Pond ‘going away’ at Westmoreland Park

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Work continues Thursday, July 25, 2013, on the Crystal Springs Creek duckpond at Westmoreland Park in southeast Portland. (KOIN 6 News)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A big effort is underway to help fish at Westmoreland Park.

The park is along SE McLoughlin and Bybee boulevards. It includes Crystal Springs Creek, where endangered salmon and trout species — including coho, Chinook and steelhead — once migrated through the creek to the ocean and back again to spawn, according to the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers.

As of Thursday, five of nine concrete culverts have been taken out or removed to allow some threatened fish species to return to Crystal Springs Creek.

The work also improves habitat for waterfowl and other animals.

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Work continues Thursday, July 25, 2013, on the Crystal Springs Creek duckpond at Westmoreland Park in southeast Portland. (KOIN 6 News)

In the process, “the pond is going away,” said Ronda Fast with the Portland Bureau of Environmental Services. They’ll then transform the duck pond into wetlands.

Westmoreland Park began as a part of a residential subdivision that was subtracted from the Ladd Estate’s Crystal Spring Stock Farm in 1909, according to Portland Parks & Recreation’s website. After decades of Crystal Springs overflows, a master planning process for the park — with community input — began in 2002; a final plan for the park was approved in 2003, the parks department reported.

“We’re not creating a wetland where a wetland didn’t used to be,” Fast assured KOIN 6 News. “This used to be a wetland, so we are creating what used to be here before.”

The $800,000 renovation project, known as the “Nature-Based Play Initiative,” is funded in part by a bond that voters approved in 2006. The rest comes from Westmoreland Parks’ general fund.

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