Friends of Trees Honors Port as Community Partner of the Year

by Annie Linstrom 6/1/2012 11:30 AM

Friends of Trees, a local non-profit organization which plants and cares for city trees and green spaces celebrated another record-breaking planting season at its annual Leadership Award Luncheon in May, naming Port of Portland its Community Partner Award winner of the year. Leadership awards were also presented to NW Natural and the Audubon Society – Portland Chapter.

Bill Wyatt, executive director of the Port, accepted the Community Partner Award, honoring the Port for contributing tens of thousands of dollars to community tree plantings during the past decade. Wyatt noted the Port values its partnership with Friends of Trees so it can give back to the community. “I think we’re going to have a long and prosperous relationship,” he said.

Since 1989, Friends of Trees has planted more than 450,000 trees and native plants in the Portland-Vancouver and Eugene-Springfield metro areas. With the help of more than 3,500 volunteers and hundreds of donors, Friends of Trees has planted more than 43,000 trees and native plants during the 2011-12 planting season, including more than 5,300 street and yard trees, a 15 percent increase from last year, and nearly 38,000 trees and native plants in green spaces, a 36 percent increase from last year.

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Friends of Trees

Friends of Trees Honors 2012 Award Luncheon

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 2012 Friends of Trees leadership award winners and emcee, from left: Von Summers (NW Natural), Scott Fogarty (Friends of Trees), Bill Wyatt (Port of Portland), Bob Sallinger (Audubon Society of Portland), and Tracy Barry (KGW)

Photo taken by Lucia DeLisa

Why the Port is the place to ‘bee’ this spring

by Annie Linstrom 2/28/2012 2:43 PM

This spring, more than 70,000 bees are expected to fly into the Port of Portland to inhabit a custom-made Langstroth bee hive.

The first of its kind at the Port, the hive assembly was carefully constructed by Greg Sparks, Port project development manager and avid beekeeper. Sparks will install the hive on the ecoroof located on the 10th floor of the Port headquarters building. When in flower, the ecoroof acts as a foraging home for bees and native pollinators.

While honeybee pollination is vital in much agricultural food production, honeybee populations are in decline in North America. The hive will further Port environmental efforts by offering honeybees a secure place to live and thrive and propagate the species. The hive will also raise the awareness of the importance of honeybees. 

The hive is made of natural pine and cedar and contains more than 40 frames that the bees will use to build comb for making and storing honey and for the queen to lay eggs and raise young bees. Once established, the colony could produce up to 100 pounds of honey during the six-month pollination period, and will forage for up to two miles from their home. Honey produced by the colony will not be harvested the first year to allow them to become a well established and thriving colony. The colony will not be treated with chemicals, but rather be allowed to exist naturally in their new environment.

Port employees will watch as the honeybees work and produce honey; learn about the 45-day lifecycle of a worker bee, and the three-year lifecycle of the queen bee, and witness the ever-changing lifecycle of a honeybee colony.