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KOIN 6 News

Portland garden tour to benefit Raleigh Park students

By Jenny HanssonTim Steele,


PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Heida Bruce has an impressive garden on the banks of Sylvania Creek, featuring raised beds, Japanese and fine maples, Katsura trees and much more.

“I like to show off my garden,” Bruce said, “because this is my retirement’s life work.”

She will get a chance to show off her garden in the Fir Grove Garden Club Tour on Saturday, June 3. The Fir Grove Garden Club has been around since 1942 with a tour of new gardens since 2007.


“The idea of the garden tour is to get an idea of something new and different,” said garden club member Mary Sherman. “One of the gardens this year is a rooftop garden, so something different we haven’t had before.”

Garden enthusiasts will pick up their packets for the tour at the Raleigh Park Elementary School ‘s Learning Garden, which is one of the 9 gardens spotlighted in the tour this year.

Becky Pio, the coordinator for the Learning Garden, makes sure students in all 15 classes get chances to work in the garden during the school year. She hopes these lessons will plant a love of all things outdoors in the kids.

“I just really want them to learn to appreciate nature. They’ll take good care of the Earth,” she told KOIN 6 News. “Maybe we’ll inspire some of them to get into science when they get older.”

The money raised from the tour benefits the Learning Garden at Raleigh Park Elementary, which is full of different plants plus grows vegetables for students who are food insecure.

It’s also a learning highlight for 2nd-graders JJ, Liam and Claire.

“I think my favorite plant I’ve seen so far are the roses,” JJ said.

Liam said he likes “all of the plants and the fruit trees need time to grow.”

But Claire summed it up very nicely. “I like watching the blueberries change color and get ripe. And then I like to eat them.”

The Raleigh Park Garden Tour is scheduled for Saturday, June 3, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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