Welcome to Baltimore Woods!

Native Plant Rescue Mission

SOLVE – April 22nd @ 9am – 12pm

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For nearly a decade, SOLVE, and the local “Friends” group (FoBW) have worked together to develop a new parkland in St. Johns, a natural area called Baltimore Woods. As the city acquired land, lot-by-lot, SOLVE and FoBW cleared the land of trash and invasive weeds, and then planted native flowers, shrubs and trees. The goal is to return Baltimore Woods to its natural, oak savanna habitat. Every year, the stewards of Baltimore Woods revisit past planting site to assess progress, and identify problems. Sometimes they come across a site where invasive weed are encroaching again, even threatening to overtake to native plants there. The best option in such a case, is to call in a “rescue” work party. On Saturday, 4/22 (Earth Day), SOLVE and FoBW are leading a rescue party in Baltimore Woods. The site was first planted 3+ years ago, and the native plants there are now threatened by aggressive weeds, including invasive clematis and Himalayan blackberry. Our mission is to liberate the native plants from the invaders, remove blackberry roots so they won’t regrow, and suppress aggressive weeds by pulling, tramping and mulching. The work is physical but not too strenuous for volunteers 10-years-old and up. The terrain is hilly, and in some places steep, so boots or sturdy shoes are recommended. Leather gloves and forearm protection will be provided for those who choose to take on the dreaded blackberry. Tools and guidance will be provided by Portland Parks and Recreation, refreshments and camaraderie, by the local Friend of Baltimore Woods. Activities include: Invasive Plant Removal, Litter Cleanup, Maintenance & Monitoring.

Baltimore Woods is a 30 acre strip of woods and green space between the residential and industrial areas of the neighborhood between Cathedral Park and Pier Park. It is a green buffer of native Oregon white oak, maple trees and native plants. It provides a natural wildlife connectivity corridor, native oak habitat and watershed enhancement. While less than 2% of the original Willamette Valley oak woodland remains, Baltimore Woods has remnant native oak stands that provide unusually high value food and shelter for a variety of birds and mammals that feed on acorns in the winter and forage for insects among its many lichens and mosses.

Baltimore Woods is named for its gateway on North Baltimore Street in the St. Johns and Cathedral Park neighborhoods. Rich in local history, the woods is located at the heart of the original St. Johns land claim by the pioneer Loomis family in 1850, near the native American and pioneer cemeteries. It’s also the site where Lewis and Clark traveled and camped in 1806.

Baltimore Woods fills a gap in the North Portland Willamette Greenway Trail that will run from Kelley Point Park in the north of Portland to the East Bank Esplanade in southeast Portland. It also will close a gap in the 40-mile Loop Trail that circles the Portland metro area.


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