State Rep. Michael Dembrow of northeast Portland and a diverse group of volunteers from nearby neighborhoods planted 165 trees Monday to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on the King national holiday.
The plantings were along the I-205 Multi-Use Path near the Parkrose/Sumner Transit Center. It followed a planting of 100 trees in the same vicinity last October to honor the Parkrose community’s centennial.
Representatives from Friends of Trees, the Oregon Department of Transportation, and the planting event’s sponsor, REI Portland, welcomed the volunteers.
Friends of Trees also organized six other weekend-of-service events in honor of Dr. King, including plantings in Vancouver and Portland’s Lents and Powellhurst-Gilbert neighborhoods, and natural area restoration events in Eugene, Springfield, and Tualatin.
Monday’s I-205 planting is part of a multi-year project to green the 16.5-mile I-205 Multi-Use Path. Stretching from the Columbia River in northeast Portland to the City of Gladstone, the path borders many low-income, multi-cultural neighborhoods, and is used by cyclists, pedestrians, neighbors, and TriMet travelers.
During the past two years, volunteers have planted more than 4,000 trees and shrubs along the path. The new trees will reduce air pollution, increase neighborhood livability, provide habitat for wildlife and songbirds, and beautify the transportation corridor. ODOT will showcase the project as a statewide model for greening opportunities within its rights-of-way.