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Friends of April Hill Park

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2015: A Good Year for April Hill Park

Thank you all for your hard work and support. 2015 was a good year for April Hill Park. We were able to expand the natural are east of the No Name Creek by a quarter acer! And, without the use of herbicides. This was done by the removal of blackberries and a lawn then covering the area with cardboard and mulch, a method of killing weeds. Volunteers did all this work and built a fence to protect the new riparian area. It looks great. Now this area can function as it should to protect the stream that feeds the April Hill Park wetlands.

In addition to the five work parties we held a meeting with Portland Parks and Rec. City Nature staff in April Hill Park and held an open house showing the trails, boradwalk and bridges planned for the Wetland Protect project. This was a good time to meet the PP&R staff and the pro-bono engineer, Josh Owens. The April Hill Park Wetland Protection project is on schedule for construction to start late summer 2016. This project was made possible from the Metro Areas Bond Measure’s Nature in the Neighborhood Capital Grant Program, Portland Parks and Recreation, and the generous donations by neighbors.

In April Sarah Swanson and Max Smith of Must See Birds of the Pacific Northwest led a Spring Bird Walk, and we had the April 30x30 Challenge. A Bug’s Life. was the movie shown in August.

Friends of April Hill Park are planning more actives for 2016 and we need your help.

You are invited to April Hill Park
Parke Diem

Saturday, October 10
9:00 am to noon

Parke Diem Flyer
Come and show your support for April Hill Park as part of a city-wide Parke Diem event. Join Portland Parks & Recreation and Friends of April Hill Park to help restore this natural area by removing invasive plant species. Remember to wear/bring: Long pants and closed-toed shoes, layers, hats and waterproof clothing for weather, full water bottles. Tools, gloves and snacks will be provided. Parking is available on SW Logan Ct or SW Miles St.
This is a family event, all ages welcomed. Children must bring an adult.
We will be removing ivy from the area where the new boardwalk will be installed. For more information contact us at: Or, call 503-823-8367
We will be handing out T-shirts to the volunteers. Please let us know if you are planning to come. We will be sure to have your size. Drop-ins are always welcomed. This event is sponsored by Portland Parks and Recreation, Portland Parks Foundation, and Friends of April Hill Park.

You are invited to April Hill Park Wetland Protection Project
Open House

Tuesday, September 22
6:30 pm to 8:30 pm

Maplewood Coffee and Tea, 5206 SW Custer St (corner of SW Custer St. and SW 52nd Ave.)

View the new designs for the April Hill Park natural area boardwalk and bridges. Meet the pro-bono engineer who designed the boardwalk and bridge structures. This is a gift to us. Meet the Portland Parks & Recreation staff who have been working on this project with our Maplewood community and other concerned citizens.
Contact us at

Movie in April Hill Park:  It's a Bugs Life (1998) G
Sunday, August 9
Activities 6:30pm, Movie 8:30pm

Entrance to April Hill Park is from SW 60th Ave and SW Miles Street OR SW 54th Ave and Logan Ct.

Music, food, kids' activities, including a climbing wall. Raffle and more. Starts at 6:30pm. Movie at 8:30pm, A Bug's Life.
Contact us at

Our Big Backyard magazine summer 2015

View the story on page 8 at this link:

July 2015 Update: April hill Park Wetland Protection Project will be delayed

Our long warm spring is allowing the plant to grow lush this year. And this year, the non-native invasives plants are doing very well too. Friends of April Hill Park is planning more work parties to remove invasive plants. We will wait until the birds’ nesting season is over. This little song sparrow has a second nest!

It was two years ago, May 30, 2013, that Metro Awarded Friends of April hill Park a Nature in the Neighborhoods Metro Grant. We were able to raise our matching funds by January 2014. There has been a lot of behind-the-scenes work including engineering drawings. But now construction of the boardwalk, bridges, and soft trails will be delayed another year, according to Lisa Tyler, Portland Parks and Recreation project manager. Due to delays, PP&R will miss the window for this summer’s construction. Our very generous pro-bono Engineer has taken on the job of completing the design work. Friends of April Hill Park will host an open house with an updated schedule from PP&R in September (exact date to be determined). Look for more information as it comes in and for the open house dates in the site. Or contact us at

June 18, 2015: Work Party, 8am - noon

June 2015 Work Party flyer

April 2015 Bird Walk flyer

May 2015: Work Party

On May 16, for a second year OSU alumni chose to volunteer their time in April Hill Park as part of their OSU Alumni Service Day, a world-wide event. The alumni graduating classes ranged from 1956 to 2014. City Nature’s Charlie Nappi and Nathan Schulte lead the group. Laura George, who organized the OSU alumni, grew up in Maplewood neighborhood and thought this would be a good service day project. Her parents and other neighbors help to create the playing field back in the 50’s, before April Hill Park was a park. Many of the alumni grew up in Maplewood. Maplewood neighbors joined the work party making it part reunion, part meeting new people. Laura handed out orange OSU service day T-shirts to all the volunteers, no matter what school they attended. We accomplish a lot and reclaimed much of natural are. We are not finished; planning to have more work parties this June and July to complete the spreading of cardboard and covering it up with mulch. Some of these will be on weekends and weekdays. Contact us at

Placing cardboard down on the grass and coving it with mulch is called Lasagna gardening.

First, we had to remove the plastic tape from the cardboard. We now have found asource where to get plastic tape free cardboard for our next work party.

As one group placed the cardboard, another group moved the mulch.

Cardboard placement.

Oh, and we found a large, fallen tree on the lawn that needed a new home to become habitat in the future for salamanders and more.

Cale and Henry Fleming and another volunteer dug right in to build spilt rail fences working with PP&R staff Nathan Schulte.

Wow! That was light as a feather when you have 10 people carrying it.

New split rail fence.

May 2015: Congratulations 30x30 winners!

30x30 winners

April 2015 Bird Walk flyer

April 2015: Bird Walk

A successful April Hill Park Spring Bird Walk was held on April 25, 2015. With the best weather and a turn out of 12 neighbors, some came from other neighborhoods, and birds showing off their spring colors. We will be holding another bird walk next year. Next Spring the boardwalk, viewing platform, bridges and trails will have been completed, making it even more enjoyable. Sarah Swanson and Max Smith lead the group. Below are Max’s comments:
Sarah and I led a bird walk to help promote the restoration underway at April Hill Park.
We had a great turnout and the birds were nice enough to show too.

28 species
  • Red-tailed Hawk 1
  • Band-tailed Pigeon 8
  • Anna's Hummingbird 1
  • Red-breasted Sapsucker 2
  • Downy Woodpecker 1
  • Northern Flicker 1
  • Pacific-slope Flycatcher 1 Our first of the year! We heard several calls but did not get a look.
  • Steller's Jay 2
  • Western Scrub-Jay 1
  • American Crow 1
  • Black-capped Chickadee 2
  • Chestnut-backed Chickadee 1
  • Bushtit 2
  • White-breasted Nuthatch 2 We checked a cavity where we observed nesting behavior last week. While we watched, a female entered the cavity, left a few minutes later to fend off a Douglas squirrel (amazing puffing display!), reentered the cavity, and was fed at the cavity by the male. Given these observations, nest is most likely in the incubation stage.
  • Bewick's Wren 1
  • Golden-crowned Kinglet 1
  • Ruby-crowned Kinglet 1
  • Hermit Thrush 1
  • American Robin 2
  • European Starling 1
  • Orange-crowned Warbler 2
  • Yellow-rumped Warbler 2
  • Black-throated Gray Warbler 2 Singing male chasing other(s) away
  • Spotted Towhee 5 One pair was quite nervous in an area where we'd seen them carrying food last week.
  • Song Sparrow 4
  • Dark-eyed Junco 1 Adult carrying a wiggly crane fly.
  • Brown-headed Cowbird 1
  • Pine Siskin X
View this checklist online at

What is the April Hill Park 30 x 30 Challenge?

A fun way to enhance awareness of April Hill Park, our environment, and our community. We are sponsoring a 30 X 30 April Hill Park Challenge.

Spend 30 minutes each day in April Hill Park and tell us about it with your photos, drawings, or writings.

We want YOU to post your best expressions of April Hill Park every day for 30 days of April via Instagram, Facebook or Email using the ideas (on the image above) for inspiration.

Instagram: Post your photos on Instagram using #AprilHillPark and be sure to follow us @AprilHillPark

Facebook: Post your photos to our Facebook Page, Friends of April Hill Park using #AprilHillPark

Email: Submit to and we will post for you on our Facebook page.

The post with the most likes and comments will win fun prizes awarded Wednesday of each week! The prizes will be announced soon so be sure to keep in touch by signing up for our newsletter.

February 2015: Social trails become compacted, act as channels draining the wetland

A visit to April Hill Park after a rain event told a clear and obvious story that the social trails are seriously impacting the natural area. One of the impacts is these compacted trails act as channels draining the wetland. The salamander, newts, and frogs need the wetland to develop from immatures into adults. If the wetland dries up too fast, they die. This video shows how one of the social trails is draining the wetlands.
The new April Hill Park Protection Project with boardwalk, bridges and trails are designed to prevent this, providing a safe way for visitors to experience the park's natural areas with minimum impact. This project is funded by the Metro Natural Areas Bond Measure’s Nature in the Neighborhood Capital Grants Program, Portland Parks & Recreation, and generous donations by neighbors.  

December 2014 April Hill Park Update

Three engineers donated their time in December for the engineering portion of the April Hill Park Wetland Protection Project, Boardwalk. Using a hand auger, the geotechnical engineer took soil samples, one foot at a time until reaching more than 6 feet down. They check the depth of the creek, Woods Creek. It is about 10 feet from the bottom of the creek to the top of the bank.
Two engineers using hand augerEngineer using hand auger
The Geotechnical Engineer needs to touch and feel the soil. The color is important too.
Engineer gets handful of the soil
The Bridge Engineer checked both the width and depth of the creek. The depth from the top of the bank to the bottom of the creek was about 10 feet. These measurements are part of what determines the size of the bridge.
Engineer measures width of creekEngineer measures depth of creek

November 15th, 2014 April Hill Park Clean Up Party

Sponsored by Friends of April Hill Park and the Maplewood Neighborhood Association. The first picture shows the "before" and the last picture shows the "after." A very hearty crew did a great job of removing the invasive blackberry! The ice leaf was a found treasure.

Boardwalk Project

On May 31, 2013, Metro Council announced its award of a $83,059 Nature in Neighborhoods Capital Grant toward the cost of constructing a boardwalk, two bridges, and a wildlife observation platform in the wetland area of the park. The goal of this project is to provide safe access to the wetland for Maplewood School students, neighbors, and other visitors while protecting habitat for sensitive amphibians and plants. Letters of support for the project were sent in by Maplewood PTA Outdoor Explorers Committee, Art4Life, Wildwood Preschool, SW Watershed Resource Center, SW Trails, and others. The grant provides about 1/3 of the project cost. Another 1/2 of the project cost will be contributed through a combination of Portland Parks & Recreation funds and matching volunteer time from the Friends of April Hill Park, SW Watershed Resource Center, and professionals who have committed in-kind services to the project. We have less than 1/6 of the project cost left to fundraise! Ready to help?
If you prefer to donate by check, make payable to Southwest Neighborhoods, Inc. or "SWNI" and write "April Hill Park" on the memo line. Mail to: SWNI
7688 SW Capitol Hwy.
Portland, OR 97219

Whooo lives in April Hill Park?


Other ways to get involved

Would you be interested in hosting a party or other social event to raise awareness and donations for this project? You provide the space and the invite list, we'll do the rest! Email Friends of April Hill Park for details.