By Peggy Glascock, Friends of Laurelhurst Park

Dale Vasnik, Horticulturist with Portland Parks and Recreation, South Parks describes the recent restoration: “What Parkie wouldn’t volunteer to help remove a huge stand of invasive bamboo in Laurelhurst Pond? Riding in a boat, wearing waders, chopping and dropping giant canes of bamboo, some up to forty feet tall… Floating the bamboo across a shallow channel, dragging it up on shore, stripping the branches and loading the canes on trucks – all on a 60-degree sunny day in October. It doesn’t get much better than that!” A fun day of hard work and camaraderie was had by all! 

Some of the bamboo will be reused for bee colonies and plant stakes. The wildlife observed were raccoons, ducks, curious birds and rats. Hopefully the owls will help reduce the rat population. 

Over the course of the next few years, crews will work to control bamboo and blackberry on the island. Native shrubs and trees will be planted to attract wildlife and increase the aesthetics of the pond. 

The first plantings may be next fall. Crews hope to establish bird habitat and add taller shade trees to compete with the bamboo. They may install bird and bat boxes. 

Thanks to organizer Dale Vasnik, and crew members: Pedro Agular-Zurita, Dominic Perez-Ruiz, Karen Ortegon, Mark Byram, Carlos McNair, Laura Van Fleet, Bill Alley, Tara Lampson, Andy Graham, Don Roberson and Doug Ludden. Crews from Heavy Equipment and City Nature were also brought in for their work and expertise. Supervisors were Heather McKillip and Michael Oliver.  

We are looking forward to fun new things at Boomerang Island.