Cutting Blackberry Vines

There is a street in my neighborhood that becomes very narrow at a sharp turn at the top of the hill. Two cars can barely pass by each other here, and when the blackberries have not been trimmed, cars really have only one usable lane. This street is one of the routes featured in the book Portland Hill Walks, so it gets a quite a bit of pedestrian and bicycle traffic, too. Like most Southwest Portland streets, it has no sidewalks and pedestrians must walk in the roadway.So on Saturday we set out safety cones and a group of neighbors got together to cut and haul away the encroaching blackberry vines.People donated space in their green compost bins, and offered to pay for the paper bags of yard debris to share the expense of hauling everything away.We cut the vines,collected them,and chopped them into tiny pieces to fit compactly in the containers.Yone (above and below) organized this great neighborhood project. Suddenly we got our first glimpse of the guardrail that had been taken over by blackberries.Inside the bins:By afternoon we were getting a little less comfortable in the hot weather. Yone’s dog, Milo, had a good idea.Marlene made good progress digging into the thorny bushes.I found that working together was both productive,and fun.We discovered three artifacts as we removed the layers of bramble. First, Gene found a solar light from a neighbor’s yard.The second was an old garden hose:The third artifact was found by George, and it was something he lost here the last time we did this two years ago:It is true that many hands make light work. My arms are all scratched up from the blackberries, but it was lots of fun getting together this way. And the street is looking great.Thanks to Ann, Brooke, Cathy, Garry, Gene, George, Gordon, Josephine, Judy, Kathy, Les, Margaret, Marlene, Matt, Mike, Pat, Patty, Scott, and Yone, for their contributions and making this street more beautiful and safer for everyone.Interested in urban hikes and cycling? There are many great trails hidden throughout Southwest Portland. Visit the SW Trails PDX website.


5 responses to “Cutting Blackberry Vines

  1. Nice work! I think I ran along that street that time I ran by your house! I’ve run by a few times since then but I always take the shortcut on Nebraska now instead of being creepy and coming up by your place. Hope all is well and I hope you saved some of those blackberries to eat!

  2. Next, the Ivy.

  3. Thanks for the effort.

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