Wilkes Creek Headwaters, a natural area in northeast Portland, contains the springs that feed the only free flowing stream in the city that still enters the Columbia Slough. The City of Portland and Metro acquired the site, near NE 155th and NE Fremont Street, in 2011.
This summer, Environmental Services removed a culvert that was inhibiting stream flow, wildlife and fish movement and replaced it with a recycled railroad bridge. We also removed two spring boxes once used to store water on the farm that was on the site. Now all the spring water flows directly into Wilkes Creek. Native shrubs, trees and groundcover near the bridge will be planted this winter and spring.
Although there is not yet public access to the park, the bridge provides access for city staff working on the site prior to the development of a Parks Master Plan. There is no timeline for that process at this point. Both Portland Parks & Recreation and Environmental Services are currently working to make the natural area portion of the site safe and to restore the ecosystem to support clean water and a healthy Columbia Slough watershed. Over the next several years, crews will continue to remove invasive holly and clematis and restore native vegetation.