In this issue...  June 11 "Meet & Greet", Learn about the geology of Marquam. Meet Mary Verrilli. What do you like about living near the park?
View this email in your browser

Spring is unfolding... 

Welcome to the second e-newsletter from Friends of Marquam Nature Park (FMNP). For those of our supporters who have previously followed us on our website, we hope this quarterly newsletter will allow you to keep up-to-date with our latest news. For those of you who recently expressed interest in FMNP during our outreach days, we are happy to have you on board!

In this newsletter you'll find information about:

  • "Meet & Greet", June 11
  • The Geology of Marquam Nature Park
  • Mary Verrilli, Portland Parks Stewardship Coordinator
  • What do you like most about living near Marquam Nature Park?

"Meet & Greet"

Saturday, June 11, 9-10am

FMNP will host a "Meet & Greet" for the neighbors and friends of the Park. We will gather at the Marquam Shelter off Sam Jackson Road at 9am. Coffee and pastries will be served.
This will be a wonderful opportunity to meet your neighbors and the Board of Friends of Marquam, and a great chance to talk about ways we can all work together to improve the Park we all love and that is so important to our neighborhood. Maintaining the trails, removing invasives, and restoring natural habitat are the challenges we face to keep Marquam Nature Park a valuable community asset.
A representative of Portland Parks and the Backyard Habitat program will be there to join us. And we promise that our introductory comments will be brief! The goal is to talk amongst ourselves.
This event is part of the neighborhood outreach effort the Friends of Marquam conducted last fall and this spring, an project supported by the West Multnomah Soil & Water Conservation District. We thank you for your participation in that survey, and hope you can meet us and your neighbors on June 11.
Following the event, there will be a guided nature loop walk through the lower section of the park.  An optional scavenger hunt will be included for those wishing to test their knowledge or learn some of the native plants and animals of Marquam Nature Park.  The hike will be approximately one hour. 

Parking is limited so we encourage you to walk to the Shelter. There several spaces adjoining the Shelter, and we have permission to Park on the Water Bureau property just east of the Shelter.

The Geology of the Marquam Nature Park
Roger Brown, Geologist and FMNP Board Member

The geology of the area that is Marquam Nature Park (MNP) is the result of many forces of nature including fire (volcanism), tectonic upheaval, wind, water, erosion, and landsides.  In this issue of the FMNP newsletter, a basic overview of the geology of the park is presented.  In future issues, we will pick specific interesting aspects of its geologic history to expand on. 
Geologically, the oldest rocks exposed in Marquam Nature Park are very young, only about 17 million years old.  The park is located in Portland’s West Hills, geologically part of the Tualatin Mountains.  Prior to about 17 million years ago (mya), the Portland area was seafloor.  Later, vents in NE Oregon erupted incredible volumes of “flood” basalt lava that filled in large low lying areas and transformed the Portland area to dry land for the first time.  These Columbia River Basalt flows represent the greatest outpouring of lava recorded in the entire geologic history of North America.  If you see solid rock outcropping on the trail, it will be the Columbia River Basalt.
Structurally, the Tualatin Mountains are generally a faulted anticline uplifted by folding and faulting about 10 to 15 mya, exposing the Columbia River Basalts to erosion and eventually resulting in the deep ravines observed today in the park.
During the arid interglacial periods of the Pleistocene ice age starting about 1.8 mya, dust storms redistributed glacial dust throughout the Northwest.  The resulting wind-blown “loess” deposits, locally known as the Portland Hills Silt, are what now mantle the West Hills and MNP to depths of up to 30 feet obscuring the uplifted basalts in most areas.
During the last advance of the Pleistocene ice sheets, between 15,000 and 12,000 years ago, ice dams (in Idaho) holding back the large glacial Lake Missoula (in Montana) ruptured about 40 times. The resulting outburst floods are the largest scientifically documented floods to have occurred in North America, equivalent to 10 times all the world’s rivers today.  The flood waters passed through the Columbia Gorge and scoured out the eastern side of Portland’s West Hills to elevations of about 350 to 400 feet.  The lower part of the Marquam ravine bottom likely contains some deposits from these Missoula Floods, as they are commonly called.
Erosion continues to work on the West Hills, which is prone to landsides, probably the most recent and obvious evidence of current geological processes you might see in the park.

What do YOU like most about living near Marquam Nature Park?

A small grant from the West Multnomah Soil & Water Conservation District recently gave FMNP and our partner, Friends of Terwilliger Parkway, the opportunity to go door to door to meet and talk to many neighbors of our parks. Though our long term goal is to maintain and improve the health of our forests and watersheds, the short-term goal was to learn about the neighbors' relationships with local public natural areas and to get them connected to resources that might help them in their own restoration efforts. 

One of the survey questions was "What do you like most about living near Marquam Nature Park?"  We were touched by many of the answers. These included: 

“wildlife", “coyotes", “ deer", "beautiful trees", "owls at night", “nature", "trail running", “scenery", "kids' scavenger hunts", "the peace and quiet", “privacy", “ isolation", "the land around", "walking trails", "the natural beauty", "its proximity to our house", "communing with nature", "beautiful work of volunteers", "its being there means fewer houses", "the buffer it provides", "access to Council Crest", "dog walking", “hiking", "habitat preserved close to city", "the view", "it increases my property value", "having open space", “accessibility", "can walk through on my way to work", "wild and near city", "brings nature into my house!", “EVERYTHING!"

We concur with all of the comments above and are thrilled to hear how much our neighbors recognize what a special place Marquam Park is. We hope you will support our work to preserve this gem in the city!

The accordion-like unfolding of vine maple leaves are just one of our favorite signs of spring.
Get Involved!
Work parties are from 9 am until noon, the second Wednesday and last Saturday of each month. Check website for sign-up information, updates and weather cancellations. This map shows all of our meeting places and trailheads.

Sat, May 28 - Trail work. Meet at 9:00 at the top of the Warbler Trail, on Fairmount Blvd.

Weds, June 8 - Trail work. Meet at 9:00 at the top of the Warbler Trail, on Fairmount Blvd.

Sat, June 25 - Trail work. Meet at 9:00 at the entrance to the Towhee/Upper Marquam Hill Trail, on Marquam Hill Rd.

Weds, July 13 - Trail work. Meet at 9:00 at the entrance to the Towhee/Upper Marquam Hill Trail, on Marquam Hill Rd.

Sat, July 30 - Trail work. Meet at 9:00 at the entrance to the Marquam Trail on Terwilliger Blvd

Mary Verrilli

of Portland Parks & Recreation
Who knew…a work party could be so much fun?!  You can count on Portland Parks Stewardship Coordinator, Mary Verrilli, to make that happen with her enthusiasm, knowledge and dedication.  Twice each month, Mary, along with Friends of Marquam and people like you, spends time in Marquam Nature Park pulling ivy (it’s addictive!), planting natives and repairing trails. Many organizations, such as Airbnb, Trailmix and the Homestead NA, have dedicated their community support time to helping us in this effortMary talks with volunteers about the restoration projects at each event. Volunteers spend a lot of time removing invasive plants such as English ivy from our natural areas. “Invasive plants have a big impact on our natural areas. They outcompete native trees and plants, reduce biodiversity which impacts wildlife and pollinators and decrease water quality. We couldn’t do this work without the volunteers!” says Mary. 
No experience is necessary.  We are there rain or shine.  And you never know what might come your way…an ensatina salamander, a barred owl, a Pacific wren singing in the background while you work. AND there are always great snacks and coffee.  Thanks, Mary!!  Please see our website for dates and locations or you can also sign up on Hands on

Please make donations on our secure Paypal site or by snailmail (address below).

Friends of Marquam Nature Park is a 501c3 organization. Your contribution is tax deductible to
the fullest extent allowable under law. (IRS letter available upon request.) In addition, we are an 

Oregon Cultural Trust qualifying non-profit, allowing your gift, when followed by a matching gift to the 
Oregon Cultural Trust, to be claimed as a tax credit.

Friends of Marquam Nature Park is a non-profit corporation that works in partnership with Portland Parks and Recreation and others to conserve, maintain and enhance the historical, natural, and recreational resources of Marquam Nature Park, and to educate the public about the Park’s unique natural and cultural history.

Copyright © 2016 Friends of Marquam Nature Park, All rights reserved.

We will not share, distribute or forward your name or email address to any 3rd party company or organization.

This email was sent to <<Email Address>>
why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences
Friends of Marquam Nature Park · 6327-C SW Capitol Hwy · Portland, OR 97239 · USA

Email Marketing Powered by MailChimp