Metro and Cleveland High School Get Backyard Habitat Certified - Columbia Land Trust
Gaylen Beatty pays her BHCP knowledge and experience forward.

Special Projects Manager for Metro’s Parks and Nature Department, Gaylen Beatty has been hard at work over the past few years bringing her knowledge and expertise with the Backyard Habitat Certification Program (BHCP) to two places she spends plenty of time at, her job and her daughter’s school. No stranger to the program, Beatty served as BHCP Program Manager with Columbia Land Trust prior to moving on to Metro. Located in NE Portland, the large, multi-story Metro campus will be getting a ‘habitat patch’ on its first floor. The campus already had a few green spaces (including a 5th-floor eco-roof) but Beatty and her team saw an opportunity to create a few more.

“It’s amazing how much collaboration is happening throughout the building,” she said. “It’s been so fun to have all this expertise to pull from that’s going to create something beautiful.” The habitat patch, located in the Metro south plaza, will include an installation of native plants (there are already over 50 species in the space), habitat for wildlife, rainwater absorption, and building entry beautification. “One of the goals for this habitat project at Metro is to design and install a beautiful native landscape that reflects the work of Metro and the Parks and Nature department,” said Beatty. With a few more weeks of plantings left, Beatty and her team at Metro will proudly get the campus Backyard Habitat Certified on March 6th.

When she’s not beautifying the Metro campus, Beatty is spending her weekends across town in inner SE Portland, pushing forward a Backyard Habitat Certification at Cleveland High School (her daughter is a student), with a group of other parents. The “weekend warriors” meet each weekend and focus on removing invasive species and other weeds around the campus, as well as plant native species including vine maples, red flowering currant, and tall Oregon grape to name a few. Cleveland will be the first Portland Public School to be certified, an exciting achievement for the school, the program, and the parents.

“I have a big heart right now with the interest in sharing these projects,” said Beatty. ” I’m definitely in my element.”


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