Phone: 503-823-PLAY (7529)
1120 SW Fifth Ave., Suite 1302, Portland, OR 97204
This project will provide a suitable and forward looking design for an entrance to Forest Park showcasing the park’s special character and its importance to Portland and the greater region. The elements proposed for this project include appropriate site entry, circulation, and parking; visitor amenities such as a pedestrian and bike trailhead, a scenic overlook and a gathering space/amphitheater; an iconic contemporary structure potentially housing a nature center, office and maintenance functions, as well as public restrooms; and natural landscape and wetland plantings.
Forest Park is considered the crown jewel of Portland Parks & Recreation’s park system. Located in Northwest Portland and situated on the eastern slope of the Tualatin Mountains, a small mountain range connected to the Oregon Coast Range, it forms the green “backbone” of the City of Portland. The 5,200 acre natural area is a major Portland landmark that provides habitat for over 180 species of birds and mammals, offers Portlanders respite from the bustling city, and serves as an outdoor classroom for environmental education and research. With its massive tree canopy, substantial undergrowth, and extensive waterways, the Park serves as a natural air purifier and water collector. It offers over 100 miles of recreational trails including the 30-mile Wildwood Trail, which is part of the region’s 40-Mile Loop system that in turn links Forest Park to pedestrian and trail routes throughout the region.
The importance of this large, densely forested natural area to the City of Portland and its citizens has been recognized as early as 1903 in the Olmsted Study, which called for the preservation of this beautiful natural area. The first 4,200 acres of the Park were dedicated in 1948, and since then, there have been several efforts to establish a balance between resource protection and ever increasing use.
The most recent plan is the Forest Park Natural Resources Management Plan (NRMP) from 1995 which provides a set of management guidelines to meet conservation, recreation and education goals that were created with extensive public involvement and outreach to a broad spectrum of internal and external stakeholders.This plan identifies the lack of a recognizable main entrance to the Park, a single point of access where visitors can discover information about Forest Park’s rich ecology, connect to the Park’s trails, and engage in stewardship and education programs.
In recognizing the need for a multi-pronged strategic investment vision PP&R created the RENEW Forest Park initiative. It consists of three critical parts:
This project will address Reconnect Forest Park. To advance that vision, PP&R has acquired key pieces of property at the intersection of NW Yeon/Highway 30 and NW Kittridge, the project site. PP&R with its partners, the Forest Park Conservancy and the Oregon State Legislature, is now embarking on the task of creating an iconic entrance to Forest Park