Friday, November 20, 2015

August 2015 Newsletter

FBMP Interview with Mayor Cook

Natalie Shaw
  Tigard’s Mayor, John Cook, met with some Tigard High School (THS) students for an exclusive interview touching on the Bull Mountain Park and its future.  Mayor Cook has been in office for two years and a little over 15 days, not that he is counting of course.  He savors the days that he can make such positive impacts on the community.  The students he met with were all representing the park from differing roles, both Jacob Chesler and Everett Dalton completed their Eagle Scout Projects in the park, and Natalie Shaw and Meredith Erickson represented the National Honor Society and Key Club at THS, respectively.
  To begin the interview, we asked vision questions about the future of the park and the connecting trails in Tigard. Mayor Cook is proud of the new developments around the Fanno Creek Trail. There are currently five projects for new segments that are going to be developed, and four of them are funded by grants. The Grant Street to Woodard park grant was just approved ($3.9 MM), and those funds will be available in a few years.  In the future, there is a hope for incorporating interesting art that would draw people to the trails and “taggers” would be commissioned to create artistic pieces that would take otherwise blank or uninteresting surfaces and transform them into works of art.  When the Fanno Creek Trail development is completed, the goal is to be able to walk all the way from Tualatin to Beaverton. Along the Fanno Creek trail, Mayor Cook wants to implement more trail finding signs to help promote the “walk-ability” of Tigard.   When considering other changes that could be made for improved “walk-ability”, there is a need for widened bike lanes and narrower driving lanes, with no center line, to help force drivers to slow down on roads that are near the trails.  Another aspect of improving pedestrian safety is having a row of parallel parking spaces, sidewalks, and then some planted trees along sidewalks to help create a practical barrier between car traffic and pedestrians.
From left to right: Toraj Khavari, Meredith Erickson, Mayor Cook, Natalie Shaw, Everett Dalton, Linda Shaw, and Jacob Chesler

  Nature Play areas, and their institution in local parks, have become something of a controversial topic. Parents of the young kids that would be the target audience for Nature Play areas, grew up with swings and merry-go-rounds in their local parks, and fondly remember all of their experiences on such equipment; when choosing a park for their child to play in, they will commonly choose the park with the bright blue swing set and coordinating teeter totter.  Yet, with this younger generation, the opportunity for playing in nature, climbing trees, over rocks and through streams, becomes increasingly difficult due to the concerns over the ecosystem and its preservation. Nature play areas are a way for kids to safely explore what nature has to offer.  In order to help bridge the gap between nature play areas and traditional playgrounds, Mayor Cook wants to blend the two together; he believes that there should be a mixture so that the parks have a little bit of everything.
  When asked about Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessibility in our local parks for children with disabilities, Mayor Cook believes that there should be fast action toward implementing more ADA accessible green spaces and parks.  Last year's “If I was Mayor…” contest winner made a profound impact on him when a third grade girl said that she would use her power as Mayor to institute new parks with new kinds of accommodations for people with disabilities. She thought, not only about the children with disabilities, but also the disabled parents who may want to push their child(ren) on the swing, and brought forward a new angle on the accessibility of equipment.  Able-bodied or not, a parent should have the opportunity to push their child on a swing set.
  Mayor Cook is proud to continually support the work and projects that have been happening in Bull Mountain Park and other parks in and around the Tigard community.  Something he would want to see is more lead time or notice for events that need assistance from the city.   When schedules are made two or more weeks in advance, the city departments have a better chance to help as they can properly schedule deliveries and other support.
  Mayor Cook would also like to see an educational aspect to the parks. He seeks a way to educate park users, especially the youth, of the various plant species, the ecosystem, and why it is important to stay on trails, not pick flowers, etc.  Learning about invasive species and why they are destructive, kids may take a keen interest in the preservation of our parks; this would be an extremely positive outcome of such education.
  The city of Tigard has purchased $23M worth of undeveloped parkland in the last few years it has to maintain; with no official coordinator, volunteer efforts are hard to integrate.  Mayor Cook says that it is easier if a volunteer identifies the scope of a project and then makes a proposal to the city where they can then approve it.  He would love to see volunteer efforts augment the efforts of the city. So if one is in need of a project, go walk the trails of the Tigard community and identify something that you wish to change (and are capable of changing); then propose a project to the city for acceptance (or not).  Mayor Cook applauds all of the volunteer efforts around the community, and wishes to sincerely thank the concerned members of the community that are proposing and instituting positive changes around Tigard.  He concluded the interview by simply saying, “Thank you, and keep it up!”

  The interviewers would like to thank Mayor Cook for giving us the opportunity to interview him.   He shared with us how each of our clubs could help contribute to the parks in and around Tigard and what he desires to institute.   We were all proud to represent the THS National Honor Society, Boy Scouts of America, and THS Key Club at this session with Mayor Cook.

Phantom Orchids in Bloom

Bull Mountain Park, June 2015

  Cephalanthera austiniae is a species of orchid known by the common names phantom orchid and snow orchid because the entire plant is white except for a few yellow markings on the flowers. The cephalanthera austiniae is native to the western United States (California, Oregon, Washington, and Idaho), and to British Columbia, Canada. Cephalanthera austiniae is the only species of genus Cephalanthera native to the Western Hemisphere. This is also the only Cephalanthera species entirely dependent on symbiotic mycorrhizae for its nutrition. This mycoheterotrophic orchid has nonchlorophyll, so it makes no energy for itself. The plant is becoming scarce as its habitat, dense, isolated forest, is decreasing. (Information excerpted from Wikipedia.)
Come Grow with Us……….. Naturally!

Sarah Soper

  It is summertime in the park! I hope everyone is staying cool in the shade. In July, we celebrated the Nature in Neighborhood (NIN) Capital Grant approval from the Metro Council for $123,943.  Irene Khavari, April Olbrich, Linda Shaw and I were in attendance for the festivities in Cornelius. It was an amazing day of sharing, learning, and inspiration among all the grantees.  We felt honored to take part in the day and to hear from past recipients of the NIN Capital Grants. Our region is fortunate to have leaders and citizens so involved in preserving nature for the next generations.
From left to right: Irene Khavari, April Olbrich, and Sarah Soper

  Progress update: We have completed the tool shed, bathroom shelter, and two benches on the east side of the meadow. We have transferred these completed projects to the City of Tigard.
  The next phase of the park development is already in motion. A Request For Proposal (RFP) was sent out in July, and we hope to have a selection decision by the end of August.  A copy of the RFP is posted on the Yahoo website (navigate to Files > Nature Play Projects Information).  With the award of the Metro grant, we are inspired to continue our fundraising campaign. We had a successful Picnic in the Park in June and a Burgerville Community Partners fundraiser evening at Tigard’s Burgerville in July. Our total dollar amount raised so far is approximately $150,000. We submitted a grant proposal to Nike and we are waiting a response. We could not do any of this without the volunteers and the generous donations from the following:

Donors and Sponsors
Anonymous (One family, Visionary Donor)
Ken and Joan Austin (Patron Donor)
Mike and Cheryl Druding (Patron Donor)
Jake Egger (Patron Donor)
Greatbatch Inc. (Patron Donor)
Paul and Sarah Messenger (Patron Donor)
Pearson Financial Group (Legacy Donor)
Bonnie Conger
Conrad Pearson
Corporate Donor
Dan Muro of RE/MAX
John and Steve Barker/Barker Construction
M. Crew - Enrique Marguez
Parr Lumber
Pacific West Roofing
Tigard Burgerville
Tigard Rotary
Tigard Sherwin-Williams
Bradley Anderson
Jim & Marie Banks
Lee & Michaela Cannard
Mark Hackner
Shirley J. Jone
Karussos Family
  Support and In-kind
Beaverton CarMax
Boy Scouts of America (Professional Services, Labor, and Materials)
City of Tigard - Professional Services, Permits, Professional Services, Labor, Utilities, and a lot more
Friends of Bull Mountain Park
Highwater Johnny
John and Steven Barker Construction - Professional Services and Labor
Khavari Foundation
Learning Landscape Design - Professional Services and Labor
Local community and neighbors
Oregon State University – Forestry, Flora and Fauna
Oregon Tradeswomen, Inc. – Labor
Park’s Neighbors
Pearl Paulson, PhD – Education
Tigard Citizens
THS Key Club
THS National Honor Society
Tualatin River Watershed Council (Fiscal Sponsor)
Two Minds
Robert and Sarah Soper

Thank you and remember we are still actively fundraising!

Checks made payable to: Tualatin River Watershed Council
Check Memo line:  Friends of Bull Mountain Park Project or FBMP Project
Send to:        
April Olbrich
Friends of Bull Mountain Park (FBMP) Projects
Tualatin River Watershed Council (TRWC)
PO Box 338
Hillsboro OR 97123-0338

Picnic in the Park

  Come enjoy a relaxing evening in the park with musical entertainment.
Thursday, August 27
6 - 8 PM

  Walk to the park meadow; bring your picnic baskets, chairs, and blankets.  Get comfortable and enjoy the beauty of the park while listening to the music of "Two Minds."  This is a musical duo featuring vocalist Betty Moss and husband, Steve Moss, on guitar/keyboard.
  “Two Minds” has put together an unforgettable mix of pop/rock covers spanning the decades, including soulful high-fidelity versions of Fleetwood Mac, Journey, The Beatles, Stevie Wonder, Sting, Dire Straits, Steely Dan, Massive Attack, Amy Winehouse and more!  "Two Minds" also include songs from their repertoire of Steve's award-winning originals. 
  Using the website link below to hear samples of their music, you will see why "Two Minds" performances have been enthusiastically received by a wide variety of audiences in the Portland area and beyond.  
(BMP address: 13950 SW Alpine Crest Way, Tigard)

Friends and neighbors gathered in the park meadow on June 18 for the first Picnic in the Park.  This event was organized as a Birthday Celebration of the park's dedication.   Many thanks to “Highwater Johnny” for providing the musical entertainment!  This was a great opportunity to meet and visit with each other in our developing neighborhood park.
  Watch for the Picnic in the Park signs at the park entrances and plan to attend on August 27th & other future events.

FBMP & Burgerville, Community Partners

This evening event in June raised $300 for the park.  Thanks to everyone who attended and helped!   And, of course, thank you to Burgerville for supporting local community efforts/groups.
From left to right: Tim Pepper, Jenn Eaton, Linda Shaw, and Jeff Jansen, Tigard Burgerville Manager

From left to right: Jaymie Druding and Natalie Shaw

A Story of Discovering Bull Mountain Park

Teresa Rokos
  I moved to Tigard in 1998 and lamented moving to the burbs where the amount of natural land seemed to be decreasing at a rapid rate.  For years I would drive to Forest Park or Tryon Creek Park to find "the woods" and nature in its purest element.  Then, things changed. I discovered Bull Mountain Park about a year ago and what an AMAZING surprise.  Beautiful trails that connect to other great trails, great Boy Scout projects, signage about the vision of the park, frisbee golf, etc.  It has quickly become my happy place that's less than a mile from my house.  I'm usually on the trails early in the morning with my dog, but had the opportunity a while back to visit the park mid-morning on a Saturday with my son.  And once again, I was amazed to learn that all that great work, all the vision was the result of volunteers.  People were donating full weekend days to build shelters, there was a high school group there clearing brush all day on a Saturday.  Really, this was community action and dedication at its best!
  I was also pleased to hear that when my daughter had a playdate with her 10 year old friend (a Nike family whose house is about two blocks from the park) they spent the afternoon playing in the woods of the park, and not in front of the TV.  They came home with muddy shoes and some scratches, but big smiles and tales of their forest adventure and secrets.  Once again, this solidified my love for this project and park.
  The thought of a Natural Play structure/area is truly amazing and would be such a gift to the people of Bull Mountain and Tigard as there is nothing comparable nearby.  Often I drive to Westmoreland Park to let my kids enjoy the Natural Play area.  Having it within walking distance of so many family homes would really be a gem.

Chairperson Column

Toraj Khavari

  The third anniversary of the dedication of Bull Mountain Park was celebrated, June 21, 2015. As I reflect on the past three years, I am filled with joy, happiness and amazement. The book “Unlikely,” written by Kevin Palau, summarizes a journey that I feel reflects that of the Friends of Bull Mountain Park (FBMP). In summary, the steps of this journey are: knowledge leads to transformation; transformation to action; and, action to remembrance.  Expanding on these concepts of knowledge, transformation, action, and remembrance:
Knowledge : When we are surrounded by caring communities (e.g. family, friends, and neighbors), the sense of security, involvement, and love brings us joy. Healthy and active lives bring quality and longevity. Protecting green spaces, parks, and soft trails inside urban boundaries should be paramount to the health and well-being of cities. Nature playgrounds in populated areas are wonderful sources for education and recreation for children of all ages. The City of Tigard has limited resources to develop parks, thus creating the opportunity for its citizens to be involved in the Bull Mountain Park’s development. This knowledge leads to transformation.
Transformation: The FBMP established a vision and mission brought about by this knowledge. The mission is using the minds, hearts, and knowledge to focus on developing the Bull Mountain Park in a service-focused transformation leading to action.
Action: Enthusiastic volunteers, local businesses, and schools have completed more than 52 projects in the Bull Mountain Park. The Metro NIN Grant was approved on July 9, 2015. Cash donations, in-kind professional services, building materials donations, and volunteers are enabling the Bull Mountain Park development. A Nike grant application was submitted June 1, 2015, with a decision expected in October.   Grant applications, completed projects (52 projects to date), dozens of events, multimedia promotions, etc. are the actions leading to remembrance.
Remembrance : Author and speaker Og Mandino taught me, earlier in my professional career, to remember the past, notice the present, and anticipate the future. Reflecting on past actions and knowledge encourages perseverance; perseverance produces character; and, character leads to hope.  Hope leads to joy and happiness.
  I encourage you to reflect on knowledge; celebrate transformation; and, take action to be involved in developing Bull Mountain Park.  Leave a legacy.
  Bull Mountain Park will become a great place for neighborhood gatherings and activity, providing trails, a nature playground, and natural beauty.

For more details about the FBMP’s projects and BMP concept plan refer to the following documents.

FBMP Contacts
    Chairperson : Toraj Khavari
    Newsletter Editor: Cheryl Druding
    Tigard Park and Recreation Advisory Board (PRAB) Liaison: Tim Pepper
    Trail Masters: Tim Pepper and Jenn Eaton
    Volunteer and Event Coordinator: Linda Shaw
    Eagle Scout Advising and Web Administration: Bruce Harbison

FBMP Meetings

Please mark your calendars and join us.

Time and Dates: 7 PM to 8:30 PM
Thursday – October 22, 2015
Thursday  - January 28, 2016
Thursday - April 28, 2016
Where: Fire Station #50, located at 12617 SW Walnut St. Tigard OR, 97223

Bull Mountain Park
The BMP soft trails start at multiple (6) entrances: SW Greenfield Drive, SW Benchview Place, SW Woodshire, SW Alpine Crest Way, SW Fernridge Terrace, and SW Ridgefield Ln.
Come and enjoy the park, be active, be healthy, and be green. Bull Mountain Park area photo and trail maps:

Connect with the FRIENDS of BMP at the following sites:
Ø  Yahoo® User Group -

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