What is a Friends Group?
Friends groups are made up volunteers, neighbors, coworkers, and park lovers who come to a natural area or park on a regular basis (sometimes monthly, sometimes quarterly) to do hands-on restoration with the support of Portland Parks & Recreation staff. While activities vary with the seasons, friends groups are regularly involved in removing invasive weeds, planting native plants, building fences and maintaining trails, picking up litter, monitoring plants and wildlife, and more! PP&R supplies the gloves, tools, training, plants, and snacks and the friends group provides the people, smiles, laughs, energy, and advocacy for the long-term health and beauty of Portland's parks and natural areas.
Friends groups are the heart of many of our natural area parks!
Get to know some of our existing friends groups below. You can see where they work, what their goals are, who is involved, and what the schedules are for restoration events and meetings.
Don't see a friends group for your favorite natural area? Interested in starting one with a group of your neighbors? Contact us and we will help you make it happen!
If you are looking for community service to fulfill court requirements, call 503-823-5121.
Due to COVID-19, many regular friends group events have been modified or canceled. Please see the Volunteer Stewardship Events calendar for updates.
The Forest Park Conservancy
Every Thursday, 9:00 am - 12:00 pm. Join the Forest Park Conservancy to improve Forest Park's trails and native vegetation by removing invasive plants, maintaining trails, and planting native plants. Contact Zachary Peal at email@example.com at 503-223-5449 x106 for meeting location (varies). More information is available at forestparkconservancy.org
Hoyt Arboretum Friends
Hoyt Arboretum Friends (HAF) is a nonprofit organization working in partnership with Portland Parks & Recreation to manage Hoyt Arboretum. HAF's mission is to maintain and improve Hoyt Arboretum and its collections for all people through advocacy, resources, awareness, and education. HAF manages Hoyt Arboretum's education programs, visitor services, and volunteer resources as well as providing financial support for Hoyt Arboretum operations, maintenance, and capital improvements. View volunteer activities or call 503-823-1649 for more information.
Friends of Baltimore Woods
Every Thursday in May from 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm and continues every Thursday in June through August from 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm. Meet at N Baltimore Avenue and Decatur Street, near Cathedral Park to remove invasive species throughout the park. Tools, gloves, and fun provided. Bring water and weather/task-appropriate clothing—closed-toed shoes and things you can get dirty.
Friends of Columbia Children's Arboretum
Friends of Columbia Children's Arboretum is a group of dedicated community members whose mission is to protect, enhance and restore the Columbia Children's Arboretum as an educational and recreational resource for all generations. There are multiple volunteer opportunities at the Arboretum throughout the year. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org, or Yoko Silk (email@example.com; 503-278-1341) if you are interested in volunteering or learning more about joining the Friends group.
Columbia Slough Watershed Council
The Columbia Slough Watershed Council partners with Portland Parks & Recreation on multiple events each year throughout North and NE Portland. Check out theirStewardship Saturdays calendar on the website for dates, times, and locations of CSWC-supported events in PP&R-managed parks and natural areas.
Friends of Errol Heights
The Friends of Errol Heights partners with Portland Parks & Recreation and occasionally also the Johnson Creek Watershed Council to complete important ecological enhancement projects at this little gem of a Park. The group generally meets on the third Saturday of the month, 9:00 am - 12:00 pm. (See Volunteer Stewardship Events Calendar for confirmed upcoming events.) Keep your eye out for beaver, ducks, and other wildlife as you volunteer alongside other community members. Everyone welcome, and no experience necessary!
Friends of Gabriel Park
The Friends of Gabriel Park partners with PP&R to improve and maintain the park's natural areas, hosting work parties to remove invasive plants and to plant native plants. Visit the Friends of Gabriel Park website for more information, and to be added to the email list for notification of upcoming events.
Friends of Marquam Nature Park
Second Wednesday and last Saturday of each month, 9:00 am - 12:00 pm. Join PP&R, the Friends of Marquam Nature Park, and the West Willamette Restoration Partnership in removing English ivy and other invasive species from the park. Trail maintenance and plantings are done on a seasonal basis. Tools, gloves, and snacks provided. Please bring a water bottle if you have one, and wear long pants and closed-toe shoes. Meeting location varies by month. Sign up at Hands On Greater Portland. For more information, contact Mary at firstname.lastname@example.org or 503-823-9423.
Friends of Powell Butte
Friends of Powell Butte meets monthly to discuss issues related to the Butte. Check the Friends of Powell Butte website for information about Powell Butte Nature Park, as well as meeting times and locations.
Friends of Terwilliger Parkway
Third Saturday of the month, 9:00 am - 12:00 pm (except June, July, and August). Join PP&R, the Friends of Terwilliger, and the West Willamette Restoration Partnership in removing invasive non-native species, including English ivy, Himalayan blackberry, and clematis and native plantings on a seasonal basis. Meet at the restrooms on SW Terwilliger and Hamilton. For more info, contact Mary at email@example.com or 503-823-9423. Visit Friends of Terwilliger website at terwilligerfriends.org.
Friends of Tideman Johnson
The Friends of Tideman Johnson partners with Portland Parks & Recreation and occasionally the Johnson Creek Watershed Council to maintain plantings, plant native plants, mulch, pick up litter, or remove invasive species. The group generally meets the first Saturday of the month, 9:00 am - 12:00 pm (except January and July-September). (See Volunteer Stewardship Events Calendar for confirmed upcoming events.) Keep your eye out for birds and other wildlife as you volunteer alongside other community members. Everyone welcome, and no experience necessary!
Friends of Mt. Tabor Park Weed Warriors
Last Saturday of the month, 9:00 am - 12:00 pm (March-October) (Please see Stewardship Calendar for date and time additions and changes.) Join PP&R and the Friends of Mt. Tabor Park Weed Warriors to remove invasive species, maintain plantings, plant native plants, or mulch. Wear long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, and sturdy walking shoes. Bring a water bottle, rain gear, and/or sunhat. Instruction, tools, gloves, water, and treats provided. Meet at the main parking lot in Mt. Tabor Park (next to the amphitheater, basketball court, and restrooms), accessed by SE 60 and Salmon or SE 69 and Yamhill. TriMet #71 to SE 60 and Salmon (follow Salmon to park entrance and up the hill) or #15 to SE 69 and Yamhill (follow SE 69 into park and take entrance to the right). For more information or to RSVP contact Emily Lytle at firstname.lastname@example.org. Check out the Weed Warriors handbook here.
Friends of Woods Park
Fourth Saturday of the month, 9:00 am - 12:00 pm (except December). Join the Friends of Woods Park in removing invasive species, including English ivy and Himalayan blackberry, and replacing them with native plants. Trail work is done on a seasonal basis in the summer months. Meet at the Stairway Trail entrance off SW Woods Pkwy. Parking is available at the SW 45 entrance by the gate. For more information, contact Mary at email@example.com or 503-823-9423.
Johnson Creek Watershed Council
Johnson Creek Watershed Council partners with Portland Parks & Recreation on multiple events each year throughout southeast Portland. Check out their volunteer event calendar on the JCWC website for dates, times and locations of JCWC-supported events in PP&R-managed parks and natural areas.
SW Trails is a community group which promotes walking and biking in southwest Portland, Oregon. In partnership with PP&R SW trails host volunteer trail maintenance events monthly at different natural area parks in SW Portland. Check out their website for more information and volunteer event details. For more information, contact Mary at firstname.lastname@example.org or 503-823-9423.