WaterWorks | October 2010 

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In this issue:
Proposed Trail Plan

Reservoir coming to Kelly Butte

Friends of Powell Butte tour site

Partner Focus - Powellhurst-Gilbert Neighborhood Association

Meet the Team:
Emily Roth

Emily Emily Roth
Emily Roth
"I think I have the greatest job," says Emily Roth, Natural Resources Planner with Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R). Emily loves to hike and be in the outdoors, and her work with the City gives her ample opportunities to do just that.

Emily's responsibilities run the gamut from trail planning for all the City's natural areas (including Powell Butte Nature Park and Forest Park) to working with operations staff. She also represents PP&R in multi-jurisdictional projects that involve numerous agencies, such as the Sellwood Bridge Planning Project.

She has been with the City for close to three years. Before coming to PP&R, Emily was an environmental consultant and also worked at Metro.
Learn more
Portland Water Bureau/Powell Butte Reservoir

Portland Parks & Recreation/Powell Butte Nature Park

Friends of Powell Butte

Powellhurst-Gilbert Neighborhood Asociation

Centennial Neighborhood Association

Northwest Trail Alliance

Read past issues
Road Ahead
Visit our archives to read past issues of WaterWorks.

Proposed trail plan has something for everyone

Walkers, hikers, bicyclists, equestrians, people with limited physical mobility, as well as wildlife will all benefit from the improvements planned for the Powell Butte Nature Park trail system. With 10.5 miles of trails, incredible views and abundant wildlife viewing opportunities, the park is a highly valued natural and recreational resource.

The Proposed Trail Plan - developed by a citizens advisory committee - underwent extensive public review and has been submitted for Land-Use review and approval. "The goal of the trail improvements is to enhance the experience of trail users," says Emily Roth, Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) Natural Resources Planner. The plan calls for eliminating a few trails and realigning others. Priority goals are to:
  • avoid wetlands
  • create clearer trail intersections
  • improve accessibility
  • lengthen a few trails and reduce their steepness by adding switchbacks
  • improve access to major viewpoints and the Park Center
  • enhance and increase wildlife habitat
  • make the trails easier to maintain.
trail shot taken from webThe majority of the trails are multi-use: anyone can use them. The system works well when people follow the rules, such as keeping their dogs on leashes and - for cyclists - staying on designated trails and watching their speed.

The plan in the Land-Use documents does not address trail-use designation. The Land-Use information is available online on the Water Bureau's website.

The deer, foxes, rabbits, birds and other wildlife that call the butte home would benefit from an increase in the wildlife set-aside area in the southeast corner of the park. It could increase by 40 acres to 140 acres, if approved. This proposal is being considered, but is not included in the Land-Use application.

The "Proposed Trail Plan" page on the PP&R website provides access to well-designed planning documents and illustrations that reflect the thoughtful planning that has gone into enhancing the Powell Butte Nature Park trail system for all users.
KellyButteReservoir construction also coming to Kelly Butte

In summer 2011, the Portland Water Bureau will replace the existing above-ground, 10-million-gallon (MG) steel water tank on Kelly Butte in southeast Portland with a buried, 25-MG concrete reservoir. The new reservoir will be in the same general location as the existing one, but it will have a larger footprint. The facKelly Butte tankility also will require additional and upgraded piping. Construction would be complete by 2014.

To accommodate the underground structure, a large amount of soil will need to be removed from the site and later hauled back in to backfill around the reservoir, making the final elevations different. Many invasive plant species, like Himalayan blackberry, are being removed, and native plant species will be added.

There will be an obvious increase in traffic caused by construction vehicles entering and leaving the property from SE Powell Boulevard near SE 99th Avenue. Prior to construction, the Water Bureau, the Portland Bureau of Transportation and Oregon Department of Transportation will identify safe transportation routes. These routes will be monitored and evaluated once the work is underway. As with the Water Bureau's Powell Butte Reservoir 2 project, public safety is a top priority.

The Kelly Butte project is being developed by the City to meet stricter rules set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that require Portland to disconnect its five open reservoirs in Mount Tabor Park and Washington Park by 2015 and 2020, respectively.

FOBPFriends of Powell Butte take a tour

Friends of PB at sept 2010 tourThe Portland Water Bureau's public outreach staff leads tours on the butte for community and special-interest groups. In September, some members of Friends of Powell Butte enjoyed a visit to the excavation site, future home of the second underground reservoir.

Friends of Powell Butte is committed to protecting and enhancing Powell Butte Nature Park. The group helps maintain the park and restore trails by holding volunteer work parties.
PowellhurstPartner Focus

Powellhurst-Gilbert nh assn logoThe Powellhurst-Gilbert neighborhood is distinguished by its tremendous cultural and ethnic diversity, as well as its close proximity to wonderful natural areas, including Powell Butte, which marks the neighborhood's eastern boundary. This active, engaged neighborhood was the recipient of a 2009 Spirit of Portland Neighborhood of the Year award.

The association helps the Portland Water Bureau and PP&R maintain Powell Butte Nature Park and nearby public areas. Neighbors help clean graffiti off signs and pipes on the butte and perform other tasks as needed. The association also is engaged in a major long-term restoration project along the Springwater Corridor between SE 128th and SE 136th Avenues. Neighborhood residents are slowly removing invasive species and replanting the area with natives.

Association member Mary Walker served on the Water Bureau's Project Advisory Committee (PAC) for the Powell Butte 2 Reservoir project. The PAC provided input on a variety of Powell Butte Nature Park improvements, from the style and location of buildings to trail alignments. Mary says she is pleased with the outcome of the Water Bureau's concepts for construction of the new buildings. She got her wish that the caretaker's house and maintenance building be designed in a farmhouse style. Mary enjoys hiking the butte's trails, and she and a few friends recently checked on a newly planted area that one day will grow into an oak savannah.

The Powellhurst-Gilbert Neighborhood Association meets on the second Monday of the month at 7 p.m. at Ron Russell Middle School, located at 3955 SE 112th Avenue. (No meetings are held in July, August and December.)

CONTACT TIM HALL, CITY OF PORTLAND WATER BUREAU | Tim.Hall@portlandoregon.gov | 503.823.6926