Great Blue Heron Week, May 30th – June 10th

The Audubon Society of Portland () and The Intertwine has many events lined up to celebrate Great Blue Heron Week, which gives a nod to the 26th anniversary of Great Blue Heron being the Portand city bird:

26th Annual Great Blue Heron Week: Great Blue Herons of The Intertwine!

Join the Audubon Society and other partners in The Intertwine Alliance in celebrating more than a quarter century since the great blue heron was adopted as Portland’s official city bird.

This year’s festivities will celebrate the release of “Wild in the City: Exploring The Intertwine,” a field guide to the region’s parks, trails and natural areas.

Events will culminate in the annual Ross Island Regatta on June 10, a morning of boating on the Willamette River.

The Vanport Flood: An Informal Tour

Wednesday, May 30 | 4-5:30 p.m.

Vanport City, developed on the floodplain of the Columbia River as war-worker housing, disappeared in the catastrophic flood of 1948. Join Susan Barthel from the City of Portland in a brief tour of the levee, public art and informational signs that commemorate this community. Meet at the PIR/Delta Park MAX station. Trip is free, with minimal walking and short van shuttle. Appropriate for older children (with adults). Information:             503-823-7268      .

Birding the Willamette Greenway at South Waterfront

Thursday, May 31 | 6-7 p.m.

Meet Mike Houck at the Willamette Greenway for an early evening bird song walk along the temporary South Waterfront greenway trail. Mike will point out the great blue heron nesting colony on nearby Ross Island and identify birds by sight and song. Meet on the greenway trail on the Willamette River side of the Meriwether at 6 p.m. sharp. Bring your binoculars and spotting scopes and dress for the weather. Directions: From SW Moody and SW Curry Street, walk to the end of SW Curry and onto the temporary greenway in front of the Meriwether condos.

Tree Identification Stroll at Mitchell Creek

Saturday, June 2 | 9 a.m. to noon

This free event is hosted by Johnson Creek Watershed Council and sponsored by the Clackamas County Water Environment Services. Leader: Friends of Trees volunteer Chris Runyard. Advance registration is required; call Amy Lodholz at             503-652-7477       to reserve a spot. Meet at Mitchell Creek (near 15912 SE Clatsop). Parking along SE 162nd.

Johnson Creek Freshwater Mussel Survey

Saturday, June 2 | 9 a.m. to noon

Adults and children over 10 (accompanied by adult) are welcome at this free event in Tideman Johnson Park. Training and equipment will be provided. Advance registration is required; call Amy Lodholz at             503-652-7477       to reserve a spot. Leaders: staff from the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation and Johnson Creek Watershed Council. Meet at Trail Parking Area at SE 45th and Johnson Creek Blvd in Milwaukie.

Herons of Jackson Bottom Wetlands

Saturday, June 2 | 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Adults and children over 10 (accompanied by adult) are welcome on this free 3-mile hike. Advance registration is required and the outing is limited to 15 people. Call Sarah at             503-681-6278       to reserve a spot. Trip leader: Rick Balazs. Meet at the Jackson Bottom Education Center, 2600 SW Hillsboro Hwy.

Herons of Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge

Tuesday, June 5 | 6-8 p.m.
Thursday, June 7 | 8-11 a.m.
Saturday, June 9 | 8-11 a.m. – this trip is especially for families

On this two-mile stroll around the 160-acre Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge, Mike Houck will point out great blue herons, bald eagles, and a host of song birds that call the Bottoms home. Meet Mike at the parking lot at the north end of Sellwood Park at 8 a.m. (corner of SE 7th Avenue and SE Sellwood Boulevard). Bring binoculars and dress for the weather. Part of the hike will be on dirt trail (possibly muddy), so wear appropriate footwear.

Great Blue Heron Week Proclamation, Portland City Council

Wednesday, June 6 | 9:30 a.m.

Peddlepalooza Ride – Neighborhood Greenways of North Portland

Saturday, June 9 | 2-5 p.m.

Ride new Neighborhood Greenways in North Portland that connect neighborhoods to lush natural areas at Smith and Bybee Lakes. Learn about creating and connecting with nature in the city, and the vision for The Intertwine. Ends at Columbia Park for a picnic (bring food!) and live bluegrass music from Stumbleweed.

The ride will be a very family-friendly pace. We start at Pittman Addition HydroPark on the Concord Neighborhood Greenway, head out to Smith Lake, and return to Columbia Park. The entire route is on Neighborhood Greenways or trails. It’s an 11.3 mile route that will take 3 hours, including stops. Leaders include Mike Houck, Director of the Urban Greenspaces Institute, and Greg Raisman, Portland Bureau of Transportation.

Ross Island Regatta

Sunday, June 10 |10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Paddling the Ross Island Lagoon - photo by Mike Houck
Paddling the Ross Island Lagoon – photo by Mike Houck

In honor of Great Blue Heron Week, Alder Creek Kayak and Canoe, Audubon Society of Portland, Portland Parks and Recreation, Urban Greenspaces Institute, Wasabi Paddling Club, and Willamette Riverkeeper will host the annual Ross Island Regatta.

The Regatta is an opportunity to enjoy a morning on the Willamette River and explore the future of Ross Island, the Holgate Channel, and Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge as one of The Intertwine’s most significant urban natural resources. Celebrate the newly established Slow-No Wake Zone in the Ross Island Lagoon and the upstream portion of the Holgate Channel.

The Audubon Society of Portland, Portland Parks and Recreation, Willamette Riverkeeper, and Urban Greenspaces Institute will lead one flotilla from Willamette Park boat ramp at 10 a.m. sharp. The flotilla will paddle across the Willamette to the Oregon Yacht Club and head on downstream through the Holgate Channel and past 160-acre Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge listening for and looking at birds and other wildlife along the way.

Wasabi Paddling Club and Alder Creek Kayak and Canoe will launch from the boat dock at the Boat House just upstream of the Hawthorne Bridge. If you don’t own a kayak or canoe you can rent one at Alder Creek.

All groups will rendezvous in the Ross Island lagoon at 11:15 a.m. to learn more about the restoration and future of Ross Island, Holgate Channel and adjacent Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge.

Directions and boat rental information:

From Willamette Park: Meet at 9:40 a.m. at the Willamette Park boat ramp to allow for put in and launch at 10 a.m. sharp. Flotilla leaders: Mike Houck, Director of the Urban Greenspaces Institute, Bob Sallinger, Director of Conservation for the Audubon Society of Portland, Travis Williams, Director of Willamette Riverkeeper, and Emily Roth, Portland Parks and Recreation Natural Resource Planner. If you are renting a canoe or kayak from Alder Creek Kayak and Canoe or the nearby Portland Kayak Company, make sure you leave plenty of time to get your craft and be at Willamette Park for a 10 a.m. sharp departure. Alder Creek Kayak:             503-285-1819      , Portland Kayak Company:             503-459-4050      ,

After unloading your craft at the boat ramp be sure to park in a CAR parking space. You will be ticketed if you park in a trailer space. Be sure to pay for parking. There are two machines near the restroom at the south end of the main parking lot. For more information contact Mike Houck, We will return to Willamette Park at approximately 1 p.m.

From Hawthorne Bridge Boat House: Wasabi Paddling Club will be coordinating their launch and Alder Creek Kayak and Canoe staff will provide information to people renting their kayaks or canoes on meeting place. Alder Creek is located at 1515 SE Water Avenue; contact them at             503-285-1819       or You can also rent from Portland Kayak Company, which has a shop adjacent to Willamette Park at 6600 SW Macadam Avenue; contact them at             503-459-4050       or

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