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Looking Toward the Future

Restoring the View from Portland Japanese Garden

Photo by Jonathan Ley

Looking east toward Mt. Hood on the steps of Portland Japanese Garden’s Pavilion, you may have noticed that the iconic view of Portland’s city skyline has been harder to enjoy. Since Portland Japanese Garden was first established more than 55 years ago, the trees and surrounding vegetation has flourished, hiding Mt. Hood in its foliage.

A group of dedicated advocates, the Garden Resource Committee (GRC), has been working for several years to establish and maintain this panoramic view, while also being good stewards of the environment. The GRC is comprised of board members, Portland Japanese Garden staff, and friends of the Garden. The process began when GRC member and Garden Curator, Sadafumi Uchiyama, realized the view to Mt. Hood would be gone in the future, unless it was protected.

“The view looking east from the pavilion is one of the most iconic views in the city, one the original Garden designer, Professor Tono,valued highly. It needed to be defined, protected, and preserved,” said Uchiyama.

The City of Portland’s Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS) evaluated zoning and revisited previously protected views from the 1990’s as a part of the 2035 Central City Plan development. After an extensive process involving community and GRC testimony to City Council in support of protection for the Garden’s Mt. Hood view, and final state approval of the 2035 Plan, the view corridor from PJG is now officially protected. Work to clear the view will begin this year.

Read our article “Looking Ahead: A City Beyond the Trees” from January 2018, to learn more about this process.

Garden Happenings

Photo by Justin Leverett

As the plants wake up from their winter sleep, our gardeners are getting ready to welcome spring and a new year of growth. To encourage a lively scene, there will be a mix of projects on a large and small scale. Projects include:

– Pruning trees and scrubs to allow buds enough space to grow
– Planting around 200 trillium (native to the Pacific Northwest), along the Antique Gate and Entry Garden path
– Replacing and fixing bamboo fences throughout the Garden
– Regrading the grounds
– Starting the multi-year process of site mapping as a cohesive tool to better care for the Garden and its structural integrity for future generations