Streaming Media

Start Date

7-3-2022 12:00 AM

End Date

8-3-2022 12:00 AM

Abstract

The Leach Botanical Garden is a hidden botanical gem tucked away in SE Portland, but beyond the manicured paths lie five acres of leafy chaos. Once a pig farm, the eastern five acres of the Leach Botanical Garden (affectionately called the “back 5”) devolved into a tangle of Himalayan blackberry, English ivy, and other invasive plant species. Since 2019, the Back 5 Project has worked to transform this land from an ecological desert to an outdoor classroom and healthy forest. Formed as a partnership between the Leach Botanical Garden and many other organizations, including Wisdom of the Elders, the Blueprint Foundation, David Douglas High School, the African Youth Community Organization, and the Johnson Creek Watershed Council the project emphasizes the inclusion of underserved communities and creating opportunities for mentorship. More than just a restoration project, The Back 5 educates participants in scientific methods, ecological concepts, and environmental restoration. We describe some of the early progress and successes of the project, like partially restoring several acres of vegetation and spending hundreds of hours monitoring plants, amphibians, and macroinvertebrates. We also discuss some of the challenges the project has faced along the way and plans for the future.

Subjects

Environmental education, Habitat restoration, Plant ecology

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Mar 7th, 12:00 AM Mar 8th, 12:00 AM

The secret garden: Results and reflections from the Back 5 Project

The Leach Botanical Garden is a hidden botanical gem tucked away in SE Portland, but beyond the manicured paths lie five acres of leafy chaos. Once a pig farm, the eastern five acres of the Leach Botanical Garden (affectionately called the “back 5”) devolved into a tangle of Himalayan blackberry, English ivy, and other invasive plant species. Since 2019, the Back 5 Project has worked to transform this land from an ecological desert to an outdoor classroom and healthy forest. Formed as a partnership between the Leach Botanical Garden and many other organizations, including Wisdom of the Elders, the Blueprint Foundation, David Douglas High School, the African Youth Community Organization, and the Johnson Creek Watershed Council the project emphasizes the inclusion of underserved communities and creating opportunities for mentorship. More than just a restoration project, The Back 5 educates participants in scientific methods, ecological concepts, and environmental restoration. We describe some of the early progress and successes of the project, like partially restoring several acres of vegetation and spending hundreds of hours monitoring plants, amphibians, and macroinvertebrates. We also discuss some of the challenges the project has faced along the way and plans for the future.