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working for clean rivers

Phone: 503-823-7740

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Tomorrow Kicks Off Great Blue Heron Week


Great Blue Heron JC H
Great Blue Heron - photo by Jim Cruce

27th Annual Great Blue Heron Week: Great Blue Herons of The Intertwine!

Join the Audubon Society of Portland, Urban Greenspaces Institute, and other partners in The Intertwine Alliance in celebrating more than a quarter century since the Great Blue Heron was adopted as Portland’s official city bird.

This year’s festivities will also celebrate the City of Portland’s designation by the United Nations’ Environmental Programme as the North American host city for the World Environment Day on June 5.

From the Portland Audubon website


The Vanport Flood: An Informal Tour

Thursday, May 30 | 4-6 p.m.

Vanport City, developed on the floodplain of the Columbia River as war worker housing, disappeared in the catastrophic flood of 1948. More than 100,000 people called the community home at the time. Join leader Susan Barthel of the City of Portland and the Columbia Slough Watershed Council in a tour of the levee, public art and informational signs that commemorate this community and the flood. Susan will bring maps and resource materials. Meet at the Portland International Raceway/Delta Park MAX station at 4 p.m. sharp! Appropriate for older students (with adults). Minimal walking and short van shuttle. Trip is free. For more information call Susan Barthel at 503-823-7268.


Exploring The Intertwine: Herons of Rock Creek Greenway

Friday, May 31 | 8-10 a.m.

Join Mike Houck on a hike along Hillsboro’s Rock Creek Greenway and explore the wetlands and riparian habitat at the Norm Thompson corporate headquarters on Rock Creek. We will also get close-up views of two Great Blue Heron nesting colonies at Rock Creek. Directions: Norm Thompson is located at 3188 NW Aloclek Drive in Hillsboro. Take Hwy 26 west to NW Cornell Road, head west on NW Cornell Road to NW Evergreen Parkway, and turn right (west) onto Evergreen Parkway west to NW Aloclek Drive. Turn left (south) onto NW Aloclek Driver. You will see a number of low rise buildings on your left; it is difficult to see 3188, but if you turn into the driveway and proceed east through the parking lot you will see the building number (3188) on the side of the building. Meet Mike Houck promptly at 8 a.m. at the entrance to Norm Thompson’s offices.

Springwater - Mike Houck

Photo by Mike Houck

Exploring The Intertwine: Sharrows to Sparrows

Saturday, June 1 | 9 a.m. to noon

The third in a series of bicycling adventures that explore natural areas and the active transportation network of The Intertwine -- the Portland-Vancouver region’s system of parks, trails and natural areas. This is an event of the United Nation's World Environment Week and Great Blue Heron Week. The 10-mile ride, led by Mike Houck and Greg Raisman of Portland Bureau of Transportation, will explore SW Portland’s Gabriel Park, Fanno Creek Greenway, and Nicol Road Marsh. Directions: Meet Mike and Greg promptly at 9 a.m. at Gabriel Park Community Center in the southwest corner of the park, 6820 SW 45th Avenue.


Cycle the Well Field

Saturday, June 1 | 8:45 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Bring your bike and your friends for a tour of Portland's drinking water wells! Experts from the Portland Water Bureau and the Columbia Slough Watershed Council will lead this sixteen-mile cruise on flat, easy terrain. Learn about the safety, functionality and history of Portland's underground drinking water system, which supplements the main supply from the Bull Run. Helmets required; light refreshments provided. Open to ages twelve and above. Meet at Aloft Portland Airport at Cascade Station, 9920 NE Cascades Pkwy. Free. Pre-registration required at or 503-281-1132.


Paddle Lake River to Confluence of Columbia River: Paddle, Pedal and Picnic on National Trails Day

Saturday, June 1 | 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Ceremonies begin at 10 a.m. in the big event tent and continue with a short presentations along the river. Big canoes and a flotilla of kayaks will be traveling 2.5 miles down Lake River to the confluence of the Columbia River and back to the Port of Ridgefield to celebrate National Trails Day and highlight the Lower Columbia River and Lewis River-Vancouver Lake water trails. The morning’s events highlight the natural resources and history of the 32 miles of water trail and the adjacent land trails and Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge.


Great Blue Heron colony from South Waterfront - Mike Houck
Great Blue Heron colony from South Waterfront - photo by Mike Houck

Exploring The Intertwine: Herons of Ross Island

Sunday, June 2 | 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. | South Waterfront

The Ross Island Great Blue Heron nesting colony is easily visible from the temporary Willamette Greenway in front of the South Waterfront condominiums. Join Mike Houck, who will have spotting scopes on hand for great views of young herons in their nests and nearby Osprey nests as well. Meet Mike in front of the Merewether condos promptly at 11 a.m. Directions: Take the Portland Streetcar, walk, drive or bike to the OHSU streetcar and tram stop at SW Moody. Walk to SW Curry and SW River Parkway and proceed east on SW Curry past the Meriwether condominium tower to the greenway trail, and then walk south on the trail, where Mike will be waiting with spotting scopes. Dress for the weather and bring binoculars and spotting scopes if you have them.


Birding The Intertwine: Birding at Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge

Monday, June 3 | 8-11 a.m.

This two-mile loop stroll around the Bottoms is appropriate for families and will provide a great opportunity to learn new bird calls and songs, and to see Osprey, Bald Eagles and songbirds in the Bottoms. Meet Mike Houck at the parking lot at the north end of Sellwood Park at SE Sellwood Boulevard and SE 7th Avenue at 8 a.m. sharp. Bring binoculars and, if you have one, a spotting scope.


Walking The Intertwine: Vera Katz Eastbank Esplanade to Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge

Tuesday, June 4 | 12-4 p.m.

Walk with Mike Houck from the Esplanade along the Willamette River to Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge. Return trip will be via TriMet bus so bring your bus fare! Meet Mike promptly at noon at the east end of the Hawthorne Bridge, at the overlook adjacent to the Portland fire station at the foot of SE Madison Street. Bring binoculars, camera and dress for the weather. This approximately 3-mile stroll is one-way to Oaks Bottom, across the Bottom’s north meadow to SE Milwaukie Avenue, where we’ll catch a TriMet bus back to downtown Portland.


Exploring The Intertwine: Birds and Indigenous Plants of Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge

Wednesday, June 5 | 5-8 p.m.

Leaders: Mike Houck and Judy BlueHorse Skelton, Herbalist and Educator. This two-mile loop stroll around the Bottoms is appropriate for families and will provide a great opportunity to learn new bird calls and songs, and to learn about native plants and their importance to Native American culture. Meet Mike and Judy at the parking lot at the north end of Sellwood Park at SE Sellwood Boulevard and SE 7th Avenue at 5 p.m. sharp. Bring binoculars and, if you have one, a spotting scope. A hand lens will be useful for plant identification.


Annual Heron Walk at Jackson Bottom Wetlands Preserve

Saturday, June 8 | 9 a.m. to noon

You will see the herons and their offspring on their nests up-close through a spotting scope, but bring binoculars if you have them for the many other bird species we will encounter. Meet at the Jackson Bottom Education Center, 2600 SW Hillsboro Hwy 219 (Directions: The hike is about 3 miles over flat terrain. Contact Sarah at 503 681-6278 to reserve a spot. The trip leader is Rick Balazs. The trip is free; space is limited to 15 people. Adults and children over 10 (accompanied by adult) are welcome.


Kelley Point to Cathedral Park Willamette River Regatta

Sunday, June 9

The traditional Ross Island Regatta will be replaced this year with a paddle from Kelley Point Park, at the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia Rivers, to Cathedral Park.

Details coming soon.


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