The American Planning Association (APA) has given significant recognition to the joint effort restoring Crystal Springs Creek in Portland Parks & Recreation’s Westmoreland Park. This week, the APA honored the Crystal Springs Restoration Project as the nation’s most sustainable parks and open space restoration project, via the group’s prestigious 2015 Excellence in Sustainability Award.
Portland Parks & Recreation, Environmental Services, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and many other partners finished work last fall to restore Crystal Springs Creek in the park and improve access to trails and the creek. The park’s restored duck pond has a more natural stream channel with pools and riffles to improve fish habitat. Native trees and shrubs planted on the bank shade and cool the water and provide wildlife habitat.
The project included adding a boardwalk and overlooks, seating, paths, lighting, and picnic areas. Portland Parks & Recreation renovated the play area as a separate pilot project for its Nature-Based Play Initiative to create settings in developed parks that encourage creative play and interaction with natural features. The Westmoreland Nature Play Area was supported with funding from Metro’s voter-approved 2006 natural areas bond measure (Nature in Neighborhoods).
The APA sustainability award recognizes the work the city, its many community partners and other agencies are doing to bring nature into our communities, restore salmon habitat in the city and improve our parks.
“This award is the result of governments working together to improve Portlanders’ quality of life,” says City Parks Commissioner Amanda Fritz. “Thanks to the many community partners and other agencies who have worked so hard to bring nature back into the neighborhood. The park looks amazing and the wildlife habitat has benefits that are far-reaching and long-lasting.”
“This project was a critical part of successful efforts to remove barriers that kept salmon from reaching the best salmon habitat in the city,” says City Commissioner Nick Fish. “Now, for the first time in 40 years, we are seeing salmon return to those areas to spawn.”
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