"A Walk In The Park" Tour and Lecture Series

Join Portland Parks, Recreation and Facilities Department for "A Walk In The Park", a new monthly series of walks and talks in Portland's Parks.  Park Historians, Naturalists, and Park Staff will lead a series of lectures, walks and bike rides in Portland's Parks and Open Spaces to share the rich history and significance of these urban green spaces.

Topic: Urban Orchards
Presenter: John Bunker, Fedco Trees and Jeff Tarling, Portland City Arborist
Location: East End School and Community Center
Time and Date: Thursday, April 13th, 2017, 5:30pm--6:30pm

Description: John Bunker brings a wealth of knowledge of fruit trees and experience re-introducing historic apple trees. The talk is designed for those interested in advocating, growing, or volunteering to grow fruit trees in Portland.  Portland has several Community Orchards including: Boyd Street garden, Mt Joy Orchard, PATHS heritage orchard on Allen Avenue campus, Riverton Trolley Park, Brentwood Gardens. John Bunker has been farming in Maine for the past 40+ years. Describing himself as a “fruit explorer,” Bunker tracks down rare and unusual fruit varieties to save and reintroduce in Maine. In 1984 he started Fedco Trees and has served as President of the Board at the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA), where he continues to serve as a board member and is the founder of MOFGA’s Maine Heritage Orchard. He is the author of “Not Far From the Tree”, a book outlining the history of apples in Palermo, Maine.

Topic: Forest Ecology and Urban Forest Management
Presenter: Dr Kevin Smith, US Forest Service;  Jeff Tarling, Portland City Arborist
Location: Wilde Chapel, Evergreen Cemetery
Time and Date: Wednesday, May 24, 2017, 5pm--6:30pm

Description: Join US Forest Service Plant Physiologist Kevin Smith and City Arborist Jeff Tarling as they give a talk on Urban Forest Management. The concept of conducting urban forest management is an often overlooked component of maintaining sustainable, long term forests.  While the equipment used for this work is similar to timber harvesting on private or commercial lots, the urban forest management project has a focus on improving forest health, habitat, and recreation activities.  Understanding the landscape history of New England and how our forests have evolved demonstrate the resiliency and human influences that shaped today's remaining forested open spaces.

Topic: Forest City Trail Hike (sponsored by Portland Trails)Presenter: Tom Jewell and Kara Wooldrik of Portland Trails and Ethan Hipple, Portland Parks DirectorLocation: Stroudwater River Trail, begin at Blueberry Road (on Congress Street past I-95 overpass)Time and Date: Saturday, June 3, 2017, 8am--3pm
Pre-registration required: http://trails.org/calendar/national-trails-day-forest-city-hike/

Description: Walk the 10 mile Forest City Trail, all on trails within Portland city limits. See two waterfalls, woods, wetlands, and urban sanctuaries. Walk on trails, through school grounds, historic cemeteries and sidewalks to complete this route full of hidden gems in plain view. Learn about current Portland Trails and Portland Parks projects.

Pre-registration required: http://trails.org/calendar/national-trails-day-forest-city-hike/

Topic: Invasive Species Walk and Talk
Presenter: Bob Bittenbender and Jill Mulkern, Portland Park Ranger
Location: Eastern Promenade, middle parking lot
Time and Date: Tuesday, June 13, 2017, 5pm--6:30pm

Description: Join Bob Bittenbender for a 3 mile walk through Eastern Prom park and along the Eastern Prom Trail to learn about invasive species in our urban environment.

Topic: Slow-Ride Bike Through Portland Parks History
Presenter: Jeff Tarling,City Arborist; Ethan Hipple, Parks Director; and Jill Mulkern, Portland Park Ranger
Location: Start at Payson Park Little League Fields Parking Lot for a 9-mile bike loop through Baxter Boulevard, Eastern Prom, Lincoln Park, Western Prom, Deering Oaks
Time and Date: Sunday, August 13, 2017, 10:30am--1:30pm

Description: Join Portland Parks Division staff for a 9-mile slow-ride bike loop through Portland Park History. Bring your own bike and meet the group at Payson Park Little League Fields. Explore the history and political intrigue behind Baxter Boulevard, Back Cove Trail, Eastern Prom, Western Prom and Deering Oaks parks, all while biking along Portland’s world-class multi-use paths and bike lanes. Will include some sections in traffic, must feel comfortable riding a bike in a large group. Bike-confident kids welcome with parental supervision. Bring a lunch for a picnic along the way.

Topic: Portland Big Tree Tour

Presenter: Jeff Tarling, Portland City Arborist and Jill Mulkern, Portland Park Ranger

Location: Meet at Riverside Golf Course Parking Lot
Time and Date: Wednesday, September 13, 2017, 4:30pm-6:30pm

Description: Join Portland Arborist Jeff Tarling for a bus tour of Portland’s biggest and most significant trees--some over 250 years old. Hop on the bus with Jeff and you will visit “Verizon Pines”, Barron Center, Baxter Woods and Deering Oaks.

Space is limited on the buses, pre-registration is required: register here.