Nature Space Award: Oak Street Apartments

Photo by Jerry Giarraputo.

Photo by Jerry Giarraputo.

The vegetable and flower garden at the corner of Oak and 6th Streets is a big part of what makes downtown Hood River so appealing to visitors and residents.

C. J. Wertgen owns Oak Street Apartments at that corner. Around the perimeter of the building she created a garden filled with roses and peppers, lilies and artichokes, nasturtiums and carrots, squash and mums, sage and lemon mint and more. Steve Frazier, who has one of the apartments, helps garden and is part of the reason the roses are so successful.

C. J. Wertgen

C. J. Wertgen

C. J.’s daughter Lori Martinez nominated her garden for our Nature Space award.  We liked the garden and the fact that unlike other businesses C. J. even planted the area under the grating beside the street. It’s those extra things that make a place stand out. She wins one of Envirogorge’s $25 awards for places where people are creating places for nature.

This urban garden is open to all who drive or walk along the town’s main street. “I like the green,” C. J. says. “I like to see things grow. It’s my pleasure to share it.”

By | 2016-12-13T01:59:33+00:00 September 9th, 2014|Categories: Nature Space Award, News|4 Comments

About the Author:

Susan Hess started Envirogorge to talk about the natural world of the Columbia River Gorge. Susan has written for Columbia Gorge Magazine, NewWest, The Current, Hood River News, Ruralite Magazine. She produced a monthly newsletter for U.S. Army Corp of Engineers on the rebuilding of Celilo Village. She is a former Marketing Director for Providence Hood River Hospital. She hold a B.S. in city planning and Master’s Degree in business.


  1. Denise McCravey 09/09/2014 at 6:06 pm - Reply

    Seeing plants grow and flourish along sidewalks and streets give people a sense of well being. I appreciate the roses and vegetables along the Oak Street Apartments. Thank you for sharing the view of your garden with others who pass by.

    • Susan Hess 09/10/2014 at 2:45 am - Reply

      Your garden is one of those special places, too.

  2. Kirk 09/11/2014 at 3:03 pm - Reply

    I love to see this garden. Anyone who plants flowers for the bees and other insects deserves much praise.

    • Susan Hess 09/11/2014 at 6:29 pm - Reply

      That’s how we feel, too. Makes the place better for all of us.

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