Advocating for trees in Bayside

Did you know – housing development projects in Portland are required to plant one tree for every unit of housing. Sometimes that’s more trees than there’s room for around the development, such as with the recent proposed development of 171 residential units at 52 Hanover Street in Bayside. 

When that happens, the developer pays a fee instead – $400 per unplanted tree – and that money goes into a fund for planting trees all around the City. At 52 Hanover, 29 trees will be planted, and $56,800 will go into the City’s general tree fund. That money won’t necessarily result in any new trees planted in Bayside. 


The BNA is asking the Planning Board to require that all the tree fund money from 52 Hanover Street  be allocated to only plant trees in Bayside. Bayside doesn’t have a lot of green spaces and many streets have few if any trees. We need all the help we can get!

The BNA sent the below letter, to the Planning Board for the March 23, 2021 public hearing on the 52 Hanover Street project. This is in conjunction with a broader effort to protect and enhance Bayside’s green spaces in order to ensure sustainability, equity and livability as the neighborhood changes and develops.

The BNA’s Letter to the Planning Board requesting tree fund allocation to Bayside

To Chair Mazer, Planning Board members, and Planning Department staff,

Regarding the Level III Site Plan, Subdivision and Conditional Use application for 52 Hanover Street, the most recently posted site plan proposes the planting of 21 street trees, and fees in the amount of $60,000 to be paid in lieu of planting the balance of 150 trees.

The Board of Directors of the Bayside Neighborhood Association (BNA) and the undersigned community stakeholders ask that as a condition of any potential approval, the totality of these funds be allocated for use exclusively within the Bayside neighborhood, bounded by Marginal Way, Franklin Street, Congress Street and Forest Ave. The applicant, Tom Watson, has expressed his wholehearted support of this condition.

Such a condition has precedent in a similar Planning Board decision on August 18, 2020 to restrict the street tree funds from Avesta’s 210 Valley Street project for use in the vicinity per staff’s Proposed Motions for the Board to Consider, page 17, XII. C. 2. – “The applicant shall contribute a fee in lieu of approximately $22,000 for the required 55 street trees, to be used for landscape improvements along the lower Western Promenade.”

Without your action the tree funds from 52 Hanover would go into the city-wide tree fund and would not necessarily benefit the neighborhood that would be home to this significant proposed development.

A quick look at the City’s tree map makes it clear that many Bayside streets are severely or completely lacking the greenery that is vital to creating and maintaining a healthy, livable neighborhood and a thriving, sustainable urban ecosystem. Poor and underserved urban neighborhoods with high minority populations, such as Bayside, are particularly likely to have few trees and green spaces, and are especially vulnerable to their absence and loss.

Other prior Bayside development contributions, amounting to tens of thousands of dollars, have gone to the general city tree fund, yet Bayside remains tree-poor. The neighborhood recently experienced the dramatic loss of several healthy, mature trees, removed to make way for a different development. Others were removed due to disease. Young replacement trees have died of post-planting neglect.

The BNA is planning a street tree survey and will work with the City arborist to identify opportunities for tree planting. Should project approval be granted for 52 Hanover Street, we ask that you help ensure the future of Bayside’s trees by allocating the required tree fund fees solely for use in Bayside.

Thank you,

Sarah Michniewicz
President, Bayside Neighborhood Association

Bayside Neighborhood Association Board of Directors
Amistad
Colette Bouchard
Dennis Ferrante
Amy Geren
Jim Hall
Alex Landry
Susan McCloskey
Carolyn Megan
Scott Morrison
Heidi Souerwine
Rob Sylvain
Deborah van Hoewyk

Community Members & Organizations
Chris Aceto
Herb Adams
Ellen Bailey, President, East Bayside Neighborhood Organization
Marylee Bennison
Andrew Bove
Bayside Bowl
Laura Cannon
Cynthia Cochran, VP, East Bayside Neighborhood Organization
Nathalie Davidson
Deborah Fell
Jonathan Fenton
Fork Food Labs
Michael Gelsanliter
John Herrigal
Adam Hill
Ian Jacob
Avery Kamila
Sean Kerwin
Molly Ladd
Peter Leavitt, Leavitt and Sons Deli
Mary Beth Morrison
Jacqueline Newell
Nomadic Goat
Elizabeth Parsons, past president, West End Neighborhood Association
Ned Payne
Anne Pringle
Andrew Rosenstein
Karen Snyder
Nathan Szanton, The Szanton Company
Hilda Taylor
Steve Thomas
Jason Tropp
Laura Underkuffler

Mission Statement

The Bayside Neighborhood Association (BNA) brings members of the Bayside community together. BNA brings conversations about Bayside to Bayside and to the greater community in a way that organizes, informs, and empowers residents; social service and other organizations; local businesses; and city representatives to form meaningful and long-term partnerships. BNA preserves and promotes safety, multi-cultural diversity, housing, and carefully planned social, economic, and physical development in this unique urban community.

Bayside Community Garden Policies 2021

Welcome to the The Bayside Community Garden

The Bayside Community Garden (BCG) is a project of the Bayside Neighborhood Association (BNA), a 501(c)(3) non profit advocating for the West Bayside neighborhood, which is bounded by Marginal Way, Forest Ave, Congress Street, and Franklin Street. The BCG is located at 78 Chestnut Street on a privately owned parcel that has been temporarily made available for the BNA’s use as a community garden. The mission of the BCG includes increased food security for lower income Bayside residents, especially new Mainers, and Bayside residents are prioritized in renting plots and are put at the top of the waitlist.

As a true community garden all gardeners are expected to participate in maintaining both their own plots and common areas, under direction of the garden coordinator and in accordance with garden policies. Volunteer opportunities range from mowing the grass to serving on the steering committee, and many rewarding tasks in between.

The goal of the garden policies is to ensure the BCG enhances the Bayside neighborhood and provides a well-managed and inviting green space for all who use and visit it.

Planting Schedule

June 1 – Plots must be cleared and initial planting completed.
June 15 – Planting for first crops must be complete.
July 1 – A plot must show that it has been consistently maintained.
November 1 – All plots must be cleaned out and shut down for winter.

General Polices

Specific garden maintenance schedules and volunteer roles will be determined and assigned by the garden coordinator or operations manager.

  • If a plot appears abandoned by July 1, the fee will be forfeited and the plot will be offered to the next person on the waitlist
  • All plots must be consistently maintained for the remainder of the season and closed down appropriately for the off-season.
  • Common areas including plot perimeters outside of the physical box must be consistently trimmed and maintained as directed by the garden operations manager and garden coordinator.
  • No plantings will be allowed outside of assigned plots.
  • COVID safety protocols must be adhered to as directed by the garden coordinator and will remain in effect as required by the CDC and City of Portland mandates.
  • Any found hypodermic syringes must be disposed of by calling the Oxford Street Shelter neighbor line (207) 482-5214.
  • Be as kind, welcoming, and respectful of each other as you are of the plants you tend 🙂

Featured

Bayside Community Garden Policy Updates 2020

The Bayside Community Garden (BCG) is a project of the Bayside Neighborhood Association (BNA), a 501(c)(3) non profit advocating for the Bayside neighborhood, which is bounded by Marginal Way, Forest Ave, Congress Street, and Franklin Street. The BCG is located at 78 Chestnut Street on a privately owned parcel that has been temporarily made available for the BNA’s use as a community garden.

The following policies have been put in place for the 2020 gardening season. Gardeners must establish the required roles and plans outlined below to be submitted to the BNA board by April 30, 2020.

POLICIES

Leadership:

Bayside Community Gardeners will establish amongst themselves a management structure that must provide three roles (any of which may be held by the same person):

•An operations manager
•An accountant
•A liaison to the BNA Board

The policies in each area are as follows:

Operations:

One goal of the BCG has been to create a community green space in the midst of a distressed urban neighborhood. This requires that the BCG present an orderly, attractive appearance to gardeners, neighbors, and passersby. To this end the following policies have been developed:

1) The operations manager will oversee the condition of individual plots, according to the following schedule:

June 1 – Plots must be cleared and initial planting completed.
June 15 – Planting for first crops must be complete.
July 1 – A plot must show that it has been consistently maintained.

•If a plot appears abandoned by July 1, the fee will be forfeited and the plot will be offered to the next person on the waitlist at a reduced fee of $20. If there are no takers or the new gardener does not begin planting by July 14 the plot will be cleared and used by the BNA to grow short-season crops for The Locker Project.

•All plots must be consistently maintained for the remainder of the season and closed down appropriately for the off-season.

2) In consultation with the BNA Board a plan must be established detailing where, if anywhere, growth outside of garden plots will be allowed, and what that growth may include for plant material.

•Any such areas must be limited, well maintained, clearly demarcated, and agreed to by the Board.

3) A maintenance schedule for all areas outside the garden plots must be developed, shared with the BNA Board, and adhered to.

•If necessary the BNA board will, at its discretion, correct any overgrowth or plantings outside of approved areas without consultation.

4) The operations manager will ensure that all gardeners understand and agree to these policies.

5) The original mission of creating this garden included increased food security for lower income Bayside residents, especially new Americans. As such:

•Bayside residents will be given first refusal of newly available plots each season, and be put at the top of the waiting list.

Finances

1) The garden accountant will track the balance of plot fees and expenditures:

•Prior to the end of each calendar month, submit to the BNA Treasurer one itemized request for any reimbursements
•Submit a receipt for each garden expenditure
•Distribute reimbursements to individual gardeners. After review and approval by the board (first Tuesday of each month), a reimbursement check will be cut payable to the garden accountant, who will then be responsible for distributing funds to those who paid for expenditures.
•Attend BNA Board meetings as requested

2) The budget for garden expenditures will be the total of the garden fees collected for the 2020 season.

•Assuming all plots are claimed at full fee the 2020 budget is 28 plots x $30 = $840 •Plot fees are non-refundable •The board recommends a sliding-scale model for collecting fees based on need, potentially to be covered by more affluent gardeners. •Any fees collected from gardeners taking over forfeited plots or decreased by sliding scale adjustments will change the total budget. •It is up to garden management to decide how to best utilize available funds within the parameters of these policies.

3) Insurance for the 2020 garden year will be covered by an existing grant to the Avesta garden, a separate garden/greenspace activity of the BNA.

Board Liaison

The Board liaison will communicate with the BNA Board of directors in matters regarding the garden. The liaison will:

•Maintain and share with the Board an updated contact list including plot number, physical address, email and phone numbers of all gardeners.
•Submit to the Board a written monthly report on operations which will include the maintenance schedule, activities and issues in the garden
•Attend board meetings or communicate in other ways as requested.

The goal of these policies is to ensure that the garden enhances the Bayside neighborhood and provides a well-managed and inviting greenspace for all who utilize it. Please feel free to contact me at bnaportland@gmail.com with any questions.

Sarah Michniewicz
President, Bayside Neighborhood Association