewardship events include the TIVNU youth group, US Bank volunteers, and Portland Adventist Academy. Our Third Annual Nadaka Tea Fundraiser in June was a huge success and profits from the event will go towards purchasing more education supplies! Partners and community members donated items such as refreshments, space, tea tableware as well as jewelry, home goods, gift cards, and more as raffle items. This event was a wonderful way for community members to meet their neighbors and support Nadaka Nature Park. We hope to see even more attendees next year!

Other events we held include our “Tadpole Tales” events for 2-5 year olds that were held once a month May through August, a Nature Art Camp June 26-30th, with St. Aidan’s Episcopal Church, and one week of Camp Fire's Namanu Day Camp in the City at Nadaka Park. The Nadaka Coordinator (NC) & SummerWorks interns helped teach 2 classroom programs for People, Places, and Things and had them visit Nadaka for their “English in the Park” field trip for the “Exploring Nature, Exploring Language” program.

Nadaka Nature Park, Tadpole Tales events for 2-5 year olds, once a month May through August 2017. Info here!

STRYVE Team (Striving to Reduce Youth Violence Everywhere), City of Gresham AmeriCorps members, and the Nadaka Coordinator hosted a bilingual Nature Discovery Days the park for moms and children under the age of seven with Mount Hood Community College’s “Early Head Start” group. The NC & interns have also been working consistently with the HB Lee SUN & I Have a Dream programs, Wilkes Elementary Books in the Park Program, Home Forward Apartment complexes and general community to provide environmental education, stewardship opportunities, and a safe place for students to explore and play both in the classroom and at the park.

We wanted to give a special shout out to our wonderful Nadaka Ambassadors, two SummerWorks Interns, and 8 STRYVE Team members who have been amazing at keeping the park clean, safe, and connecting with the community about upcoming events. The Nadaka intern team has been leading environmental education, doing stewardship, gardening, and outreach activities at the park since July. This wonderful group of young professionals are making a huge difference in the neighborhood and gaining experience for future job opportunities. As the Nadaka Coordinator, I am very proud of the Nadaka interns and the work they are doing to become leaders in this community. Please stop by the park and tell everyone what a wonderful job they are doing. Friends of Nadaka is able to providing the programing we do in the summer thanks to them!

You can also join us to create a positive social and environmental change in the Wilkes East and Rockwood community. Volunteer at an event or become a Nadaka Ambassador. Friends of Nadaka is currently accepting applications for Nadaka Ambassador Positions. For more information about the Ambassador Program and Nadaka updates, please visit, “Friends of Nadaka” on Facebook, or For picnic reservations, donations, or providing environmental education to your school, please contact Monica at or call at 503-956-8558.

Help us fulfill our mission to nurture nature, food, and families in West Gresham. We look forward to seeing everyone at the park this summer!