A Park is Born

By  Heather Coston, Community Engagement Coordinator

You know that wooded lot that looks like a scary jungle of prickly blackberry bushes, and overgrown weeds? If you get close you might notice the canopy of Big Leaf Maples offering shade to blooming Trilliums, unruly ferns and wild mushrooms. You might see underbrush lending a protective cover to an unseen critter passing by. And if you listen closely, you can take in the sound of the Song Sparrows chirping warnings of your presence to each other.

That’s sort of what happened for neighbors living adjacent to undeveloped property on Bull Mountain, in Tigard.

Their observations led to a vision that blossomed into a plan which brought their community together and turned a wooded lot into a neighborhood jewel. And now the Friends of Bull Mountain Park is this year’s winner of the Oregon Parks and Recreation Association Volunteer Service Award.

The Friends of Bull Mountain Park have a lot to celebrate. Their progress took monumental commitment. Volunteers logged more than 2,000 hours of sweat equity and provided ingenious ideas to raise money. To purchase the property, the Friends lobbied for funds from Tigard’s 2010 Parks and Open Spaces Bond Measure by having an ongoing presence at the City of Tigard’s Parks and Recreation Advisory Board meetings.

As representatives from the Friends of Bull Mountain Park accepted the award last week, they knew it was about much more than recognition.  It was about lifelong friendships formed while cutting trails, sowing native plants, building benches and a natural playground from repurposed trees.

It was about love – for nature, community and future generations.

Now, the Friends of Bull Mountain Park can gather on warm summer evenings for picnics and music and wait for the rare Phantom orchids discovered within that unruly jungle to reveal their white, glowing blooms.

Learn more about Bull Mountain Park and enjoy a video about the project at
tigard-or.gov/community/bull_mountain_park.