Portland Parks & Recreation, partners, to dedicate Hazeltine Park nature patch

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Park transformed by native plantings and natural elements
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(Portland, OR) - 

Park transformed by native plantings and natural elements

The next nature patch in the Portland Parks & Recreation system is nearly complete at Hazeltine Park, in SE Portland’s Brentwood-Darlington neighborhood. 

All are welcome to join Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R), the Johnson Creek Watershed Council, and the Brentwood-Darlington Neighborhood Association for a planting party and celebration on Saturday, December 1, 2018, 9am-12pm. Click here to RSVP 

WHAT: Hazeltine Park nature patch celebration and planting party
WHEN: Saturday, December 1, 2018, 9am-12pm
WHERE: Hazeltine Park, 5416 SE Flavel Drive, Portland
Transit options include nearby TriMet bus stops on lines 71 and 75.

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“Our public parks provide all Portlanders with many opportunities, and one of them is to connect people to nature,” says Portland Parks & Recreation Interim Director Kia Selley. “The Hazeltine Park nature patch, only the third of its kind in the city, will provide a fun way to get closer to nature in this neighborhood and serve as a model for expanding access to nature in more parks across Portland.” 

The park is named in honor of longtime Brentwood-Darlington neighborhood residents and park advocates, Dick Hazeltine and his late wife Opal. The Hazeltines have been at the forefront of many neighborhood improvement initiatives over many years, and their tireless efforts and advocacy helped to spur the development of what is now Hazeltine Park. Mr. Hazeltine is expected to speak at Saturday’s event. 

“This nature patch is a big improvement and the park feels larger - and will be an even more fun place for kids to play,” says Dick Hazeltine, who says he was born just blocks away from the park which bears his family’s name. “Portland Parks & Recreation staff and neighbors have done an outstanding job, and I’m so grateful. This project means a lot, coming from someone who started petitions and other efforts for the park over nearly 20 years.”

Hazeltine Park’s nature patch includes heaps of new native and flowering plants, and natural elements for park visitors to explore. Nature patches are helping PP&R develop a new approach of incorporating ecology and nature into Portland’s parks. PP&R staff have been busy removing invasive trees and plants, adding split-rail fencing, moving boulders, placing logs, and installing the first series of green, healthy, native plants. Portland Parks & Recreation is excited for park neighbors of all ages to assist in this weekend’s final improvements and finishing touches. Afterwards, the site will be open to all. 

Part of Portland Parks & Recreation’s Ecologically Sustainable Landscapes Initiative, the Hazeltine Nature Patch impressively transforms the neighborhood park and makes it more sustainable and appealing. The nature patch is located around the edges of the 1-acre park to maintain the central lawn area for activities. Other elements include a variety of flowering native and ornamental pollinator-friendly plants, the two “habitat trees” carved with critter niches, an accessible gravel surface for the picnic area, and several nature spots with logs and boulders to gather around. 

PP&R acquired the park in 2001. Since that time, many passionate neighborhood leaders have been stewards of this park – caring for it and improving it project by project. The City thanks them all for their continued efforts.

What is a nature patch?

Nature patches are spaces within existing parks that are being enhanced to add beautiful natural elements for people and wildlife. A variety of natural materials like native Pacific Northwest plants, logs, boulders and paths will be added to underused areas to encourage people to play and explore. Nesting boxes, flowering plants and other additions will improve the habitat for birds, pollinating insects and wildlife. Nature patches will bring nature into view at neighborhood parks, adding beautiful greenspaces that are home to birds, bees, and butterflies. Besides Hazeltine, nature patches are complete at Alberta and Wilshire Parks, with a site at Gabriel Park in progress. Several other nature patch projects around the city are also planned over the next few years. The goals of the program include:  

  • Provide spaces for people to explore, play, and interact with nature
  • Create ecologically robust landscapes that support native pollinators within developed parks
  • Provide environmental education and stewardship opportunities
  • Increase soil and plant health, and expand the diversity of natural landscapes within parks
  • Foster community partnerships and PP&R collaboration
  • Decrease maintenance inputs over time 

For more information about PP&R’s nature patches, please visit this link

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