One of the ways to look at community involvement is to find ways that you can assist in the community and find ways that they can help your organization. Over the past few years while rebuilding the Garden and establishing its programs, our involvement around the City has been mostly committed to our area of Main City Park. As our accomplishments have grown and have become more established, we have taken the opportunity to take part in a broader sense and meet other peoples and organizations. When you do so you find that the organization, people and businesses are linked together in many different ways. You can have a conversation with a person on a specific subject and later get involved with another conversation about yet a different situation and find that you are talking to the same person(s).

That is exactly what happened when we began communications with Matt Holland at the Gresham History Museum about the Japanese history in Gresham display and presentation. Later with a spark of interest from their board, it was decided to upgrade and refurbish the campus around the museum and the old church. What a privilege to have that board of directors lead by John Clark, to request our assistance and expertise with that undertaking.

With that commitment we also partnered with the Rotary Club of Gresham to take on a very large project to make the campus as you see it today. We met on a Saturday with members of the community, the museum members, the rotary Club and volunteers from Tsuru Island to take apart and put back together the landscape around the Museum and the old church.

Our part was more than labor it had to do with the planning and organization of the project, the offering of equipment, irrigation materials, plant materials that have been installed at the locations.

What an effort by all of those involved; old trees and shrubs were remove which included stump grinding, pavement was washed, weeds were pulled, roots and all. Planter area under the street trees were reset and all of the plant material was planted, grasses were cut down behind the church as well as plant material that was diseased and damaged. 5 truck loads were hauled out of the parking lot for recycling.

Irrigation had been donated by Tsuru Island and was installed as a drip system in all of the bed areas and included areas that may include planting in the future. Timers were included in our offering that allowed for 2 systems to run off of the outside access points.

After the initial day of accomplishment another group of volunteers from Tsuru Island showed up on a Saturday to move 2 units of bark dust purchased by Mr. Clark. What the volunteers thought was going to be an all day event was accomplished in 2 hours. We used 8 wheel barrows and our Dingo to load the wheel barrows, while the volunteers simply moved the loads to the area being specified by the spotter. As areas were completed and we got closer to exhaustion of the units, the bark was spread in the immediate area it had been placed and in no time we were finished and ready for clean up.

Since that day of spreading the bark dust things like painting the stairway to the entrance, detailing the railings, identifying parking and installing concrete pavers around the statuary at the corner has been completed.

The commitment does not stop there; ongoing maintenance is going to be key to the cosmetic appeal of the grounds and that has been accomplished through a grant from the Rotary Club of Gresham and Tsuru Island. Somehow I get the feeling that this is only the beginning for the outside of the museum.