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The City of Portland, Oregon

Portland Parks & Recreation

Healthy Parks, Healthy Portland

Phone: 503-823-7529

1120 SW Fifth Avenue, Portland, OR 97204

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Westmoreland Park

The Nature-based play area at Westmoreland Park is now open!

This pilot project is supported by an emerging body of research strongly suggesting that children are growing up disconnected from nature. This disconnect can have alarming impacts - more time in front of screens and monitors, increased depression, increasing obesity and diabetes, and near-sightedness.

Nature-based play can provide important connections for children and adults to the natural environment. Playing in natural environments improves language skills and collaboration; improves imagination and creativity; supports positive social development; and enhances balance, agility, and overall health.

Restoration Project - Bringing salmon back to Crystal Springs Creek
Crystal Springs Creek is a tributary of Johnson Creek, and is home to fish, river otter, heron, eagles, and frogs. Its naturally cool water and steady, year-round flow provide ideal fish habitat. Endangered salmon and trout, including coho, Chinook, and steelhead migrate through Westmoreland Park to the ocean and back again to spawn. Crystal Springs Creek is a place for children and adults to experience and enjoy nature in the city.

In 2003, Portland Parks & Recreation worked with the community to develop the Westmoreland Park Master Plan, adopted by Portland City Council in 2004. Restoring Crystal Springs Creek and transforming the duck pond into a wetland are essential components of the plan. The Master Plan calls for additional improvements to the park.

Restoration Project Benefits

  • Create a healthier park environment for people and native wildlife
  • Reduce water temperatures and improve habitat for threatened native salmon
  • Restore wetland habitat for native waterfowl, amphibians, and mammals
  • Improve park amenities for visitors, including trails, a boardwalk, and viewpoints

Project Details

  • Restore 2,400 linear feet of the creek to improve fish habitat by:
    • Removing concrete curbing along the creek and pond banks
    • Adding logs, pools, and riffles in the creek channel
  • Remove the duck pond and restore a wetland in its place
  • Plant nearly 15,000 native plants in the wetland and along the riparian corridor to shade the creek and prevent erosion. Plants will be arranged to allow visitors to see into and through the plantings.
  • New and reclaimed recreational amenities have been added, including:
    • More than 2,500 linear feet of new boardwalks and paths
    • 2 overlooks and 1 water access ramp
    • Benches, picnic tables, and lighting

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Environmental Services (BES), Portland Parks & Recreation, TriMet, and Metro are partners in this project.