Ma Olsen ran a small grocery store in downtown Linnton for much of the first half of the twentieth century. During the Depression she forgave bills, feeding folks in need. Her store was bulldozed in the early 60s, along with most of the buildings lining St Helens Road in Linnton, to widen the highway from two lanes to four. Not long after this Nora "Ma" Olsen, while crossing the highway, was hit, and killed by a car. A plaque, bench, and a Benson Bubbler were placed where the back of her store had been, and that swath of hill was named Ma Olsen's Garden. Forty-five years after her death, the steep hillside that was her Garden was overgrown with ivy, blackberry, and a tangle of fallen trees. We removed the thick green shroud that covered the garden and planted hundreds of native shrubs and flowers of over fifty species. Most of the five block long, seventy-five foot wide sliver of land, of which the Garden is the southern tip, remained buried under invasives. Why not extend the project north, since Linnton as "hanging garden" was the goal to begin with? So we roll along, the past two winters extending the garden another block, planting as we go. It's gnarly work, with established ivy, blackberry, vinca and laurel on rocky, steep, uneven slopes. Uncovering old stone walls, terraces, mundane and weird trash heaps, and poison oak keeps the work interesting, sometimes too much so. We're incubating plans for an tongue-in-cheek sculpture/Dr. Seuss garden in this section. We should be able to polish off the remaining weeds this winter, but we need an infusion of help and laughter. Activities include: Invasive Plant Removal.
Register online here: http://solveoregon.org/get-involved/events/ma-olsens-garden-extension-may