32nd Annual Great Blue Heron Week:
Celebrating Green Infrastructure
Wednesday, May 30, through Sunday, June 10, 2018
Wednesday, May 30, 9:45 a.m. -- Great Blue Heron Proclamation, Portland City Council. Proclamation celebrating the city’s commitment to employing natural and built green infrastructure for herons, salmon and people. The proclamation will kick off a week-long series of field trips to visit heron colonies throughout The Intertwine, the region’s system of parks, trails and natural areas.
Thursday, May 31, 4:45 to 6:15 p.m. -- Designing Cities that Embrace Nature, a public Lecture by Dr. Tim Beatley, Teresa Heinz Professor of Sustainable Communities, University of Virginia. Dr. Beatley will describe the Biophilic Cities Network, a global collaboration of cities working to conserve and celebrate nature in cities. The concept of biophilia holds that love of nature is “hard-wired” in us, an inborn trait. Scientific evidence is mounting that we are more resilient, creative and healthier physically and psychologically when we live, work and recreate in the presence of nature. Doors open at 4:45 p.m. at the Shattuck Hall Annex at Portland State University, at SW Broadway and SW Hall Street. Program 5 to 6:15 p.m. Sponsors: PSU Institute for Sustainable Solutions, Urban Greenspaces Institute, Portland Bureau of Environmental Services, Audubon Society of Portland, and Moda Health.
Dr. Beatley is the author or co-author of more than 15 books, including "Green Urbanism: Learning from European Cities," "Native to Nowhere: Sustaining Home and Community in a Global Age," and "Biophilic Cities: Integrating Nature Into Urban Design and Planning." He founded and directs the Biophilic Cities Project at UVA (http://biophiliccities.org/). Dr. Beatley holds a PhD in City and Regional Planning from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, an MA in Political Science from UNC, a Masters of Urban Planning from the University of Oregon, and a Bachelors of City Planning from UVA.
Friday, June 1, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. -- Oaks Bottom Nature Walk and Restoration Update. Leaders: Mike Houck, Urban Greenspaces Institute; Emily Roth, Portland Parks & Recreation; and Sean Bistoff, Portland Bureau of Environmental Services. An opportunity to do some birding and learn about the city’s restoration plans for salmon and wildlife at Oaks Bottom and the summertime closure of Springwater on the Willamette Trail. Meet at the Sellwood Park parking lot, north end of Sellwood Park, at SE 7th Avenue and SE Sellwood Boulevard. (Do not meet at the parking lot off SE Milwaukie Blvd!)
Saturday, June 2, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. -- Ride on the Wildside: Westmoreland Park to Leach Botanical Garden and Zenger Farm. This 15-mile ride will start and end at the newly restored stream corridor and wetland at Westmoreland Park. Ride the Springwater Corridor trail to the Foster Floodplain Wetlands, Zenger Farm Wetlands, and Leach Botanical Garden. A trip highlight will be learning about Leach Garden’s forest canopy walk and garden redesign. Leaders: Mike Houck and Leach Garden staff. Bring your bicycle and helmet (mandatory), water and lunch, and binoculars. Preregistration is required by contacting Mike at firstname.lastname@example.org. Meeting place and other details will be sent to registrants.
Sunday, June 3, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. -- Paddle The Willamette South Reach, Willamette Park to Elk Rock Island. Leaders Mike Houck, Urban Greenspaces Institute; Bob Sallinger, Audubon Society of Portland; and Jeff Caudill, Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability. This paddle will explore Elk Rock Island and nearby cliffs, home to peregrine falcons and unique flora. We will paddle downriver to explore both banks of the Willamette River, the subject of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability's River Plan/South Reach planning process. Meet at Willamette Park boat ramp no later than 9:30 a.m. to get your craft into the water to launch at 10 a.m. sharp!
Monday, June 4, 7 to 8 p.m. Herons at the South Waterfront. Leader Mike Houck will set up a spotting scope for great views of adult and young great blue herons that will be about ready to fledge from their nests on the downstream tip of Ross Island. Other highlights will be bald eagles, osprey and red-tailed hawks. Bring binoculars and your own spotting scope if you have one. Meeting place: Go to the eastern end of SW Curry Street to the Greenway, and walk south (upstream) on the Greenway to an overlook where Mike will have his scope set up.
Wednesday, June 6, 8 to 11 a.m. -- Birding at Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge. Meet leader Mike Houck at Sellwood Park parking lot, north end of Sellwood Park, at SE 7th Avenue and SE Sellwood Boulevard. (Do not meet at the parking lot off SE Milwaukie Blvd!) Bring binoculars, and dress for the weather.
Thursday, June 7, 6 to 8 p.m. -- Explore the Willamette River’s South Reach. Meet at Willamette Park by the picnic tables south of the boat ramp for a walk/roll with City of Portland staff along the Willamette Greenway Trail to the Sellwood Bridge and back. This is an opportunity to learn about the Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability’s River Plan/South Reach work that is underway, and to provide staff with your input. The planning effort is an update to the Willamette Green Plan that will address environmental protection and restoration, recreation, residential concerns, and other topics. The entrance to Willamette Park is at SW Macadam Avenue and SW Nebraska Street. If you drive, be sure to pay for parking and park in a car stall, not a boat trailer, or you will be ticketed! Leaders: Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability staff. For more info, call 503-823-7700.
Friday, June 8, 10 to 11 a.m. -- Herons at the South Waterfront. Leader Mike Houck will set up a spotting scope for great views of adult and young great blue herons that will be about ready to fledge from their nests on the downstream tip of Ross Island. Other highlights will be bald eagles, osprey and red-tailed hawks. Bring binoculars and your own spotting scope, if you have one. Meeting place: Go to the eastern end of SW Curry Street to the Greenway, and walk south (upstream) on the Greenway to an overlook where Mike will have his scope set up.
Saturday June 9, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. -- City of Portland River Plan/South Reach Visioning Workshop. The public is invited to dream about and share their ideas for the Willamette River South Reach’s future with community members and City staff. The project area stretches south from the Ross Island Bridge (excluding the South Waterfront) to and including the Dunthorpe neighborhood. Location: Llewellyn Elementary School Cafeteria, 6301 SE 14th Ave. For more information, contact the Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability at 503-823-7700.
Sunday, June 10, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. -- Ross Island Paddle. Leader: Mike Houck. An opportunity to enjoy a morning on the Willamette River, paddling through the no-wake zone on the Holgate Channel, into the Ross Island lagoon, around Ross Island and back to Willamette Park. This is the perfect time to circumnavigate the four-island archipelago (Ross, Hardtack, East and Toe), which will be redolent with bird song, including the eerie melody of Swainson’s thrushes. We might even see a river otter or two! We will be looking and listening for black-headed grosbeaks, purple martins and other migratory songbirds, spotted sandpipers, peregrine falcons, red-tailed hawks, and wood ducks. In the Ross Island lagoon we’ll see nesting bald eagles that took over what had been a large great blue heron nesting colony. The paddle is a leisurely 2.5 hours and is suitable for beginning paddlers and families. You must provide your own life jackets and kayak or canoe.
Meet no later than 9:30 a.m. at Willamette Park Boat Ramp to unload your canoe or kayak and get into the water by 10 a.m. The Willamette Park entrance is at SW Macadam Avenue and SW Nebraska Street. If you are renting a canoe or kayak from the nearby Portland Kayak Company, make sure you leave plenty of time to get your craft and be at Willamette Park at 9:30 a.m. sharp to put in. Portland Kayak Company, 503-459-4050; www.portlandkayak.com.
After unloading your craft at the boat ramp, be sure to park in a car parking space. You will be ticketed if you park in a trailer space. Be sure to pay for parking. There are two parking pass machines near the restroom at the south end of the main parking lot.