Kids bring new life to Blair Garden

By Tim Brooks, SNA Board Member

After five years of laying fallow, the Blair Community Garden is back! The first official garden work party got off to a great start on October 30 with the enthusiastic help of a group of kids and their coaches from the All in One Basketball Academy. Gray weather did not deter 15 young volunteers, ages 10 to 16, from an afternoon of garden preparation. Lamar Hurd and several other coaches at the All in One Basketball program worked with the kids hauling and spreading compost over the entire upper section of the garden. When they are not shooting hoops, Lamar and his team are often volunteering for groups such as the Oregon Food Bank, the Blanchet House and now, local community gardens.

Our second work party took place November 13. We had an even larger turnout of young volunteers, including students from Grant High School’s Environmental Club, Riverdale High School National Honors Society, and Hands On Portland. This work party focused on applying soil to the garden and building garden beds using locally harvested and milled cedar.

The SNA would like to thank all the young volunteers that joined us for these two events. A special thank you goes to Holly Wilkalis from Hands On Portland who helped coordinate the November event, and to Lamar Hurd and Bridget Hazard who helped bring the hoop-shooting gardeners to the October event. A big thank you also goes to Portland Community Gardens staff Dan Franek, John Iott, and Leslie Pohl-Kosbau for helping us bring the Blair Community Garden back to life!

Our next work party is December 11 from 9:30 to 11 am. The garden entrance is located on the west side of SE 33rd Avenue, about a half block south of Stark Street. For some recent press on the garden’s rebirth, visit For more information, call 503 295-1699.



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