Light A Fire Award to Friends of Nadaka

On Friday, October 14, 2016 the Portland Monthly magazine awarded the Friends of Nadaka a Light A Fire Award in the category of Game-Changing Project.  This award recognized an innovative collaboration that generates a transformative impact for one or more nonprofits. There were over 100 nominations submitted of which seven were given to organizations and five to individuals.

Check out the article published in the November Portland Monthly issue and the video at the bottom was shown at the gala event.

Nadaka Nature Park Opens

Nature Play Sign

 

On April 4th, 2015 the new 2 acre section of Nadaka Nature Park opened to the delight of the community.  Read more about the opening in the article written by Jodi Weinberger of the Outlook.

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.

Nadaka Cleanup With SOLVE & Festival Sat., Sept. 27th

Its happening Saturday, Sept. 27th.  The Fourth Annual Nadaka Community Festival & Cleanup.  Nadaka is a beautiful 10 acre forest where we will be removing invasives and litter in the morning from 9:00am to Noon.  You can pre-register with SOLVE for this event here.  If you would like to volunteer to help with the Festival beginning at 11:00am with setup, etc. you can do that at our partner, Columbia Slough Watershed Council’s website.

 

The Nadaka Community Festival will be held after the cleanup from Noon to 3:00pm where volunteers will be treated to hot dogs, music and activities for the family. The Audubon Society of Portland will have their live birds and you will be entertained by Aztec dancers from Ollin Yolliztli as well as NW PanMan Terry Baber on his steel drum.

For more information or to get involved contact Lee at 503-998-1044.

Nadaka Receives Metro Nature In Neighborhoods Grant

We are proud to be one of the 27 projects receiving Metro Nature in Neighborhoods grants. Check out the great projects receiving Metro grants here.

This Nadaka 2020 Conservation, Education & Stewardship grant is a three year matching grant in the amount of $61,000.  The partners in this grant are the Audubon Society of Portland, Columbia Slough Watershed Council, Friends of Nadaka, City of Gresham, Human Solutions, Outgrowing Hunger, St. Aidan’s Episcopal Church and HB Lee Middle School SUN Program.  The grant will enable the Friends of Nadaka to help bring the park even more alive with activities.

This grant will support:

  • Programing to provide educational and community events and stewardship work days.
  • Hiring a Park Coordinator to coordinate and implement education and stewardship programs.
  • Establishing a Natural History Ambassador program.
  • Conservation activities by the Columbia Slough Watershed Council and Audubon Society.
  • Partial funding of Nadaka 2020 Operation and Maintenance Plan developed by the Friends.
  • Partial funding management of the community garden.

Obviously $61,000 will not cover all the things we want to accomplish and we must match this $61,000 with volunteer time, financial contributions from individuals or companies, donated materials, etc.  All our grants for Nadaka are matching and are designated to pay for specific things which cannot be changed.   That is why it is important for the community to help with these matches.  Things like printing, paper, office supplies as well as many items such as signage, bike racks, tools are not covered by grant funds.

If you would like to make a contribution to the Nadaka Nature Park & Garden Project go to the Donate & Get Involved page of the website.  Volunteer time is also important so come out to one of the scheduled cleanups.

 

Nadaka Cleanup With SOLV

Title: Nadaka Cleanup With SOLV & Community Festival
Location: Nadaka Nature Park – Meet at North Gate – NE175th Ave. & NE Pacific
Link out: solv6
Description: SOLV Cleanup at Nadaka Nature Park. Removing invasives and trash in the 10 acre forested portion of the park. Preparing for Community Festival that begins at Noon.   Pre-register on line with SOLV for this cleanup. Refreshments provided for volunteers.

Then join friends and neighbors at the 4th Annual Nadaka Community Festival for family fun with music, face painters, Audubon live birds, activities for children and free hot dogs while they last.  Festival is from Noon until 3:00pm.
Start Time: 9:00am
Date: 2014-09-27
End Time: 12:00pm

The Intertwine Features Nadaka

A big thank you to Metro Councilor Shirley Craddick for writing such a great article about Nadaka Nature Park for The Intertwine.  Councilor Craddick has been a big supporter of Nadaka going back to when she was a City Councilor in Gresham.