Phone: 503-823-PLAY (7529)
1120 SW Fifth Ave., Suite 1302, Portland, OR 97204
Develop a north-south trail roughly parallel to Stephens Creek that provides an accessible route from the east end of the boardwalk up to SW Bertha Boulevard. Add a sign with the name of the park and the Raz-Baack Crossing from SW Capitol Hill to SW Bertha.
Portland Parks & Recreation, SWNI Parks Committee, SW Trails, Hillsdale Neighborhood Assn, Hillsdale Business Assn, PP&R Disability Advisory Committee, Portland Bureau of Transportation, Bureau of Environmental Services
Receive project permits
August - October 2013
MARCH 2013 - UPDATE
PP&R Urban Forestry crews will begin this week prepping the site for trail construction by felling seven trees that impact the trail alignment, six of which are dead or invasive species. The seventh is an old apple located within the trail alignment that is being shaded out due to successful reestablishment and regrowth of native species. Further construction work will begin in August to avoid the risk of disturbing nesting migratory birds.
The 2005 Functional Plan for Stephens Creek Nature Park was developed by a citizen and City staff partnership that included representatives from the Southwest Neighborhood Incorporated (SWNI) Parks Committee, Hillsdale Neighborhood Association, the Friends of Stephens Creek Nature Park (a subcommittee of the Hillsdale Neighborhood Association), and staff from the PP&R Natural Resource Program, now known as City Nature. The Functional Plan places habitat value and environmental function as the highest priority for the site but also anticipated creating both a direct and a more accessible route across the park.
Stephens Creek Nature Park is an approximately 4-acre site located in the Hillsdale neighborhood in southwest Portland, west of SW Bertha Blvd. and east of SW Capitol Hill Rd. Stephens Creek, a perennial creek with an average depth of 6.5 inches, is part of the Willamette watershed and is one of three major watersheds in southwest Portland. The creek is in the center of the park and flows in a northwest to southeast direction. Custer Creek empties into the park also; the confluence of Custer and Stephens Creeks is located within the park. Two municipal storm drains originating in the residential area east of SW Bertha Blvd. empty into Stephens Creek.
The site is owned by the City of Portland and managed by PP&R City Nature West. However, the Bureau of Environmental Services has an easement encompassing the creek and its banks for stormwater purposes. A 55-ft-wide undeveloped public right-of-way bisects the site and the easement east to west. Adjacent parcels to the north, west, and south are owned by several private landowners. The entire site has a restrictive environmental zoning overlay and strict tree protections are applied by Urban Forestry.
The site is a nature park and is managed for its habitat value. Its primary amenity is its natural character. But it is also valuable as neighborhood open space and for the connectivity it provides between neighborhoods along SW Capitol Hill Rd and the schools across Bertha, and for the access along Bertha to Hillsdale and the Terwilliger area. The park is under renovation by City Nature to improve its ecological functioning, with the assistance of neighbors and other interested stakeholders. In 2007, the SW Trails group accomplished a major project to build the stairs and boardwalk that form the present east-west path system between Capitol Hill and Bertha.
A portion of PP&R's share of Metro's 2006 Greenspaces Bond Measure was allocated to pay for installation of a path to make a more accessible north-south connection through the Nature Park. Design goals include:
The landscape architects are Group MacKenzie, and surveying has been provided by Kpff Consulting Engineers. The total project cost estimate is approximately $125,000 including administration, design, permitting, and construction costs.