City launches long-range planning effort for the South Reach of the Willamette River

News Article
Share your ideas to improve and enhance recreation, natural resources and nearby neighborhoods at River Plan / South Reach events, including a June 9 Visioning Workshop.

The Willamette River area south of the Central City is a special place. Great neighborhoods surround the river, with a diverse mix of riverfront residential areas that include single-family homes, apartments, condominiums and floating homes. Hundreds of acres of parks, open spaces and natural areas are accessible for people to enjoy. And resident and migrating fish and wildlife are plentiful year-round.

Planning for the future of the South Reach

The Bureau of Planning and Sustainability is beginning the development of a long-range plan for this unique part of Portland, known as the Willamette River / South Reach. In June, project staff will start public engagement efforts with interested community members to understand opportunities (e.g., recreational, environmental), identify issues to be addressed, and envision the future of the South Reach in Portland and unincorporated Multnomah County.

The first River Plan / South Reach event will be a “visioning workshop” on June 9, 2018. Please join us for this exciting opportunity to help define the future of the South Reach. Participants will learn about this area of the river and the newly launched planning project. You will be able to talk with other community members and planners as well as share your ideas for the future of the South Reach riverfront area.

Visioning Workshop

Saturday, June 9, 2018

9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Llewellyn Elementary School, Cafeteria

6301 SE 14th Avenue

Transit: #19, #70

Other upcoming river-related events include:

Walk/Roll along the Willamette Greenway Trail

June 7, 2018*

6 – 8 p.m.

Willamette Park, picnic tables south of boat ramp

SW Macadam Avenue and Nebraska Street

Transit: #35 (limited services – #43, #36, #99)

Enjoy a stroll along this beautiful stretch of the Willamette riverfront while talking with City planners and community members about valued resources, activities, issues and opportunities in the South Reach. The trail is ADA accessible for wheelchair users who want to roll with us.

Paddle the Willamette

June 3, 2018*

10 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Willamette Park, boat ramp (new location)

SW Macadam Avenue and Nebraska Street

Transit: #35

Bring your boat and paddle along the riverfront to explore the unique natural beauty of the South Reach. City Planner Jeff Caudill will highlight key issues and engage paddlers in conversation about the River Plan / South Reach.

*These events are part of Great Blue Heron Week.

What is the state of the South Reach? Existing Conditions Report tells all.

City planners have been studying the South Reach and have compiled a Draft Existing Conditions Report. Here’s some of what they discovered.

Fun facts about the South Reach area:

  • There are 305 acres of public parks, natural areas and open spaces.
  • This is the only section of Willamette River in the City of Portland that has floating home moorages.
  • Oaks Bottom is the only designated wildlife refuge in Portland.
  • Federally listed threatened and endangered species include Chinook, Coho and Sockeye Salmon, and Steelhead Trout; Pacific Lamprey and Cutthroat Trout are federal species of concern.
  • Oaks Amusement Park is one of the oldest amusement parks operating in the country, opening in 1905.

Read the draft report and tell us what you think. Staff welcomes public comments until July 16, 2018.

For more information, visit the project website or contact:

Debbie Bischoff,, 503-823-6946

Jeff Caudill,, 503-823-4572