Last Friday’s meeting at Commissioner Fish’s office was a success! Because of your support, we were able to deliver 230 signed postcards to the Commissioner’s staff — AND to clearly convey our goals for protecting Moreland Woods. Thank you! At the meeting, we learned that Moreland Woods could help address a gap in Portland Park’s goals for park access in the neighborhood. In 2001, recognizing that parks are a core city service offering places to play, exercise, meet neighbors, and enjoy nature, Portland City Council approved a plan to ensure that every resident is within a half-mile walk of a park or natural area by 2020. We’re less than two years away from 2020, yet a current reference map indicates a strip of Sellwood-Moreland remains “park deficient” and would directly benefit from access to Oaks Bottom — access that Moreland Woods could provide. (Click to zoom detail at left.) There’s still more to learn, and trail feasibility needs to be fully evaluated by professionals. But Commissioner Fish’s office expressed a commitment to help us explore acquisition and trail improvement options within the city’s various agencies, and we’re extremely grateful to them.
We continue to maintain an open line of communication with the property owners. Recognizing our interest in maintaining the Woods’ mature trees and open space, Foundation Partners recently put forward a conceptual plan that would keep the property in their ownership while maintaining most of the existing trees — and finding alternative uses for the site that align with the mausoleum’s business plan. Right now, their new proposal is more concept than details; its feasibility will be evaluated by the city during a pre-application conference on October 24. Our group plans to attend this meeting, to learn more about the new proposal, and to meet with Foundation Partners later in the week.
State Representative Karin Power represents Oregon’s 41st district, which covers parts of Clackamas and Multnomah Counties, including Milwaukie, Oak Grove, and parts of southeast Portland. She visited Moreland Woods last year and continues to support our efforts to preserve and protect this important natural space. In addition, we recently learned that Rep. Power plans to advocate for Moreland Woods in her meetings with city officials, including Mayor Wheeler. We’re grateful for her ongoing support!
We’re excited to report that our Moreland Woods survey generated 444 responses, and the input we received was pretty consistent. Most respondents were adamant in their desire to preserve the more than 20 mature Douglas Fir trees on the site, no matter what else might happen there. Eighty-six percent said they want to protect the trees and maintain the Woods as open space. According to one: “As our neighborhood is developed with condos, lofts, apartments, and large homes, Moreland Woods presents an opportunity to take a calming walk, catch your breath, and enjoy the views.” Respondents were most interested in the Woods’ use as an outdoor classroom for nature activities; fairly interested in its use for the Moreland Farmers Market and as an expansion for Llewellyn School; and mixed in their views about its use as a dog park. Most supported adding seating, picnic tables, and a trail to connect the Woods to Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge below. To the statement “If Moreland Woods was kept as open space, my greatest concern would be…,” they responded: Camping 37.6% I do not have any concerns 31.1% Maintenance costs 12.4% Public safety 9% Other 5.4% Parking 2% Impact of use on neighbors 1.4% Read More…