If you have a HydroPark in your neighborhood, you may already be familiar with these unique outdoor spaces. But did you know that they're part of a one-of-a-kind program that makes these greenspaces available all around the Portland area?
Under the leadership of former Commissioner Randy Leonard, the Portland Water Bureau began turning key water infrastructure sites into public open spaces. Most facilities had previously been off-limits to local residents, and many were located in neighborhoods with few parks. The Hydro-Park program transformed these facilities into popular gathering spots for neighborhood residents, many of whom help care for these sites.
Find your favorite HydroPark below, or discover a new one.
HydroPark ADA Upgrades
A 2014 assessment (reviewed in 2021) showed that there are improvements needed to some of the Water Bureau’s HydroParks to meet Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards. This means they are not all fully accessible to people with disabilities.
The Water Bureau plans to upgrade the HydroParks to improve their ADA compliance so they can be enjoyed by more people. Final designs will vary among parks, but many of the planned improvements will make the parks’ paths “firm, stable, and slip resistant” and connect the paths to accessible picnic tables and benches.
We’ll share more information on these upgrades as the designs progress and we get closer to starting construction.
To learn more about the Water Bureau’s duties under the ADA, read Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Address: 13803 SE Center Street
Located in the Powellhurst-Gilbert neighborhood, Gilbert HydroPark includes a walking path, benches, and picnic tables.
Address: NE 148th and Halsey Street
Located in the Wilkes neighborhood, Halsey HydroPark includes benches and a picnic table. There's a large sloping field in the center of the open space. The in-ground tank is barely noticeable to visitors.
Address: 1017 NE 117th Ave
Located in the Hazelwood neighborhood, Hazelwood HydroPark is the first and largest of our open spaces. There are benches and picnic tables, and a popular community garden in the middle. The East Portland Neighborhood Office is located on the corner, and a water conservation demonstration garden showcases water-efficient landscaping.
Address: 1907 NE Skidmore
Located in the Sabin neighborhood, this open space includes a children's playground, picnic tables, and benches. The southeast portion has a very popular community garden. In 2012, a micro hydro-turbine generator was installed at this site to convert the thrust of water into useful electrical energy at an estimated rate of 150,000 kilowatt hours per year. This electricity is used to help power area water facilities and excess electricity is sold back to PacifiCorp. The extra revenue is used to keep the overall cost of delivering water service to a minimum.
Pittman Addition HydroPark
Address: North Concord and North Going Court
Located in the Overlook neighborhood, this open space includes picnic tables and benches made from recycled materials. The site was once covered with invasive plants, and community members have planted lots of native plants to create an urban wildlife habitat. An active committee of community members and artists are working to bring temporary art to the park on a rotating basis.
Address: 8925 SW 15th Ave
Located in the Markham neighborhood, Marigold HydroPark is dominated by one of our largest elevated tanks. There are a few benches, a picnic table, and some native plants to enjoy.
Address: 3109 SW Texas Street
Located in the Multnomah neighborhood, this small open space used to be entirely fenced off. Now neighbors can stroll through, relax on a bench, and enjoy the scenery.