Tuesday, October 28, 2008

East Park Blocks: Ainsworth Blocks

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The Ainsworth Blocks (our next stop on the East Park Blocks grand tour) are on NE Ainsworth St. between MLK & 37th, the only east-west set of park blocks in town that I know of. They're narrower than the others, almost just a glorified median, but they're also much longer than any of the others, roughly two miles in total. If the Ainsworth Blocks extended much further west, they'd intersect with Omaha Parkway, and the east end is not-quite-due-north of Reed College Parkway. Which may be evidence of a plan, or it may just be basic Euclidean geometry -- any lines that aren't absolutely parallel will eventually intersect somewhere. So whatever.

The place is also known as the Ainsworth Linear Arboretum, the brainchild of a local group called "Friends of Trees". They've got a great deal of info about all the diverse trees that have been planted along the Ainsworth Blocks. Some in the blocks themselves, some along the street on either side, even some in yards facing the blocks.

Beyond that, I haven't found a lot of references to the place. There's one related Oregonian story, indicating that the Ainsworth Blocks lost some trees in a big 1997 winter storm. That story refers to Omaha Parkway as "Omaha Blocks", which also lost trees.

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