History questions; Restoration work; New grant; 
     Shamrock run on Terwilliger
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May 2015

Parkway History - Elk Point

The history of Eagle Point in our winter newsletter inspired us to compile similar background on other interesting parts of the Parkway.  We’re currently working on a history of Elk Point, the property with the totem pole next to the Chart House.  Watch for this article in a future issue, to answer questions like:

Why is it called Elk Point?
What does the totem pole have in common with:
  • Oregon’s 1959 centennial celebration?  
  • Operation Deep Freeze? 
  • New Zealand, or Antarctica, or the Oregon Zoo??
Why is there a totem pole on Terwilliger at all?  The Haida, the indigenous Pacific NW people associated with totem poles, weren’t even from this area.

We’re also interested in your thoughts as we develop future articles.  What else would you like to know?  Do you have tidbits of interesting Terwilliger Parkway history or useful source documents that you’d like to share?  Here are few questions we have.
  • The totem pole originally had a moat around it. When was that removed?
  • Do you remember eating at Eddie Palaske's Hillvilla (at the site before the Chart House)
  • Who wrote "Terwilliger Boulevard and the Hillvilla Restaurant"? Our copy of this detailed history is missing any indication of original source and author. It appears to be written in the early 1980s, by someone who once worked as a Hillvilla busboy.
Let us know if you have any insights to share, or questions of your own!


The combination of recent work party variety and many years of experience inspired Robin Vesey, our long-time restoration leader, to reminisce about her wealth of ivy-removal experience.

A Retrospective ... the "Clueless Files"

Ridding Terwilliger Parkway of invasive plant species continues to be a priority for Friends of Terwilliger. When I first volunteered to lead invasive plant removal work parties in 1996, I thought I'd run out of things to do. I know what you're thinking ... that woman was clueless!

I began concentrating on clearing the tree canopy of ivy. I justified that approach by prioritizing the needs of  the trees first. I know what you're thinking ... that woman was still clueless!

Yes, I was.  I noticed it took about 5 years for the ground ivy to begin growing up the same tree anew. So here I am, 18+ years later and still at it. Fortunately, over the years, I've managed to coax, cajole, arm twist, or just beg folks to help me. And they have.  I even staged my birthday party on Terwilliger and invited 35 of my closest friends to help pull ivy for a little piece of birthday cake; and the satisfaction of volunteering and a job well done.  I know what you're thinking ... that woman sure has a lot of clueless friends!


Recent Activity

Over the past 6 months, as for the past 18 years, I've been lucky to have thousands of dedicated volunteers helping me, Portland Parks and Recreation, and the city of Portland, make one of our favorite parks and exercise venues better than ever.   Who could forget the torrential rain our January volunteers endured this year?  February rewarded us with good weather, and we had a chance to put plants in the ground as opposed to pulling the ivy out. We planted 180 trees and shrubs in the Parkway, near Casey Eye Institute.
February Planting Party

March brought the troops out ... cub scout troop #254 to be exact, along with their parents and other community volunteers.  (see article below)

In April we were a SOLV IT restoration site removing ivy and blackberries south of the Hamilton Street - Terwilliger intersection, an area that we've been focusing on for over a year.  In May we'll be working with our regular community volunteers and The Trust for Public Land at the Eagle Point site the trust helped to acquire.

In the 4 months since December, over 100 friends of Terwilliger (everyone is a friend!) cleared one-half acre of ground ivy and 25 trees. We couldn't have done it without Multnomah County ACS crews and all of YOU!

Also a "shout out" to all the folks walking, running, and biking the Parkway who offer thanks and words of encouragement while we're yanking that darn ivy. It really helps!!  Thank you!    Robin

Cub Scout Partners

On Saturday March 21st, six scouts and one sibling, along with six parents, joined the Friends of Terwilliger for the monthly ivy pull.  The ivy didn't stand a chance with all that youthful energy, and the kids also discovered a salamander and several cool forest snails.

It turned out to be a fun and productive service project for the pack, plus the rain held off until just after we wrapped up the work party. Thanks "Friends" for letting us pitch into the effort.

Thanks to pack leader Jon Bowers for helping organize the day and providing this summary.

New Grant Received! 

Working with Neighbors

Portland Parks property forms the core of Terwilliger Parkway’s watershed and natural area, but plants and animals don’t recognize property ownership boundaries.  The natural parkland we work so hard to restore and maintain is surrounded by properties owned by other city bureaus, institutions, and many individual property owners. There are likely times when you have wished the public natural areas were as free of invasives as your own yard – and other times when efforts to eradicate public land invasives have been restricted by private ownership boundaries.

To improve coordination for the ecosystem health of the entire area, Friends of Terwilliger and partners recently received an outreach and education grant from the West Multnomah Soil & Water Conservation District. We’ll be listening to your thoughts on what could be improved and providing education and action-oriented options to individual landowners.

The outreach activities will begin in the fall, after preparation work with our partners: Friends of Marquam Nature Park, West Willamette Restoration Partnership, Backyard Habitat Certification Program, and the SW Watershed Resource Center.

Let us know of any questions or suggestions you have about this project, or if you would be interested in helping with the outreach in your immediate neighborhood or beyond.


Parkway Users

You’re likely to see walkers, bicyclists, and runners any time you’re on Terwilliger.  From our participation in Metro’s annual citywide trail counts, we have a rough idea of the number of Terwilliger users.  In the three years 2012 - 2014, the average number of walkers, runners, and cyclists on the Parkway was 135 per hour during commuting times and 55 per hour on weekend mornings.

But those numbers tell us little about the users themselves and what draws them to this route.  For that, we’re beginning an occasional series of articles on who’s using the Parkway. First up is a group that is missed in the annual Metro Counts:  the Shamrock Run participants each March.


The Shamrock Run and Terwilliger Parkway

A brief summary of a recent conversation with Steve Hamilton, the organizer of the Shamrock Run, about the history of that event and its use of Terwilliger Parkway.

The Shamrock run has taken place annually in Portland since 1982, first including Terwilliger Parkway in 1994.  It currently draws over 35,000 participants each year to a variety of races and walks.  Organizer Steve Hamilton considers the city views as the major unique attraction of Terwilliger, supplemented in both good and bad weather by the fact that Terwilliger is for many “a beloved part of the running experience in Portland.”  This year’s run was the first to include Terwilliger in the new half-marathon, opening the Terwilliger opportunity to even more participants.

In terms of race-organizing challenges, Steve and his crew work with OHSU and the Veterans Hospital, and with Portland Police, to maintain an exit lane for emergency Sunday morning traffic to the hospitals. They also notify neighborhoods in advance of the scheduled road closure.

Could Terwilliger Parkway be made even better?  Steve suggests:
  • Keep what we have, a great place for runners and walkers to “enjoy the vibrant beauty of the hills and pathway."
  • If possible without compromising the natural beauty, find a way to open up even more views.
You can learn more about the history of the event in our  complete interview with Steve Hamilton, on the Parkway Users page of our website.

In This Issue

Parkway History -
    Elk Point

Restoration -
   The clueless files!
    Recent activity
    Cub Scout Partners

A New Grant
    Working with neighbors

Parkway Users
     The Shamrock Run

Red flowering currant


Ivy Removal Dates

Saturday morning - May16
We'll be partnering this week with Trust for Public Land, working on the Eagle Point site, which that they helped to acquire.

8:45 - Sign-in at Terwilliger and SW Hamilton Street  (near the picnic table and restroom)
    Distribute tools, gloves.
    Share coffee, tea, snacks

9:00 - Noon - Work - and enjoy this new site - a short walk away at Eagle Point
view from Eagle Point
View from Eagle Point
This is our last work party until fall, the third Saturday in September.  Watch our website for further details, or click on the "update subscription preferences" link at the bottom of this email to make sure you're on the list for our monthly work party reminder emails..

Email info@TerwilligerFriends.org with any questions.


Volunteer Needs

Newsletter Assistance
Use your design, writing, and/or organization skills to help improve our communications with present and future Terwilliger Parkway fans.

Grant-Writing Assistance
Help us enhance the Parkway through identifying grant possibilities, writing and/or editing grants. We’re interested in grants in the areas of restoration and public education/outreach.

Ivy Removal / Restoration Workers
Join a crew, lead a crew, or help planning priorities and monitoring results.

Email us at info@TerwilligerFriends.org
if you're interested in any of the above opportunities, or have other suggestions for ways you'd like to participate.


All donations go directly to support our restoration, advocacy and outreach efforts.

Donate online: TerwilligerFriends.org/donate

Donate by mail: Send a check payable to “Friends of Terwilliger” to
     16 SW Canby St.
      Portland, OR  97219

Have a Fred Meyer Rewards card? Help us earn corporate donations by enrolling in Fred Meyer's Community Rewards program. Just follow this link and select organization code 86183 for Friends of Terwilliger. The regular reward points and rebates you earn for your own use won't be reduced - but we'll earn a share of their community donations.

Our Partners

We are one of the  founding members of West Willamette Restoration Partnership, an active coalition of community groups, landowners and organizations working to enhance the natural areas of SW Portland.

Portland Parks & Recreation manages the Terwilliger Parkway natural areas. We all benefit from their skills at restoring and preserving nature in the city, making these areas welcoming to residents and visitors, and helping volunteer citizen groups achieve our joint objectives.



Who We Are


Friends of Terwilliger is an active group of volunteers dedicated to protecting and enhancing the scenic corridor character of Terwilliger Parkway.

Learn more about the organization and the history of the Parkway on our website.

We are a registered 501(c)(3) organization and your donations are tax deductible.

Questions or suggestions? Email us at  info@TerwilligerFriends.org.

Copyright © 2015 Friends of Terwilliger, All rights reserved.

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