Magnolia’s new p-patch and Queen Anne’s forest restoration project are the two big winners in the Umpqua Bank “Build Your Block Challenge.”
Umpqua Bank has announced that each of the two projects will receive $10,000, as well as the management, organization and volunteers needed to complete the project by the end of 2012.
The projects were chosen from three options in each neighborhood, with residents voting for their choice at local bank branches and online.
For Magnolia, the winning neighborhood enhancement project is the p-patch tool shed and supplies. The new Magnolia p-patch is being developed on 28th Avenue West and will be enhanced through the construction of a secure tool shed and the provision of basic garden tools.
“The ability to have tools on-site will give neighborhood gardeners a great start to planting their new plots, reaping their harvests and building community together,” wrote Umpqua spokesman Bob Bitter in an email.
The Queen Anne forest restoration project calls for the removal of invasive plants and the planting of 500 native conifers, such as noble fir, western cedar, and Douglas fir, in a 70-acre greenbelt along the southwest side of Queen Anne. Invasive plants, such as English ivy and blackberry bushes, are threatening the area.
Howard Langeveld, a property owner in the area who has studied horticulture, developed the idea when he noticed that English ivy was strangling many of the trees along the southwest side of Queen Anne Hill. By clearing out the invasive plants and also planting the conifers, Langeveld said the hillside would be strengthened and the trees would be healthier. He said unlike trees that lose their leaves in the winter, conifers continue to grow year-round sucking water out of the ground and helping to prevent landslides.
“Not only does the root system help stabilize the hillside, but the trees also will pull water out of the soil in the winter months,” he said.
This is the sixth year that Umpqua Bank has put on its “Build Your Block Challenge.” Past winning projects include the addition of community gardens; an eco-friendly kids play area, and outdoor building enhancements through the addition of a mural painted by local elementary students.