Parks News March 2024

recuerdo park

Tualatin Hills Park & Recreation District (THPRD) serves 270,000+ people living in eastern Washington County’s urban unincorporated areas and Beaverton. It’s one of the critical Special Service Districts that make it possible to live comfortably in the large areas of the county that never became part of cities. Each District collects taxes through Washington County Property Tax collection. See below for information about a May levy to help fund services.

Registration opens on Saturday, April 13 at 8 am for in-district residents and opens on Monday, April 15 for out-of-district residents.

Open swim will be available during Spring Break from March 25-29.

Here are Spring Break Camps available throughout the district.

RISE Youth Leaders assist in a leadership capacity with district events, classes and summer camps. Youth interested must be 13 or older and able to attend a virtual training session, which is approximately one and a half hours in length. Monthly trainings are scheduled through the winter/spring. If your kids take the training before spring break, they’ll have the opportunity to volunteer while they’re on break. This is a great opportunity for families sticking around through the break. Youth can sign up at this youth volunteer webpage.

Western Oregon Dispensary

Those who volunteer will assist lifeguards during open swim and swimming classes. Youth interested must be 12 or older and be able to complete a junior lifeguard course (20-25 hours of training). No swimming experience is necessary, as long as they are willing to get in the water and learn. Youth can sign up at this youth volunteer webpage.

Coaches for year-round youth athletic leagues are needed . Give back to your community and inspire youth by creating a positive environment that promotes self-confidence and self-esteem. The needs includes Basketball (Winter, Spring, and Summer for grades 5-12), Volleyball (Fall and Summer for grades 4-12), and Track & Field (late February to early May for middle school aged youth).

Open swim is available at the Aquatic Center, Aloha, Conestoga, Harman, and Sunset. Check out schedules online at the Drop-In Open Swim Calendar.

Park names were identified through an inclusive engagement with partners to honor the diverse community experiences or selected to represent the unique ecology of a park. Share your input using this survey link.

THPRD is improving trail accessibility across the regional trail system by partnering with Washington County’s Urban Road Maintenance District. This project will construct pedestrian crossings with curb ramps along the Waterhouse Trail at NW Brandberry, Laidlaw, Charlais, and Paisley. The construction for these crossings is currently expected to begin in mid to late 2024.

If you see people wading around in the park wetlands, they are volunteers counting clusters of amphibian eggs in ponds and wetlands at nine sites. The information is used to help understand the health of frogs and salamanders in the district’s natural areas.

Pre-orders for the sale have closed, but there may be extra plants at the event. Visit Sparrowhawk Native Plants to get ideas. All profits benefit The Friends of the Tualatin Hills Nature Park. The event still needs volunteers!

The Board of Directors has sent a local option levy to voters for the May 2024 election. The levy would maintain existing service levels for parks, trails and recreation programming. Funding for the levy will preserve nearly 50 full-time positions and 235 part-time positions that perform park, trail, and natural area maintenance and lead recreation classes and programs such as art, sports, and aquatics. It is a five-year levy of $0.50 per $1,000 in assessed value. If approved, the levy would increase taxes on the average home in the district by about $152.12 per year, or $12.68 per month. To learn more, visit the levy webpage.

people celebrate holi

Holi–the festival of colors! Join us at our new location for an annual celebration. The festival is undoubtedly the most fun-filled and boisterous of Hindu festivals. It’s an occasion that brings out the child in you, no matter how old you are, joy and mirth, fun and play, music and dance, and, of course, lots of bright organic colors. We invite you to come and participate in the festivities! Our Holi celebration is open to all. Please come with your family and friends. Colors will be provided. Please visit the event webpage for more details.

shamrock splash event poster featuring pot of gold, rainbow, and shamrocks

Join us for fun arts and crafts, followed by an open swim, and a raffle. Cost includes crafts and entrance to open swim. Parent participation encouraged. Open swim is available after crafts until 4 pm. Children under 7 must have an adult in the water. Children under 10 must have an adult in the building. More details here.

t’s time for the Cedar Hills Bunny to make an appearance! Join us for a hopping great time gathering candy-filled eggs and joining in themed activities for the whole family. Pre-registration is required. Register online here.

Some events already have enough volunteers, but you can sign up on this page to get the Volunteer Newsletter if this activity appeals to you.

Saturday, March 9: Garden Work Party at HM Terpenning Recreation Complex

Saturday, March 16: Native Plant Garden Work Party at Tualatin Hills Nature Center

Saturday, March 23: Garden Work Party at Ridgewood Community Garden, Spring Celebration at Mountain View Champions Park

Saturday, March 30: Spring Egg Hunt at Cedar Hills Recreation Center

April 6, 9-11:30 am, Community Garden & Dog Run Work Party at Jackie Husen Park

Learn more and sign up for these and other activities here.

It’s been a while since we’ve provided an update about Metro’s park-building work in the North Tualatin Mountains. While the project has recently passed a milestone, that achievement required Metro to make the decision to pause work on the park at Burlington Creek Forest Natural Area for the foreseeable future.]Because it’s been a while, here’s a refresher on the project, followed by an explanation for the pause.

Thanks to voters investing in nature, Metro has been caring for four North Tualatin Mountains properties north of Forest Park since 2000. In 2014, a planning process began to determine the best uses for the properties that would meet Metro’s mission to protect habitat and water quality while providing public access to nature. Community members participated throughout the planning process, providing invaluable contributions. In 2016, the Metro Council adopted the North Tualatin Mountains Access Master Plan.

That plan calls for nature parks at the Burlington Creek Forest and McCarthy Creek natural areas. Ennis Creek and North Abbey Creek natural areas would largely be retained as conservation sites with limited public access. Designs for the Burlington Creek Forest Nature Park were submitted as part of a land use application to Multnomah County in 2017. After additional studies and conversations with the county and project stakeholders, land use approval was granted this winter.

While the permitting process was underway, voters passed a third bond measure in support of Metro’s parks and nature work in 2019. Community members expressed strong interest in using the funds to take care of our existing parks, rather than building new infrastructure. We also heard support for advancing racial equity, sustainability, and robust community engagement in our work. In evaluating department priorities and maintenance needs, the funds were allocated to other projects.

Through all of this, Metro recently made the tough decision to pause work on Burlington Creek Forest Nature Park. We started this project after the first parks and nature local-option levy was passed by voters in 2013. We’re grateful to the community members and partner organizations, folks like you, who helped create a master plan for the park that we intend to, one day, realize.
Right now, major investments are being made in Blue Lake and Oxbow regional parks, along with several other important projects. As part of this decision, Metro recently returned a grant from the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department that had been awarded for the Burlington Creek Nature Park.

Metro still intends to build a nature park in the North Tualatin Mountains. When the project has funding, all of the planning that’s already been done will allow us to design and build the park that much quicker. Again, that good work was possible thanks to people like you who weighed in on the plans and designs for the park. We have a great relationship with the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. When Metro is ready to build a nature park in North Tualatin Mountains, we are confident that parks with off road cycling will remain a priority for them.

Fifteen parks and nature projects that community members imagined, developed, and voted for were awarded grants totaling $2.3 million by the Metro Council on Thursday, February 22. The awards were the culmination of the pilot round of Metro’s Nature in Neighborhoods community choice grants program, a new approach to grant-making that put community members in the lead of each step of the process. The grants, ranging from $88,400 to $166,667, were possible thanks to voters investing in nature by passing the 2019 Parks and Nature Bond Measure. The pilot round of funding focused on Metro Council District 4, which includes the Washington County cities and neighborhoods along Highway 8. Three projects are in Forest Grove, two in Cornelius, five in Hillsboro, four within the Tualatin Hills Parks and Recreation District, and one at PCC-Rock Creek. Learn more background here.

metro logo

Projects near Cedar Mill are:

In the wooded area to the south of Evergreen Park, the proposed play area will have clusters of climbing logs, steppingstones, boulders, and open areas for free play and fort building. The project proposes using natural materials for play surfacing in order to blend with the natural wooded area around. Seating will be integrated into the project. A new path with adjacent native plantings will connect the new play area to the existing park and existing paths. New site signage will provide information about plant species and safe play guidelines.

art of hiker with backback standing in creekbed

A covered play space is proposed to update the play area in the center of Evergreen Park. A covered structure will drain to the rain garden on the southeast corner. Swings, spinners, and a play structure will all be sheltered from the elements! Large shade trees and a path connecting to the southern trails will link the updated play area to the rest of the park.

An Asian Produce gleaning garden is proposed for the eastern edge of the open field bookended by NW Ernst Street, NW 162nd Ave and NW Brugger Road. This garden will be an open resource to the surrounding community and include two sections, one for culturally significant and edible plants, as well as a second section for native pollinator plants. A new water meter will also be installed to irrigate this culturally specific garden.

recuerdo park

In the scenic and newly refurbished Recuerdo Park, this project proposes enhancing community connection to nature by expanding gleaning garden amenities. The proposed project is an expansion of the gleaning garden area which would include new garden plots at the north side of the park along SW Marty Lane. Adelante Mujeres is a potential community partner for this work. Visitors would have the opportunity to connect with nature through existing viewpoints, trails, bridges, and shelters.

Led by a coalition of Indigenous community members and Portland Community College faculty, the “To Make it All Good Again at PCC Rock Creek” proposal will support accessibility improvements, community learning, and visitor experiences at several locations across the Rock Creek campus, including planting culturally significant plants and First Foods at the learning garden located at the southern end of campus. On the north side of campus, this project proposes the creation of an overlook which will offer views over an existing meadow and wetland habitat surrounding Rock Creek, with a gathering area with seating and art facilitated by Indigenous artists. Existing trails that lead from the overlook down to an established grove of Oregon white oaks near the creek will be improved for accessibility and have updated trailhead signage and trailhead improvements.

There are invasive blackberries all along the Rock Creek Powerline Trail from NW Rock Creek Road. This project proposes to remove these brambles and replant native pollinators along the extent of trail opposite to the soccer fields. Along the trail near the newly planted pollinator area will be three rest benches on accessible surfacing, with plant signage to promote learning opportunities.

Existing trails wind through the beloved streams and wooded area of Tualatin Hills Nature Park. New interpretive signage is proposed throughout the trails to inform people of all ages about the nature around them, and cultural practices associated with various plants. This project idea centers around the potential for future collaboration between Tualatin Hills Park & Recreation District and the Native community, to work together to develop the interpretive content. Native plant restoration areas will be identified and restored. Trail accessibility, maintenance and restoration improvements will be made.