Friends, family plant trees along I-205 path in honor of Gail Achterman

Gail Achterman’s husband Chuck McGinnis (L),
his son Daniel McGinnis and daughter-in-law
Cheryl McGinnis, plant a tree in her honor
along the I-205 path.
(Photos: Friends of Trees)

Gail Achterman was honored over the weekend when friends, family, and colleagues planted more than a dozen oak trees in her memory along the I-205 path in SE Portland. Achterman passed away back in January after decades of public service as a lawyer and advocate for environmental preservation and sensible transportation policy. She was most recently Chair of the influential Oregon Transportation Commission.

The trees were planted in the grass along the I-205 path between SE Schiller and SE Pardee — in the district Achterman represented as OTC commissioner.

Local non-profit Friends of Trees organized the planting. Communications Director Teri Ruch says Achterman’s colleagues and family attended the event. Oregon State Representative Alissa Keny-Guyer was there, as were Achterman’s husband Chuck McGinnis, her stepson Daniel McGinnis, and other members of the family.

L to R: Oregon State Rep. Alissa Keny-Guyer, Friends of Trees Executive Director Scott Fogarty and ODOT Region 1 Public Policy & Community Affairs Manager Shelli Romero.

Friends of Trees Crew Leader Conan Harmon-Walker helps Chuck McGinnis with a planting.

A stand of oak trees along a non-motorized corridor is a fitting tribute to Achterman. She was a giant in Oregon’s proud legacy of environmental protection and sustainable transportation policy who stood strong amid shifting political winds and laid down the roots of many policies and projects we all enjoy today.

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Founder of BikePortland (in 2005). Father of three. North Portlander. Basketball lover. Car owner and driver. If you have questions or feedback about this site or my work, feel free to contact me at @jonathan_maus on Twitter, via email at, or phone/text at 503-706-8804. Also, if you read and appreciate this site, please become a supporter.

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Jonathan Gordon
Jonathan Gordon
12 years ago

Planting new life along a bikeway seems like such a touching way to memorialize someone who did so much for biking. Thanks for posting this.