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The City of Portland, Oregon

Environmental Services

working for clean rivers

Phone: 503-823-7740

Fax: 503-823-6995

1120 SW 5th Ave, Suite 613, Portland, OR 97204

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Stephens Creek Nature Park

Updated: April 22, 2019

Stephens Nature Park is a Portland Parks and Recreation property with an existing wetland that stores stormwater. This project will add native vegetation, help manage invasive plants, and add large wood to increase stormwater storage and habitat complexity. The project is in the early stages of design, and construction could start in summer 2020.

The purpose of this project is to improve water quality and habitat and to manage stromwater flows into Stephens Creek. This will provide local and downstream benefits including cleaner water, reductions in peak flows, and better wildlife habitat.

Design Alternatives

Our stormwater engineers are looking at different design alternatives for the Nature Park. Below are pictures and brief descriptions of the features of these alternatives.

Alternative 1 - Maximum Water Storage

SC Nature Park - Alternative 1 


  • Largest amount of stormwater storage
  • Construct berm for flow control at south end of site
  • Replace pedestrian bridge and stairs
  • Water quality improvements
  • Habitat enhancements

Alternative 2 - Least Impact

SC Nature Park - Alternative 2


  • Smallest amount of stormwater storage
  • Construct weirs on northern and southwestern portions of the site for flow control
  • Some water quality improvements
  • Habitat enhancements
  • Preserve existing boardwalk

About Stephens Creek

Stephens Creek runs from its headwaters near Hillsdale to the Willamette River, just north of the Sellwood Bridge. It is unique in Portland in that it runs largely above ground. Smaller tributaries and springs feed the stream, in addition to stormwater runoff. Based on an understanding of southwest Portland’s unique geology, hydrology, and geography, Environmental Services is working with partners to improve and restore watershed health in Stephens Creek. A healthy watershed provides habitat for fish, birds, and other wildlife and delivers cold, clean water to the Willamette River.

For more information about Stephens Creek, go to

Stephens Creek Map

For More Information

With questions or comments, or if you would like more information, please contact Joe Tursi at 503-823-5753 or If you have any questions or feedback about the project, please contact Joe Tursi.