We created an awesome video and website to share what is going on with the project and partnership.
Find out what we have been up to on the Leach Back Five Website.
Since 2018 Johnson Creek Watershed has been working with a group of partners to restore 5 acres on the east side of Leach Botanical Garden that borders Johnson Creek. The partnership includes: Wisdom of the Elders, Inc, African Youth Community Organization, The Blueprint Foundation, David Douglas High School, Leach Botanical Garden, along with help from experts at Portland Parks and Recreation, and many dedicated volunteers.
The Back 5 Partnership demonstrates a successful model of multicultural collaboration to meet habitat enhancement and community educational goals. Partners work together to engage, educate, and connect people of different cultural backgrounds—to each other and to the land. Participants, partners and volunteers work together to create healthy wildlife habitat by removing non-native plant species and replacing them with native plants, in addition to adding features like an amphibian friendly vernal pond. All of this is done by hand and without the use of herbicides.
To analyze the progress, partners work together to do annual plant, macroinvertebrate and amphibian surveys. Partners collaborate to put on workshops on topics such as macroinvertebrates, pollinators, Indigenous Traditional Ecological & Cultural Knowledge, ornithology, community science, geology, plant identification and propagation, nature journaling and mindfulness in nature.
One of the goals of the project is to create a place where all community members, especially those from historically marginalized communities, feel a sense of ownership and belonging. During a recent interview with students from the The Blueprint Foundation, a returning student put it simply “I love out here because if you listen you can hear birds and nature sounds”. We love hearing this feedback and having this space to slow down, have fun and connect with nature encouraging both the participants and partners to keep coming back.
Want to be a part of the Back 5 community? Come out and volunteer!
JCWC hosts volunteers every second Wednesday of the month.
Check out our events calendar to find the next one.
Leach Botanical Garden hosts volunteers every Friday.
Visit the volunteer website to find out how.
A huge thank you to the City of Portland’s Bureau of Environmental Services for funding these communication projects and to Metro Nature in Neighborhoods for funding the projects.