Front Page, Oakridge/Westfir

Everybody say “Treeeees”

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A perfect Spring day to be planting trees in Banner Park. Left to right: Charlie Nichols, Lynda Kamerrer, Heather Buley, 5-year-old Dirk Vaden Tarman, Neil Buley, Nancy Buley, Dirk Tarman, and 2-year-old Hank Tarman. The trees and grasses were brought down from the Portland area the day before so work could begin early Saturday morning. Herald photo

Local volunteers took advantage of the good weather this last Saturday to do some major work at Banner Park in Uptown. The work is being funded, to date, by a $5,000-dollar Transient Room Tax (TRT) grant from the City.

The plan to develop a functional and attractive community park was submitted, first, to the Parks and Community Services Committee. With their blessing, the City Council gave their approval for the project to begin in earnest.

2-year-old Hank Tarman surveys his excavation work. Herald photo

A collaborative plan developed by Lynda Kamerrer

Lynda Kamerrer and Charlie Nichols took the approved plan and began orchestrating all the moving parts required for the park to come together. The City’s Public Works Department initiated groundwork with the removal of the old concrete slab and the gravel base below it.

Now it was time for the volunteers to roll up their sleeves and get dirt friendly. Robert Stewart used his own equipment, fuel, and time to deliver 60 cubic yards of loam, purchased from Oakridge Sand and Gravel and placed it where directed.  Gravel for the paths has also been strategically placed for future use with help from Ben Beamer and equipment from GOATS; both volunteered.

Amendments from various sources have been being added to the soil as things move forward.

Getting down and dirty. The young Tarman brothers team up on a particularly stubborn dirt clod. Herald photo

Saturday’s tree planting event

Maples and a 15-year-old oak tree were planted on Saturday. The trees were selected by Neil and Nancy Buley, co-owners of Treephoria. Located in Boring, it is a boutique tree nursery where you’ll find an eclectic mix of trees. Also helping with the selection and planting of the trees was Heather Buley. She is experienced in tree selection, Firewise strategy, urban landscaping, and designing backyard bird sanctuaries.

Former mayor Kathy Holston seems to be asking “So, how big is this tree going to get?” herald photo


Nancy and Neil brought the trees and grasses down Friday evening so planting could start early on Saturday. Once the exact locations for the trees were determined, holes were dug. Depth and diameter were precisely measured. The trees were lugged into place. Backfilling the holes was done with care, and security stakes, provided by Heather’s husband, Dirk “Poncho” Tarman.

Neil Buley and Charlie Nichols lug a tree to its intended location.Dirk ‘Poncho’ Tarman. Nancy Buley photo

More donations… More volunteer help

Neil and Nancy donated the above-mentioned “grasses”. The wild currants and ornamental grass will help with water retention. They also donated their labor for the day. With her daughter and grandchildren in Oakridge, Nancy has a special fondness for our city. She hopes that the children remember the day they got to help plant trees in a park.

Kamerrer has asked for help from the high school’s CTE program for benches and compost bins. She’ll also coordinate bid requests for a kiosk to be built and installed in the park. Maintaining administrative and financial records and communications with the landowner, vendors, and the public are all on top of her duties of running the banner Park project.  I believe that what she loves most is rolling up her sleeves and becoming one with the dirt. Is there such a term as “gardenholic”?


JUST about everyone is hard at work. The others have been tag-teaming and will jump in soon enough to help. Herald photo

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