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The City of Portland, Oregon

Environmental Services

working for clean rivers

Phone: 503-823-7740

Fax: 503-823-6995

MAILING ADDRESS: 1120 SW 5th Ave, Room 1000, Portland, OR 97204

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Custer Park Stormwater Facility

Updated October 16, 2019

Environmental Services – your sewer and stormwater utility – is continuing the design of a stormwater management project in Custer Park. Custer Park is a Portland Parks and Recreation property with an existing stormwater channel and a small pond designed for stormwater storage. The project, near the headwaters of Stephens Creek, will include improvements to the existing stormwater channel, removal of invasive plants, and will increase the amount of stormwater the existing pond can hold.

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

Construction Schedule

Construction is currently scheduled for the summer of 2020 and should take a month to complete.

Custer Park Stormwater Management Project

Features of this design:

  • Existing trees remain intact
  • Increase water storage in pond
  • Pond to drain after rain event
  • Enhance channel vegetation

Stormwater Detention Pond

The current pond at Custer Park is overgrown with vegetation and had previously been filled in due to safety concerns. This left the existing pond with only 115 cubic feet of storage capacity for stormwater. The proposed improvements will increase the amount of storage capacity from 115 cubic feet to 5,175 cubic feet. To do this, Environmental services will increase the depth of the current pond from a few inches to three feet at its deepest. Vegetation within the pond will be cleared, but the large mature trees surrounding the pond will be preserved. A wood split-rail fence will be installed around the pond to keep pets and young children out of pond to ensure safety and a functional stormwater system.

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.

The Custer Park Stormwater Improvement Project is one of a series of stormwater improvement projects near the headwaters of Stephens Creek.

For more information about Stephens Creek, go to

Stephens Creek Map

For More Information

If you have questions or comments, or if you would like more information, please contact Joe Tursi at 503-823-5753 or