National Youth Association workers planting trees for Hoyt Arboretum
Once the site of Multnomah County’s Poor Farm, the city began developing this land in the West Hills of Portland as an arboretum in 1930. In its first six years, much of the labor for tree planting and park development was provided through the Civil Works Administration (CWA), Works Progress Administration (WPA), and the National Youth Administration (NYA).
The local newspaper, The Oregonian, gave particular attention to the NYA workers’ contribution, noting that nearly 100 young people between the age of 16 and 25 were employed for three months. They began the transformation of what was then a 200-acre, rough, wooded landscape into a park and “tree museum.”
The newspaper summarized the NYA project with the following description: “The workers on this project cleared an area of 15 acres and leveled the ground for planting, cultivated some 4000 trees which have been planted in the area, constructed trails, built fence and worked on the West Hills golf course, improving greens and clearing uncultivated land.”
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"Arboretum Work Here Completed," The Oregonian. July 20, 1936.
Hoyt Arboretum website: https://www.hoytarboretum.org/ Viewed January 22, 2022.
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