• Portsmouth Community Nature Walk, Next Saturday!

    Posted by Amy Michet      

    Hello Neighbors,

    Hope you're enjoying all of the springtime delights in your neighborhood!

    In celebration of Arbor Month, Friends of Trees is hosting a Community Nature Walk in Portsmouth next Saturday, April 25th. The walk begins at the N Fortune and N Houghton intersection at 10 a.m. and we will walk for about an hour. 

    We're hoping to bring neighbors together for a walking conversation about the neighborhood nature gems we’ll discover along the way and other related tree topics. We will definitely be stopping in at New Columbia's Fruits of Diversity Community Orchard.

    If you have any questions, feel free to call Friends of Trees office at 503-282-8846, ask for Whitney or Erica. 

    We hope to see you there!

  • Youth Arts Summer Camp in Portsmouth!

    Youth Arts Summer Camp in Portsmouth!

    Contact Person: Karen Ward503.412.8899 (mobile and texts)
    Registration is now open for Portland Abbey Arts Youth Art Summer Camp (for youth ages 5-12 in north Portland). 
    There are two weeks of camp available: July 7-11 and or July 14-18Register youth for a day, multiple days, or one or two full weeks (M-F). *Also, anyone can donate to sponsor a child from a low income household for one week of camp for $130
    Camp takes place on the campus of the Portland Abbey at 7508 N Hereford Ave (at Lombard) in Portsmouth, near St. Johns.
    Register a youth or donate a sponsorship here: http://abbeyarts.org/youth-arts-portland-oregon.php
  • Tuesdays Just Got Better!

    Tuesdays Just Got Better!

    By Amy Michet, Portsmouth Neighbor

    North Portland has some exciting news to share! Portland Parks and Recreation has teamed up with Portsmouth Neighborhood Association, New Columbia, and Kenton N.A. to create a series of concerts in various local parks. Starting on July 8th, there will be weekly concerts held on Tuesday evenings until August 26th. The fun starts from 6:30-8:15 pm, and is FREE! It is particularly exciting to announce that the first three concerts will be held in Columbia Annex, which has never happened before.


    *Come check out Nigerian-Afrobeat band Jujuba on July 8th at Columbia Annex Park, bring your picnic blankets, beverages, snacks, and neighbors. Base Camp Brewing will be handing out free samples of their latest brews. Again, that’s 6:30-8:15 pm. Fun!

     Here is a complete list of our generous sponsors that we would like to thank so much:

    New Columbia Community Campus Partners, Kristan Knapp Fund, Base Camp Brewing, Home Forward 13, Home Forward 14, Papa Murphy’s, PIR, Port of Pdx, St Johns Tire Factory, New Seasons, FOPIR, Guardian Management, JE Dunn, Kenton NA, Portsmouth NA, The Twilight Room, Apts at Kenton Stn., Anna Bannanas,  Christie’s Restaurant, Green Zebra Grocery, Heart in Oregon, Pdx Managed Services, Proper Eats, St Johns Ace Hardware, TCM, Tesoaria, The Village Market, University Pk Biz District, and Individual Donations.

    Please consider supporting these businesses, as they have helped create a free event in OUR neighborhood.  How cool is that?! Also, a big thanks to Zach Hollander (PNA Board Member) for spearheading this event!

    Check out the Facebook page for more information, or post if you have questions -


    or check out the City of Portland's page:


  • The Portsmouth Tree Team Has Been Busy at Work This Spring!

    The Portsmouth Tree Team Has Been Busy at Work This Spring!

    By Whitney Dorer, Portsmouth Neighbor
    On Saturday, March 29th, with support from City of Portland Urban Forestry, a group of 16 volunteers came together to prune young trees on the streets of Portsmouth.  The rain didn't stop the group from having a great time and pruning 81 trees in all.  See Flickr photos here!

    This work is very important for the future health of our urban forest.  With some small structural and clearance cuts now, a young tree can be given a better chance at thriving.  In Portsmouth, we have a high percentage of young trees, so pruning and young tree care are critical to our community.  If you are interested in pruning your own street trees, you must get a free permit online through Urban Forestry.  
    Last summer, the Portsmouth Tree Team alongside many volunteers, inventoried all street trees in our Neighborhood.  With this data the group created the Portsmouth Tree Plan.  You can see all of the results from the inventory here.  If you would like to be a part of the Portsmouth Tree Team, please contact:PortsmouthTrees@gmail.com.  The group meets about once every two months and is hoping to plan for more fun events highlighting our amazing neighborhood, including a "Tree Walk" through Columbia Park.  
  • One-Year Anniversary of Fruits of Diversity Community Orchard

    By Michael Zinkowski

    Portland Fruit Tree Project and Village Gardens invite neighbors and residents of New Columbia, Tamarack Apartments and the Portsmouth neighborhood to celebrate a successful first year at Fruits of Diversity Community Orchard. On Saturday April 5th, from 1-4pm, we will unveil a new welcome sign, award dedicated volunteers, learn about pollinators, give informal tours, and plant some more flowering perennials. Mayor Charlie Hales is expected to make an appearance at this exciting event!

    The community chose to name the orchard Fruits of Diversity in order to engage and cultivate a diversity of people and plants. We especially encourage residents and neighbors who have never visited the orchard to come out to this event, take a quick tour of the many fruit trees and berry bushes, and get excited about its future. Whether it’s your first or fifteenth time, you’re invited!

    Snacks, gloves, and tools will be provided.

    Let us know you're coming by registering at www.portlandfruit.org/events, calling 503-284- 6106, emailing michael@portlandfruit.org. Or just show up!

    Fruits of Diversity Community Orchard is located at 4735 N Trenton St., adjacent to Tamarack Apartments and just down the road from Seeds of Harmony Community Garden.

  • Intersection Painting and Place-Making Project!

    Intersection Painting and Place-Making Project!

    This May, Portsmouth neighbors will be painting the streets of Portsmouth!

     We are currently accepting design ideas for a street painting at the 5-point intersection of N Fortune, N Houghton and N Superior, right along the new Neighborhood Greenway. Current design ideas include elements from Portsmouth’s history, local landmarks, and local wildlife and native plants. The deadline for submissions is Sunday March 9th, and you can email your ideas to ourbeautifulfortune@gmail.com, or drop them off at 8959 N Fortune Ave. Here's an outline of the intersection, plus design guidelines:

    These street paintings, (also known as “Intersection Repair” projects) have been popping up all over Portland since 2000, when the local community-building organization City Repair (http://www.cityrepair.org ) created “Share-It Square” at SE Sherritt and 8th. Many of these projects also include gardens, community notice boards, Little Free Libraries, cob benches, tea stations and more, all created by neighbors for their neighborhoods. These projects build community and strengthen neighborhood ties, and many people have reported that their neighborhoods also feel safer as a result.

    SE 8th and Sheritt, Cobb Bench

    Please email ourbeautifulfortune@gmail.com if you would like to help us paint the street at N Fortune, Houghton and Superior this May, if you have ideas to share with us, if you would like to help build a Little Free Library, benches, or a community notice board, if you’re interested in helping plant trees or native plants by the intersection, to join our mailing list for project updates, or just to share your enthusiasm or support!


    Learn more about “Placemaking” and “Intersection Repair” at http://www.cityrepair.org

    Connect to Portsmouth neighbors interested in Placemaking projects at Next Door Portsmouth Page

     And don’t forget to support our project’s supporters!

    The Portsmouth Neighborhood Association: http://portsmouthneighborhood.com

    Miller Paint: http://www.millerpaint.com

    The Rebuilding Center: http://www.rebuildingcenter.org

    The Sundown Pub, 5903 N Lombard St: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sundown-Pub/123498251009286

    By Monica Roxburgh, Portsmouth Neighbor



  • Fresh Fruit for All: Community Orchard Seeks Local Volunteers

    By Michael Zinkowski

    Last April 6th, in rain boots, muddy pants, and flannel button-ups, 60+ community members (including Mayor Charlie Hales and Home Forward Representative, Michael Buonocore) took to their shovels. On that day, these excited volunteers planted 18 new fruit trees and over 50 edible shrubs in an inconspicuous lot by the North Trenton Street cul-de-sac. Now in 2014, grown to over 40 fruit trees and 100 edible shrubs, Fruits of Diversity Community Orchard needs your enthusiasm, energy, and mud-resistant attire to care and plan for the future of its plums, pears, and blueberries!

    Whether you have been involved from the start, or are learning about it now, Fruits of Diversity is currently accepting applications for a new volunteer position dubbed the Orchard Steward. By agreeing to attend monthly work parties and water once during the dry months, Stewards will learn about basic fruit tree care, ensure the maintenance of the orchard, and build community with neighbors.

    More local knowledge of tree care means more productive trees; more productive trees means more fresh fruit for those who need it. As a Steward, you will join Portland Fruit Tree Project, Village Gardens, and an existing network of neighbors who have been planning, planting, and creating this vision of the orchard since early 2013.  No experience necessary.

    Back in June, community members and orchard coordinators decided on the name—Fruits of Diversity—to embody the diversity of plants and people it hopes to embrace and cultivate. We hope that your participation as an Orchard Steward will encourage and empower you to get outside, learn about fruit trees, invest in each other’s well being, and share in the harvest of fresh, delicious, locally-grown fruit.

    For more information or to request an application, please call 503-284-6106 or email michael@portlandfruit.org with “FOD Orchard Steward Interest” in the subject line. Applications are due today, Monday, February 10th.

    Fruits of Diversity Community Orchard is located in the Portsmouth neighborhood at 4375 N Trenton St.

    Michael Zinkowski is a 2013-2014 CEC AmeriCorps member and the Community Orchards Coordinator for Portland Fruit Tree Project.

  • Trees Make Everything Better!

    Trees Make Everything Better!

    When’s the best time to plant a tree?  Twenty years ago.  And the second best time?  Today.  Consider this ancient Chinese proverb for this planting season. 


    Friends of Trees is at it again, in their 24th year of planting trees throughout the city of Portland. There are plenty of options to consider for your planting strip, depending on your site, but a few popular choices are:  Paper Bark Maple, Linden, Oregon White Oak, Forest Pansy Redbud, Japanese Stewartia, and Cascara, to name a few.  What’s that you say, you have room in your yard for a tree?  This opens up your options considerably, how about:  Douglas Fir, Giant Sequoia, Kentucky Coffee Tree, and various fruit trees, for example. 


    Friends of Trees offers high-quality stock of trees, works closely with the City of Portland & homeowners to choose the best trees for their space, and most importantly, provides an outstanding community planting event.  This is an opportunity to meet your neighbors, learn how to properly and safely plant trees, and have a delicious assortment of homemade soups and foodstuffs for lunch. 


    This season’s deadline to order trees for the Portsmouth neighborhood is January 20th, 2014.  If you’d simply like to be a part of the fun and volunteer for the morning, planting day is Saturday February 8th, 2014.  We will meet at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church at 7600 North Hereford Street at 8:30 am.  Kenton neighborhood is also joining us!  For more details look on their website  www.friendsoftrees.org

    By:  Amy Michet, Portmouth Neighborhood Coordinator for Friends of Trees

    contact:   amymichet@gmail.com

    Come for the trees, stay for the luncheon!

  • So, what is radon all about?

    It's on television. It's in the newspapers. It's on billboards.


    Portland has a radon issue, and it is not going away. The soil in the Willamette Valley containsgranite, brought down the Columbia River from Montana over 10,000 years ago. This granite contains uranium, which breaks down naturally and produces radon gas.

    Invisible and odorless, radon is drawn upward into our homes by the relatively lower pressure found in the structure above. The only way to know you have an issue is to test your home, using an inexpensive kit purchased at your local hardware store.

    So why all the fuss?

    Almost 40 years ago, medical research connected long-term exposure to high levels of radon with lung cancer. An estimated 22,000 fatalities are attributed annually to radon in the United States. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer, behind only cigarette smoking, and the leading cause of lung cancer for non-smokers.

    Testing is simple, and can be done for under $30. Based upon the results, a homeowner can decidewhether to seek out a certified mitigation firm. Mitigation involves installing a system to counteract the house's upward influence on radon. A depressurization system will "hold" the gas beneath the house, draw it to a collection point, then vent it to the exterior of the house and above the roofline.

    For most single family homes, mitigation will cost between $1,500 and $2,000.

    Radon. It's a Portland problem. Not all homes will test high; any given house can test low, even when your neighbor tested their home and found it to be moderate or high. To know for certain, both EPA and the Surgeon General's Office recommend every home in America should be tested for radon, regardless of location. Test your home, protect your family, safeguard your health.

    A huge thank you guest blogger, Jim Bittner, of Cascade Radon. Jim shared more about Radon at the October Community meeting, and is happy to talk to Portsmouth neighbors more about your radon concerns, and testing and solution needs and questions. Jim can be reached at (360) 721-3967 or jim@cascaderadon.com.