The Wisdom Community Gardens Open House is Tuesday, June 12 from 4:30 – 6:30 PM. Our garden is located at the east foothill of Kelly Butte Natural Area, at the offices of Wisdom of the Elders, Inc. The address is 3203 SE 109th Avenue (Exit 19 east of I-205 between Division and Powell).
Wisdom’s garden project would not have progressed the way it has without the volunteer dedication of a number of volunteers and community members. We especially acknowledge Lora Price, landscape architect and consultant from Design with Nature. Lora, now Wisdom Community Gardens Initiative Project Director, came to Wisdom earlier this year with extensive experience in environmental planning and sustainable design for public parks, natural areas, and garden spaces. Since February, she has dedicated herself to the development of our garden plan which includes 6 raised heirloom vegetable garden beds, a Three Sisters garden (corns, beans and squash), native medicinal plants, and original species of Native berries growing in our region for centuries and loved by our ancestors, including elderberry, raspberry, strawberry, highbush cranberry, chokecherry, currant, serviceberry, salmonberry, thimbleberry, and of course, huckleberry!
Lora and I spent a couple of hours on Saturday afternoon at Bosky Dell Natives plant nursery in West Linn picking up plants for the educational berry and ethnobotanical garden. Lory Duralia with Bosky Dell Natives has hundreds of Native species for sale. She showed us through her garden and inspiring home and shared how she had helped to restore her land as well a local Tualatin River tributary creek. She was winner of the Green Heron Award for her contributions to the protection and restoration of the Tualatin watershed .
The original permaculture plan was developed in 2011 by a student team learning permaculture design from Toby Hemenway, author of Gaia’s Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture. The team included Ian Lamb, Kacy Cullen, Kara Smith and Jennifer Twohig, who spent the summer and fall developing the permaculture plan. It is now on display in our Board room and although it has gone through a few modifications, will soon become a reality. Kaitlyn Rich, Wisdom’s AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer helped to initiate the plan in 2011. Katie Shaw, Wisdom’s Community Outreach Coordinator submitted the NCCC grant. We hope they and you will join us at our garden events this next month.
The garden will be taking shape in the next couple of weeks with the arrival of eight very special AmeriCorps’ National Civilian Community Corps team members. Sydney, Lindsey, Colin, Alex, Terrin, Nathaniel, Laura, and Mary have arrived and will dedicate the next 2 ½ weeks to the ongoing transformation of our 1/3 acre yard at Kelly Butte House as it turns into an educational and organic heirloom vegetable and ethnobotanical garden.
There are so many people to acknowledge for their support of Wisdom Community Gardens! Judy Bluehorse Skelton and her PSU Indigenous Gardens and Food Justice Capstone classes; Heather Burns, Ph.D., Assistant Professor and Coordinator of the Leadership in Ecology, Culture and Learning (LECL) program at PSU’s Educational Leadership and Policy Department;