5th Annual Festival at the Farm
Our 5th annual Festival at the farm, held on Saturday, September 12, was a big success. We were able to raise over $1,000 towards acquiring the last 5.65 acres of the White Oak Savanna.
Big thanks are due to the Fiala Farms family who donated the use of their farm for this event. They also contributed a gift for the raffle and shared the proceeds from their corn maze with us. If you haven't yet visited the farm, located at 21231 SW Johnson Road in West Linn, please do so. They have lots of fresh produce, flowers, pumpkins, the afore-mentioned corn maze (5 acres!), and much more.
We also want to thank the Lion's Club for the delicious BBQ burgers and veggie burgers. Thank you to Jack and John and their wonderful musician friend who entertained the Festival attendees. Their music always wows the folks who come to hear them. We are so appreciative of all of the vendors and Nyeema, the great massage therapist who gave free 15 minute massages to people with aching backs and sore shoulders. A special thank you to all of those vendors who donated something for the raffle this year. A big thank you to Joanne and her daughter, Jennifer, who made corn husk dolls with kids who just loved the experience and then donated all of her donations from their parents to the White Oak Savanna.
Finally, thanks to all who came and enjoyed the day on this 56 acre peaceful farm that has been owned by the Fiala family since 1906.
Guinness Book of World Records Attempt
On Saturday, April 18, 2015, 600 people turned out to help us attempt to break a Guinness World Record for "Most People Planting Bulbs Simultaneously." We came up a bit short (the record was 850 held by the UK) but we had a great time and planted over 1,200 blue camas and trillium bulbs in the White Oak Savanna.
In addition, the time put in by all these people helped us to move over the 10,000 hour threshold in time donated by volunteers working in the White Oak Savanna. We are planning a big bar-b-que to celebrate this momentous achievement. Stay tuned to this site for more information.
In the meantime, here is a short 30 second video about the world record attempt. Enjoy and thanks to all who participated.
Did You See Us on TV?
Oregon Field Guide, produced by our local public broadcasting station, OPB, recently ran a segment on our efforts to save the White Oak Savanna.
We think it turned out great and we are very appreciative to all those who made it happen including Steve Amen, Todd Sonflieth, Nicholas Fisher, and Greg Bond.
Where Is The White Oak Savanna Park?
The White Oak Savanna park is located at 2425 Tannler Drive in West Linn. It is easily accessible by taking the 10th Street exit off of I-205 and proceeding up Tannler Drive for about 1/4 mile. There is a large park sign on the right-hand side of Tannler. The park is accessible by walking trails near the sign as well as further up the hill.
Now Accepting Donations for New Benches
The White Oak Savanna needs additional benches. The new benches will be the same style as the ones we have already - they use reclaimed Alaskan yellow cedar. We expect them to last over 30 years. You can sponsor a bench and have it dedicated to the individual or group you desire. The requested donation is $5,000 per bench. Please contact us at info_at_nlwl.org for more information on how you can sponsor a bench.
Free Book from Defenders of Wildlife
The Defenders of Wildlife has graciously donated an electronic copy of its book, Restoring Rare Native Habitats in the Willamette Valley: A Landowner’s Guide for Restoring Oak Woodlands, Wetlands, Prairies, and Bottomland Hardwood and Riparian Forests by Bruce Campbell.
Click here to download your very own copy for free (9 MB, PDF).
A Brief History of the White Oak Savanna
Click here to view a document which gives a brief history of the White Oak Savanna.
The Trust for Public Land
The work we have done in acquiring and restoring the White Oak Savanna Park in West Linn would not have been possible without tremendous assistance from The Trust for Public Land. TPL has been our valued partner through this endeavor. Their grant writing and advocacy for the White Oak Savanna has been a big part of getting the park to where it is today.
We want to thank TPL for all their hard work and help in making this dream a reality. You can learn more about TPL at their web site www.tpl.org.
Metro Awards $500K Towards Additional Land Acquisition
On Thursday, May 30, 2013, we were happy to attend a Metro Council Meeting where $500,000 was awarded by Metro for additional land acquisition in the White Oak Savanna. This is the second award from Metro and we are very gratified by their continued support of our efforts to acquire the entire 20 acres.
This grant is part of Metro's Nature in the Neighborhoods program. A 2-1 match is required so we still need to raise an additional $1,000,000 to complete the acquisition of the last 5.65 acres of the site.
Here is the text of Metro's Press Release announcing the award:
Towering above Interstate 205 in West Linn, the White Oak Savanna features majestic, mature oaks, a riparian forest and expansive views of Canemah Bluff and the Willamette Narrows. This grant will go toward purchasing the remaining 5.6 acres of this 20 acre site, preserving this stunning view for future generations to experience. It will allow the local community to continue the restoration they started in 2009 on the first 14 acres, which were protected with support from Metro Nature in Neighborhoods Capital Grant, a state parks grant, the City of West Linn and a donation from the seller. Since then an enthusiastic group of volunteers has successfully removed eight acres of blackberries and built a soft-surface trail and is poised to take on the stewardship of the entire site. The Grant Review committee is recommending that Metro be a catalyst for this $1.72 million effort by awarding the first $500,000.
The White Oak Savanna was one of four projects to receive a Metro Nature in Neighborhoods capital grant on Thursday. This grant program, which is funded by the region's 2006 natural areas bond measure, is designed to help nature thrive in urban communities. Metro has invested a total of $7.5 million in 28 projects across the region.
Every project must be accessible to the public, and a Metro grant can foot the bill for a maximum of one-third of the total cost. Recipients typically buy land, restore it, improve neighborhood livability or fuel an urban transformation. The White Oak Savanna is one of a handful of sites that has received two Nature in Neighborhoods capital grants; Metro awarded $334,000 to help purchase the first 14 acres of the White Oak Savanna in 2009.
Invasive Removal in the WOS
Here are a couple of aerial photos of the White Oak Savanna. The 2008 photo shows the Savanna before work had begun on removing the invasive species (primarily Himalayan Blackberry but also Wooly Mullein, and Wild Teasel).
The 2011 photo shows the Savanna after removal of the blackberry. Note how the large green patches of blackberry have been removed from the upper parts of the Savanna.
We will continue our work to remove invasive species and restore native species to the Savanna. The 2011 photo also shows an overlay where the now completed trail was to be placed.
So far, over 5,000 hours of community support have gone into the various projects.
White Oak Savanna T-shirts, caps, and cloth grocery bags are now available
We now have t-shirts, caps, and cloth grocery bags available for purchase. The t-shirts and caps are only $15 and the grocery bags are only $5. Why not buy some today and support the restoration and acquisition of the West Linn White Oak Savanna?
Click here to see a photo collage of these items.
You can contact us at info [at] nlwl.org to purchase.
And don't forget our line of White Oak Savanna jewelry also available for purchase.
Who We Are
Neighbors for a Livable West Linn (NLWL) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in West Linn, Oregon.
We were founded in 2005 by local citizens. Our goal is to preserve a rare White Oak Savanna located at 2425 Tannler Drive in West Linn.
Click here for a bird's eye view of the park. We have made great strides in preserving the savanna by raising $1,000,000 to purchase over 14 acres of it, but we still have more to accomplish. There are an additional 5+ acres of this savanna still not protected from development.
Over one hundred years ago the Willamette Valley in Oregon was covered with White Oak Savanna. It is now estimated that less than 2% of the original White Oak Savanna remains in the Willamette Valley and only a fraction of that is in public hands and safe from development.
Our goal is to preserve this entire 20+ acre piece of White Oak Savanna in perpetuity as a natural park.
To help raise funds to preserve this last piece of the savanna we have developed a line of jewelry designed around a photo of an oak tree from the West Linn White Oak Savanna. We have worked with renowned jewelry designer Mike Warner of Wild Bryde Jewelry to design this line of earrings, pins and necklaces. Please go here to order some of this beautiful jewelry.
The White Oak Savanna is also now part of The Intertwine, a connected network of parks, trails and natural areas in the Portland, Oregon and Vancouver, Washington region.
In addition to our efforts above, we also hold an annual fundraising auction. The proceeds of the auction are used to purchase computers for families with children in our local school district. We provide these computers free of charge to these families in the hope that having a computer in their home will enable their children to learn and prosper in our society. We have provided dozens of computers, monitors and printers to families in need.
We invite you to explore our web site and learn more about NLWL. And don't forget our annual auction -- anyone can attend and we guarantee a great time.
Thanks for visiting!