Friends of fanno creek headwaters
Friends of Fanno Creek Headwaters (FOFCH) is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to help save, restore, and educate about the importance of urban green spaces in the Fanno Creek Watershed. They value access to nature for all.
FOFCH has used the trail project as a springboard to engage the broader community in a variety of restoration and education programs that will maintain and improve neighborhood green spaces.
FOFCH's Project Manager Andrea Wall has coordinated 400+ community volunteers in the removal of invasive plants from 15,000 square feet of trailside, and replanted that area with more than 2,000 native plants, bushes and trees. Features of this unique community trail project now include a native pollinator garden, "bug hotel", glow-in-the-dark solar pebbles to guide night-time travelers, and 100 stairs reaching down to Fanno Creek.
Six schools, Headstart Kindergarten through Wilson High School are within walking distance of the trail. Over 200 students have been hosted on the trail by FOFCH and the Westside Watershed Resource Center to learn about native plants, storm water management and habitat restoration.
SW Trails initially cleared a section of this public right of way trail, in 2009, removed some blackberries and put down gravel. Their volunteers also built nearly 100 stairs in 2017 to make walking in and out of the ravine less hazardous. FOFCH has since assumed responsibility for the restoration and educational components of this project.
The SW 25th Ave Community Trail Project has become a major thoroughfare for a diverse group of local travelers, both human and wildlife. The trail has been designated a 'safe route to school' for Robert Gray Middle School and Neighborhood House Head Start Program students, and is a through-route for people traveling to and from the Mittleman Jewish Community Center, Orthodox Jewish Synagogue, neighborhood bus stops, Hillsdale Dog Park, and Hillsdale and Multnomah town centers.
What began as a trail improvement initiative has expanded to become a demonstration project for native plants, habitat restoration, and stormwater management in SW Portland. The long-term plan is to restore this trail from Capitol highway/Vermont across the Fanno Creek headwaters to the Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway.
PRESS + INFO
They [insects and pollinators] put a lot of life in a little bit of time. They hatch, they mate, they lay eggs, they fly around and pollinate and then they die. It's a pretty short lifecycle but they do a lot of good while they're out there.
“Ours is not the task for fixing the entire world all at once but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach.” That, in a nutshell, is how Andrea Wall views her work to improve her neighborhood and surrounding community.