Portland, Oregon where I live has a great system of city parks. It is the envy of many cities, and contributes greatly to the perception of this city as one of the country’s most livable. This is the first of several blog posts featuring the parks and natural areas (what we call green spaces). Here are a few that are featured here:
- Tom McCall Waterfront Park (above images): This park stretches along the west bank of the Willamette River as it flows through downtown. It is a favorite for joggers and walkers, frisbee-players and picnickers. It hosts numerous festivals, including the popular Blues Festival, which takes place in July. In early spring, the cherry blossoms burst into bloom along the park’s northern section. The park was saved years ago when a critical decision was made by city leaders. Interstate 5, the major north-south highway that runs through town, was routed over the east bank of the river, preserving the sunshine and open feel of the city’s so-called “front porch”.
- Westmoreland Park (images above and below): Situated between two of Portland’s best neighborhoods – Sellwood and Eastmoreland – this park is centered around a duck pond on its north end and a regulation-sized baseball mini-stadium on the south end. In between lies huge swaths of grassy fields, much of that taken up by soccer and softball fields. There are also tennis courts, an outdoor basketball court (fancy because of a remodel funded by Nike) and a playground. I lived near this park for years, so it’s a favorite.
- Rocky Butte (below): This is one of several parks perched on top of an extinct volcano. It lies in northeast Portland, with a stunning view of Mount Hood and the western entrance to the Columbia River Gorge. You can also see quite far into Washington state. It has an interesting structure on top. Stone walls with attractive lanterns surround a nice grassy area. I come here for photography often, as it is very close to my house. The bottom image shows that it is also a favorite place for couples to do what couples always do when they find themselves at a scenic viewpoint at sunset.
- Oak’s Bottom (bottom images): Lying just south of downtown along the Willamette River, Oak’s Bottom is a natural green space. This is Portland speak for a different sort of city park. It is managed for nature just as much as it is for humans. There are trails through the area, which is part forest and part wetland. Birds and small mammals populate live here. This park, near Sellwood where I lived for years, was where I first got into trail running.
I hope you enjoyed this short tour of a few of Portland’s parks. There are plenty more in the city, and I’ll sprinkle in a post now and again featuring more of our beloved green spaces. Remember the pictures here are copyrighted and illegal to download without permission from me. These versions are too small for use anyway.
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