Wildflower walkway funding approved in Oregon City
On June 13, the Clackamas County Historical Society received $15,500 to complete additional stages of a new community wildflower display that will total nearly a mile from Oregon City's Municipal Elevator, along the bluff line, south to CCHS's Museum of the Oregon Territory.
The final third of a "wildflower walk" along the McLoughlin Promenade (the last 1,850 feet of the walkway) will be cultivated and seeded through the grant funds. CCHS board President Bruce Hanson said the wildflower-garden funding will "support on-site work at our museum to improve the irrigation system, create a botanical garden that links back to our historic pharmaceutical displays, and, in general, establish seamless connectivity of our museum to the downtown district."
Oregon City Public Works Director John Lewis supported the funding request, saying he was confident the project will "continue to be designed to match or complement the native floral palette of the area, reduce disturbance, protect the public safety, and be designed for self-renewal instead of ongoing maintenance."
Rivers of Life Center Administrator Matthew Riegg said the youth crew previously created a wildflower walk in Hood River, so the historic John McLoughlin Promenade will be the second pathway where they've planted native wildflowers. Other partners in the wildflower walkway effort include Abernethy Development, Settler's Corner and numerous residents near the McLoughlin Bluff.
Riegg said native plants and self-perpetuating wildflowers are beginning to illuminate the bluff for both public enjoyment and the seasonal visitors coming to Willamette Falls. Included in the display are many native wildflowers on the bluff line for the public to enjoy, such as poppies, delphinium, purple tansy, lupine and more.
Youth crew members Joshua and Keaton Beckham went to great lengths in making special provisions to complete the project so far.
"The Beckhams, age 23 and 15, helped fabricate rakes with 20-foot, 15-foot, and 10-foot aluminum handles and special hand-held cultivating equipment," Riegg said. "We foresee the project will be self-perpetuating once the wildflowers have gone through their establishment phase at this time, and then they will begin to self-propagate."
Riegg thanked nearby residents for their help watering and giving the wildflowers special attention, including Greg DeVall; Kari Mitchell, daughter of former Mayor Ken Mitchell; her friend, retired Clackamas County Circuit Judge Ron Thom; and Thom's wife, Suzie Pynn.
14 grants awarded
Projects to support enhancement throughout Oregon City — such as reducing youth homelessness, upgrading heritage sites, rehabilitating or upgrading natural resource areas, increasing safety, improving neighborhoods and enhancing access to art in the city — are among the 14 recipients of the Community Enhancement Grants awarded June 13.
The Community Enhancement Grant Program receives funding from Metro, which operates the South Transfer Station located in Oregon City at the corner of Highway 213 and Washington Street. Metro, through an intergovernmental agreement with Oregon City, compensates the city by distributing a $1 per ton surcharge for all solid waste collected at the station to be used for enhancement projects throughout Oregon City.
Grants support nonprofits, schools or institutions of higher learning and local government to educate, encourage and provide beautification, education, training or safety and enhancements to Oregon City residents.
The grants are awarded on yearly cycles by a committee of elected officials and community members. There were 24 applicants requesting a total of $722,794, and 14 were awarded a total of $405,605.
Projects awarded funding include:
$15,220 for Ecology in Classrooms and Outdoors
$47,725 for the Park Place Neighborhood Association/Service Committee
$18,400 for the Downtown Oregon City Association's Clean Streets Program
$46,000 for DOCA's downtown placemaking project
$40,000 for Clackamas Heritage Partners, which will film a "Native American Movie," in their words.
$11,800 to the Clackamas County Historical Society's window replacement at the Museum of the Oregon Territory
$15,500 to CCHS for grounds improvement
$35,000 for Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon's Second Home Program to house homeless, unaccompanied youths in OC
$50,000 to Phase III of construction at Latourette Park
$44,400 for Clackamas Workforce Partnership's Connect 2 Careers program
$25,960 to accelerate the launch of Village at the Falls, a program to benefit Oregon City seniors
$16,800 for Clackamas County Arts Alliance's Youth Stories for Change project
$13,800 for Rivers of Life Center to improve Clackamette Cove water quality
$25,000 for the Oregon City Public Works Department to construct decorative poles that will hold banners across Molalla Avenue
This story has been updated from its original verision online to include all 14 of the groups receiving awards through this program.