Beaverton's Wonderland Arboretum
The Wonderland Arboretum is a City of Beaverton project established in celebration of Arbor Day, April 2013. The purpose of this project is to transform a vacant piece of our landscape into a native plant arboretum and positive community gathering space. It is the intent of this project that citizens not only enjoy the space, but also are afforded an opportunity learn about native plants and be inspired to integrate more native plants in their own landscapes.
This project is accomplished in partnership with Friends of Trees and Clean Water Services who helped provide labor, materials, and plants for volunteers.
Wonderland Arboretum presentation
It has been a few years since the completion of the Wonderland Arboretum of Native trees and shrubs. The 40 native trees including 15 different species and 33 native plants including 11 species are well established and vibrant. The development of the site was a huge success, turning a bare lot with grass and weeds into a neighborhood park that you can walk through or sit and enjoy and learn about trees. You can even read all of the informational signs located near the trees and plants telling a little about them. Beaverton’s Arboretum was designed by City Arborist Patrick Hoff and installed by the Cities landscape crew members including Jered Lane and Alexander Doby. The trees and plants were all planted on Arbor Day 2013 by the citizens of Beaverton with the help of the Friends of trees and city staff. The Beaverton Urban Forestry department was also awarded a sustainability grant from the Mayor’s office to pay for the plants. This year at Beaverton’s Arbor Day the Urban Forestry department was also awarded a Sterling growth award from the Arbor Day foundation and Tree City USA for going the extra mile and constructing the Wonderland Arboretum to promote the use of Native trees and plants throughout Beaverton and surrounding areas.
Sustainable Site Design Concepts:
The permeable pavers and gravel that make up the path materials limit the amount impervious surfaces onsite. Porous surfaces reduce stormwater runoff by allowing water to soak into the ground, which reduces the amount stormwater runoff that enters the City’s piped stormwater system. Since stormwater runoff has the potential to carry pollutants to waterways and may degrade streams and cause unnatural flooding, use of porous surfaces can reduce the impacts associated with stormwater runoff.
Native trees and plants occur historically in an area and need little or no fertilizer or care once established. Trees and native plants also provide wildlife habitat, attracting birds, butterflies and other animals. They also capture rain, filter pollutants, provide shade and cool air, improve air quality, reduce erosion, and protect water quality. The native plant varieties within this arboretum were chosen to encourage their use, raise awareness around the benefits of native species. All of the arboretum’s trees were recently added onto the City’s approved street tree list.
Recovered and Recycled Materials
The bench in the arboretum was recovered by City staff who rebuilt the damaged bench rather than sending it out for scrap. Installing a recovered bench in the arboretum reduces natural resource depletion associated with a new bench, saves the City money, and provides a place for citizens to sit and enjoy the arboretum. The path border is made from recycled plastic, which includes the benefits of reusing plastics, increasing the market demand for recycling plastics, and decreasing greenhouse gas emissions as a result of utilizing a durable product for the path.
The City of Beaverton continuously searches for ways to incorporate low impact and sustainable design that are both economically feasible and provide for a community green space.