Friends of Liberty Hill began in Spring 2018 with the coming together of citizens concerned for the loss of this special place. In that time, we have formed alliances with other conservation groups and environmental advocates and are dedicated to bringing awareness to the area as a valuable, unique and local natural treasure that would best serve the community preserved.
Threats to the Bluff
Several million dollars worth of high-grade basalt rock lies beneath the Liberty Hill.
Plans for a 120+ acre quarry expansion are imminent. But, while there are many other sources of rock locally and regonially, the perceived value, minimal processing and easy access to highway 30 has driven a very profitable decision to mine here. Though reclamation is required on a large portion of Liberty Hill, the areas specialized wetlands and hydric soils are nearly impossible to recreate. When they are removed they and the native plants they support will be gone forever. It is our hope that the mining company will follow through in avoiding the most sensitive areas, or possibly even expand Northward. To date however, there is still little regard for the area's value to the community in remaining intact. The basalt of Liberty Hill is not rare - but native habitats like this are.
Approximately 65 acres of the Southernmost portion of Liberty Hill lie within the Urban Growth Boundary of St. Helens. Having been logged for Douglas Fir in 2015, the land is unsuitable for replanting and it looks to be one day sold for development. Due to the solid basalt substrate, steep grade, limited easements as well as proximity to mining operations, the site would be quite expensive and undesirable to develop. It is the view of FOLH that this area could be best used as a natural area, open to the public with trails for both cyclists and those who want to view the camas and native plants.
In recent years Liberty Hill's neighboring wetlands and camas meadows have been filled and scraped for development, leaving the area with an ever dwindling green space for the local community and habitat loss for the many native plant and wildlife species of the area. This makes efforts to conserve a portion of the land all the more urgent.
We need you! FLHCB currently meets monthly to by-monthly, alternating meeting sites between St. Helen's and Portland. Currently, due to COVID-19 pandemic, we are conducting Zoom meetings. To receive notice of events, learn more of the plight of Liberty Hill and ways to suppost this beautiful land, please visit the contact page and send us a message. We thank you for your support in this on-going effort!
Friends of Liberty Hill has recently been approved for a fiscal sponsorship by the Urban Greenspaces Institute, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to promote urban greenspace efforts regionally, nationally and internationally. All donations made in support of Friends of Liberty Hill are tax-deductible through UGI.
Your donation to Liberty Hill is greatly appreciated! Funding helps support the this website and goes towards printed materials for public outreach, legal counsel and more.