Chris Fountain and other Friends of the Giant Sequoia Grove – Pier Park
Pier Park, Giant Sequoia Grove
Further info AND a map can be found on our blog;
The ONLY way the integrity of the remaining Great Sequoia Grove will be preserved is if you lend your voice to the outcry. Charlie Hales is the man in charge, and he can’t help but take notice if his office is inundated with LETTERS…remember those paper things that you put a stamp on? Emails are far too easy for his assistant to DELETE (or become ‘lost’). Find an envelope somewhere and JUST DO IT! Tell him why you don’t want to see a 10′ wide paved path go thru the center of a pristine sequoia grove. Tell him that you think the whole plan – tree cutting, new bridge, and invasive ‘path’ – stinks! Just TELL HIM…and do it FAST!
Mayor Charlie Hales, 1221 SW 4th Avenue, Room 340, Portland, OR 97204
New information: These are believed to be the final plans for the new bridge. The bridge pavement extends into the great sequoia grove, and we fear that a 10′ wide asphalt ‘path’ will continue from the end of the bridge through a space that should be left ALONE.
SEE THE PLANS by clicking on this link:
Imagine yourself in the middle of North Portland. You drive a few blocks and see ahead of one of Portland’s many wonderful parks. You get out of your car and start to stroll through an incredible variety of towering trees and robust shrubs on a beautifully maintained trail. Soon you find yourself at the edge of a huge, oval grove of giant sequoia, and you are drawn to the center of the space. You look up and see the trees soaring skyward over 120′ above you, and you catch your breath. Strong, dense trunks stand watch around you, and you sense that this is a VERY special place- a place where you can think and dream, meditate, or pray.
On Thursday of last week, that sacred space was invaded by cherry-pickers and chainsaws intent on taking down one of these gentle green giants. A handful of protesters was able to stop City workers from touching the mighty sequoia, even though the police outnumbered the protesters. But on Friday, workers completed taking down two neighboring Douglas firs. Then, in spite of frantic phone calls to the Mayor’s office, faces covered in tears, and ultimately an arrest, down came one of the largest sequoia in the grove.
Some people said “It’s only one tree…and they’re going to plant more of them to mitigate the loss.” Those people don’t understand the bigger picture.
The city removed the tree to accommodate a bridge that will connect Pier Park with Chimney Park…part of the North Portland Greenway. They told the people that the bridge would be a footbridge/bike path. Now we hear that their plans are to build a bridge that is large enough to support a fire truck.
They decided to locate the bridge at the edge of the sequoia grove, even though there is an existing bridge less than a quarter mile away on N. Columbia which might be widened to comfortably accommodate walkers and bikes. Or, alternately, they might have chosen to build new foot/bike bridge right next to the existing street bridge, across which fire trucks already drive . We think the new bridge will be between 9 and 12 feet wide…but no one has shown us the final plans.
And there will be a new path that connects to that bridge. The planned route of the path is, as you may have already guessed, right thru the center of the Sequoia Grove. The people were told it was going to be a little woodland path, paved with natural materials. Now we are told that they are going to build a path that is a minimum of 10′ wide, and pave it with asphalt…but again, no one has shown us the final plans.
So you see, we can’t stop fighting now. A magnificent sequoia is down. And now we must work to prevent further impact on the grove that still stands.
This is the first day of this blog. It’s not totally set up because I’m still learning how to do it. There are duplications, broken links, and the About page will be a work in progress. Our tiny group is still formulating what action steps that we will take, and how far we’re willing to take that action. But we think that there are only four weeks until bridge construction begins, and the pressure is on.
We need support. We need bodies. We need clear thinkers and experts who can help us sort thru the facts as we get up to speed on exactly how things got to this point. We need people who are willing to write to the Commissioners and apply some pressure. We need taxpayers who are outraged – again and again – as they are mislead and ill-informed – as the City just keeps rolling along, doing what will suit it’s own interests.
Comment here. Get on board! If you’re willing to help, leave contact info on your comment, or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you aren’t sure you want to commit, come to our Sequoia Memorial at 3 PM next Sunday, March 3, and see these trees for yourself. The trees will tell you all you need to know.
Good grief…take down a healthy tree to make way for a trail? Build a 10′ wide asphalt ‘path’ thru a pristine Great Sequoia grove? What on earth are these people thinking?
Chris Fountain – arrested protester