Columns get high dose of care.Byline: Susan Palmer The Register-Guard
Carrying 85 pounds of rebar re·bar
1. A rod or bar used for reinforcement in concrete or asphalt pourings.
2. A group of such rods forming a grid.
[re(inforcing) bar.] , Dane Tornell hustled up the new steps at the base of the climbing columns at Skinner Butte Skinner Butte (also called Skinner's Butte) is a prominent hill on the north edge of downtown Eugene, Oregon, United States, near the Willamette River. Skinner Butte is a local landmark and the location of Skinner Butte Park, a municipal park. . The lengths of rebar would be used as stakes to secure logs that edge the new terraces below the basalt basalt (bəsôlt`, băs`ôlt), fine-grained rock of volcanic origin, dark gray, dark green, brown, reddish, or black in color. Basalt is an igneous rock, i.e., one that has congealed from a molten state. face that has attracted climbers for decades.
Tornell was just one of about 50 volunteers who spent Saturday morning putting finishing touches finishing touches finish npl the finishing touches → der letzte Schliff
finishing touches npl → ultimi ritocchi mpl on renovations designed by city landscaper Robin Hostick. The uniquely collaborative project brought together Eugene parks and public works staff, Lane Metro Youth Corps, REI, Home Depot and climbing enthusiasts such as Tornell, director of the South Eugene High School South Eugene High School is a public high school located in Eugene, Oregon, United States. It was founded as Eugene High School around 1900, and was located at Willamette Street and West 11th Avenue in a brick building that later served as Eugene's city hall. IceAxemen, a student mountaineering club.
"We use these columns almost weekly," Tornell said. "It's just a way to give back."
While he and his students worked on securing the logs, youth corps volunteers spread wood chips below the columns, pounded flat the gravel base of the new terrace, planted red alder and big leaf maple saplings, and painted a new educational kiosk.
Suspended by ropes on the southernmost section of rock, two volunteers yanked down encroaching ivy and poison oak poison oak: see poison ivy.
Species of poison ivy (Toxicodendron diversilobum) native to western North America and classified in the sumac (or cashew) family. . Twenty cubic yards of invasive plants have been hauled away from the site, said volunteer coordinator Matt McRae.
Money for the project came in part from an REI grant. The outdoor gear retailer donated $5,000, part of the $15,000 to $30,000 it donates annually to community projects, said Michelle Emmons, REI outreach specialist.
Eugene matched the REI money.
But the Lane Metro Youth Corps has provided most of the muscle for this job, working six hours a day for the past two weeks on the project and then returning for the Saturday volunteer effort. The youth corps is an employment, training and education program for high school students sponsored by the nonprofit agency Looking Glass.
For nonclimbers, the basalt columns may be merely picturesque. But climbing history suffuses the volcanic rock.
Willi Unsoeld - the Oregon State University Oregon State University, at Corvallis; land-grant and state supported; coeducational; chartered 1858 as Corvallis College, opened 1865. In 1868 it was designated Oregon's land-grant agricultural college and was taken over completely by the state in 1885. graduate who pioneered the west route up Mount Everest in the 1960s - climbed here.
So did Alan Watts, the Oregonian who helped popularize pop·u·lar·ize
tr.v. pop·u·lar·ized, pop·u·lar·iz·ing, pop·u·lar·iz·es
1. To make popular: A famous dancer popularized the new hairstyle.
2. sport climbing and made Smith Rock near Redmond the internationally known climbing Mecca it is today.
Watts credited the Eugene columns as the place he really began to develop his climbing skills while he was a student at the University of Oregon The University of Oregon is a public university located in Eugene, Oregon. The university was founded in 1876, graduating its first class two years later. The University of Oregon is one of 60 members of the Association of American Universities. , according to an article at the Web site SmithRock.com.
The columns are a remnant of a basalt quarry that operated from the 1890s through the 1930s in Eugene.
"There's a tremendous amount of history here," said Roger Bailey, Eugene outdoors program supervisor. The climbing columns are unique in Oregon, probably in the nation, he said. Few urban settings can boast such a natural climbing wall in the heart of town.