This Week’s Events

Nadaka Nature Park has events for everyone to enjoy this week! Join us for our Summer Garden Workshop Tuesday July 28th at 5:30pm, Tadpole Tales Wednesday July 29th at 10:00am, and the Nadaka Cleanup Event Saturday August 1st at 9:00am!  We look forward to seeing you at these events! Please spread the word and bring a friend.

Summer Garden Workshop English SmallTadpole Tales- E Summer July Stewardship Saturday #4 Flyer E S

Bird Walk at Nadaka

Monthly guided Bird Walks at Nadaka Nature Park will help you brush up on your birding basics and identification. This is a family friendly event open to beginners and advance bird watchers. If you have your own binoculars great! If not we will have some for you to borrow! Meet us at the picnic structure this Saturday July 25th 8:00 am. We look forward to seeing you there!

Bird Walk #3-English Bird Walk #3- Spanish









Part-time Surveyors Needed for Nadaka Community Survey in Rockwood

Part-time Surveyors Needed for Nadaka Community Survey in Rockwood
The Columbia Slough Watershed Council, Audubon Society of Portland, and the Friends of Nadaka are looking for qualified candidates to work 10 hours a week helping conduct a community survey at Nadaka Nature Park between July 28 to August 22. The goal of the survey is to collect information on how people are using the park and the types of programs or events they would like to have present at Nadaka. Nadaka Nature Park is located at 17615 NE Glisan St. next to St. Aidan’s Church.

To Apply: Applicants should send a short letter of interest, a resume, and one personal and one professional reference to Jim Labbe by July 16th, 2015. Please put “Nadaka Survey Applicant” in the subject line.

Click the link below for full position description.

Part-time Community Surveyor Job Announcement

Nadaka Ambassador Informational Meeting!

The Friends of Nadaka are forming an Ambassador program to involve volunteers who are willing to volunteer at Nadaka. Some things Ambassadors may do will be walk through the park to be eyes on the park, talk to people and perhaps pick up any litter they see. The program is brand new and we need volunteers with suggestions and the desire to improve Nadaka. Come to help the Friends of Nadaka figure out what an Ambassador will do.

Ambassador Info Meeting- English L

Last Chance to Register for the Nadaka Tea Fundraiser!

2015-04-28 16.36.19Everyone is cordially invited to a Nadaka Tea Party Fundraiser to celebrate the Camp Fire Girls of Nadaka.  Come and enjoy delicious scones, sandwiches, desserts and tea while enjoying stories from some of the Camp Fire Girls who spent time at Nadaka Camp. Then enjoy a quick walk through the forest to feel the magic.


The event will take place Saturday, June 20th 1-3pm at the church meeting space next to the park:

St. Aidan’s Episcopal Church- Murdock Hall

17405 NE Glisan Street Gresham, OR 97230

You are encouraged to wear a hat and there will be a prize for the best one.

Seating is limited so make your reservation now.

Reservations can be made a 4 ways.

1.Online by clicking the button below and submitting electronic payment,

Eventbrite - Nadaka Tea Fundraiser

2. By printing, completing, scanning, & emailing form below to and sending a check to our fiscal agent Columbia Slough Watershed Council (7040 NE 47th Ave Portland , OR 97218).

Tea Registration Paper Form

3.Mailing completed form and check to: Monica McAllister- Nadaka Nature Park /Columbia Slough Watershed Council 7040 NE 47th Ave Portland , OR 97218.

4.Handing completed forms with check or cash to Monica-Nadaka Nature Park Coordinator or Lee Dayfield– Friends of Nadaka.


All checks should be made out to Columbia Slough Watershed Council (CSWC),

Nadaka’s fiscal agent, with the memo stating Nadaka Tea Fundraiser.

Any questions should be directed to Monica McAllister- Nadaka Nature Park Coordinator. Email at or call at 503-956-8558.


Oregon Tradeswomen at Nadaka

Good news for Nadaka Nature Park. The Oregon Tradeswomen (OTW) just received a grant from East Multnomah Soil & Water Conservation District to do another project at Nadaka this summer. I think they will continue to build some things in the community garden but whatever it is it will be great.

The Oregon Tradeswomen are now recruiting young women (17 to 24 years old) for their Building Girls Work Crew to learn basic construction skills and much more fun things. Contact Katie Yablonsky,, 503.318.9232 if you know a young lady who might be interested in this wonderful program. They will be able to help build at Nadaka this summer.

Last summer OTW built the two tool sheds, six ADA raised planter boxes and berry trellises for the community garden.otw10

Thank You!

13030_10153236495386202_3095463619738747288_nThe Friends of Nadaka Nature Park would like to thank Metro, Starbucks, Albertsons, Park Place Cafe, and the Center for Family Success for their donations which made the Grand Opening of Nadaka Nature Park & Garden Project a spectacular success; we greatly appreciate their generosity.

We would also like to thank the Columbia Slough Watershed Council, AARP Foundation, Center for Family Success, Outgrowing Hunger, Cathy Sherick with the Springwater Parks & Community District, the Audubon Society of Portland, and the City of Gresham for providing information and education to community members during the event.

Our wonderful volunteers at the Grand Opening included members from the community, Wilkes East Neighborhood Association, AmeriCorps leaders from HB Lee SUN program, former Camp Fire Girls and Cub Scout Troop #214. A special thanks to Representative Carla Piluso for being the announcer for the event and our guest speakers which included:

Mayor Shane Bemis

Metro Councilor Shirley Craddick

Urban Conservationist Jim Labbe- Audubon Society of Portland

Executive Director Jane Van Dyke- Columbia Slough Watershed Council

Executive Director Jay Udelhoven- East Multnomah Soil & Water Conservation District

Cherie Ludwig-Former Camp Fire Girl and City of Gresham Employee

Community Leader Lee Dayfield- Friends of Nadaka

H.B. Lee Student Andrei Viatlev

None of this would have been possible without the help of the following people and organizations:

Mayor Shane Bemis, Steve Fancer & others at City of Gresham

Mike Green, City of Gresham – Project Planner

Todd Jones & Norm Helgeson – Gresham Parks Staff

T. A. Nelson Family – Donation Property

Metro – Funding

Meyer Memorial Trust – Funding

Trust for Public Land – Owen Wozniack – Negotiated Transaction for purchase 2 acres

East Multnomah Soil & Water Conservation District – Funding

St. Aidan’s Episcopal Church  Members – Gloria Trunk, Andrew Agler, Byron McKinlay & Many Others

MIG –  Christina Frank designed nature based play area, Lauren Schmitt & Rachel Edmonds

Lora Price, Design With Nature – Project Manager for Friends of Nadaka Team

Adam Kohl, Outgrowing Hunger

Bob Michaud-Tradd – Belkor Logworks

Human Solutions – Jean DeMaster – Programming This Summer

Verde – Alan Hipolito, ExecutiveT Director, Ricardo Moreno & staff helped build community garden, nature based play, and did all the landscaping

Ron White, Probity Builders – Project Manager for Verde

Oregon Tradeswomen, Inc – Built Garden Sheds, ADA boxes, trellises

Sue Aschim – Graphic Designer

City’s Contractors:  Cedar Mill Construction Co – Jesse Vail & Earthworks Excavation & Construction – Todd Erickson

Chief of Police – Craig Junginger – Boulders

Dayfield Family – Paul, Garrett & Nohelia and Sister Fran Dearborn – Continuing Support

Eastrose Unitarian Church – Fundraising & meeting space

Wilkes East Neighborhood Association

Rockwood Neighborhood Association

Monica McAllister – new Nadaka Nature Park Coordinator

Thank you for making Nadaka Nature Park and Garden’s Grand Opening a huge success!

Nadaka: A Model for Renewing East County’s Parks?

Lee Dayfield and Jim Labbe

On Saturday April 4th, Gresham residents will celebrate the opening of the new Nadaka Nature Park and Garden. This innovate community park project represents a huge accomplishment in the face of declines in public park investment the last 15 years. The Nadaka experience is a potential model of how we can work together to renew public investment in parks and create healthier and stronger communities in East County. From our vantage, three ingredients were critical to Nadaka’s success.

Nadaka Sign and Visitors

Nadaka started at the grassroots and the passion of local residents has been essential all along.

First, Nadaka started at the grassroots and the passion of local residents has been essential all along. In 2008, the Friends of Nadaka began organizing clean-ups at the 10-acre Nadaka Open Space. Stewardship days soon became a regular occurrence. Soon a growing list of partners began working to bring two adjacent acres, owned by the Nelson family, into public ownership.

With funding from Metro and East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District (EMSWCD) and a generous donation from the Nelson Family Estate, the acquisition was complete. The acquisition of the Nelson Property on NE Glisan provided access to 600 new households within ½ mile of Nadaka, mostly in Rockwood. This 100% increase in the number of people with local access to Nadaka created a new, more diverse constituency which gathered for the first annual Nadaka Community Festival in 2011.

That same year over 17 organizations signed a Declaration of Cooperation to create the Nadaka Nature Park and Garden Project to ‘Nurture food, families and nature’. Immediate goals were simple: enlist the community to help fund, build and maintain (for at least 5-years) a neighborhood park and community garden while maximizing local job creation and education opportunities.

…the community’s ownership of the project has also been critical for leveraging resources, maximizing community benefits, and keeping things moving.

Making decisions on public parkland like Nadaka require an inclusive and transparent public process. However, the community’s ownership of the project has also been critical for leveraging resources, maximizing community benefits, and keeping things moving. Maintaining this delicate balance remains a second crucial ingredient to Nadaka’s success. Communication, compromise and shared leadership by all parties was key, but the willingness of City leadership- and especially the City Council- to embrace this new community-based approach was essential.

Nadaka is about fostering community, environmental quality, and economic well-being; not just a park.The approach made community development goals central to every project phase. Nadaka is about building community, environmental quality, and economic well-being; not just a park. Improvements have helped create dozens of local jobs and led to youth service-learning projects to enhance access, complete natural resources inventories, and document local history pulling in the time and resources of new Nadaka supporters at every step.

Voter-approved parks and nature funding remains a third essential ingredient of success.

Voter-approved parks and nature funding remains a third essential ingredient of success. If it wasn’t for the voters, Nadaka would never have been protected or improved. Gresham voters led the way in 1990 by passing an Open Spaces Bond Measure, the first in the Metro region. This bond measure leveraged regional, state and federal funds to purchase and permanently protect hundreds of acres of Gresham’s most spectacular parks and natural areas, including the 10-acre Nadaka open space for $500,000 in 1995. Voters passed similar tri-county bond measures in 1995 and 2006 to protect over 14,000 acres of natural area, including the 2-acre Nelson Property that expanded neighborhood access to Nadaka.

77% of the resources ($1.8 million) to create Nadaka Nature Park and Garden came from voter-approved funding measures.

All told, 77% of the resources ($1.8 million) to create Nadaka Nature Park and Garden came from voter-approved funding measures. That includes the $500,000 investment approved by Gresham voters which was leveraged threefold by attracting $1.5 million in other public funding and $278K in private donations and in-kind support. Nadaka demonstrates that local public investment in parks and natural areas in East County can be dramatically leveraged to create on-the-ground results that make our communities healthier, stronger, and more prosperous. Public and private funders are willing to help communities that invest to help themselves.
Nadaka Funding by Source Nadaka is a success for one neighborhood that can provide example of what East County can do on a broader scale. Estimates indicate that local funding for parks in East County declined by at least 50% the last 15 years while the population grew by 30%. With shared leadership and citizen action and smart investment, years of dwindling park funding can be turned around and the quality of our communities dramatically improved.

Just like Nadaka, the Springwater District concept will take a grass roots advocacy to engage residents in determining investments in their community and supporting new voter-approved investment in the park system.

The proposed concept of a “Springwater Parks and Community District” presents just such an opportunity. This grassroots effort aims to establish a new parks and community development district among willing cities and school districts in East County. Like Nadaka, the Springwater Parks District concept recognizes that access nature is a core community value and essential to our way-of-life. The draft concepts would invest in shared community assets- pools, ball fields, parks, trails and natural areas- to optimize service, leverage outside funds, and attract new investment and jobs. Just like Nadaka, the Springwater District concept will take a grass roots advocacy to engage residents in determining investments in their community and supporting new voter-approved investment in the park system.

We hope East County residents think big about these possibilities in 2015.

Lee Dayfield is the catalyst behind the Friends of Nadaka. Jim Labbe is Urban Conservationist at Audubon Society of Portland and staffs Audubon’s East Branch office at Leach Botanical Garden.

Grand Opening Celebration at Nadaka

You’re Invited to the Grand Opening Celebration
of Nadaka Nature Park

Saturday, April 4th 10:00am to Noon

The official opening of the newly created community garden, nature based play area, and picnic shelter on the south two acres of the park.

Com GardenCome and see our new community garden at Nadaka. There are six ADA raised beds for those needing them. Plots are available for 50 families depending on size desired. Adam Kohl of Outgrowing Hunger will be managing this City of Gresham community garden.
You can register online with the City of Gresham or register at the Grand Opening.

The amazing nature based play area for children will connect them to the natural world longhousethrough play. Wood elements for this structure donated by Tualatin Hills Parks & Recreation. Other wood elements are from Doug Firs in the forest that had to be removed & boulders are from the new Rockwood Police Station site on NE 181st.



Audubon Live BirdsThe Audubon Society of Portland’s Education birds will be present and teaming up with Slough School to provide environmental education.  Attendees can spread seeds on the new eco lawn areas and enjoy a walk in the forest stopping to view the Camp Fire Girls kiosk.

Refreshments and fun for the whole family!  Meet the many partners of Friends of Nadaka that have made this possible.