Metro purchased the main portion of Chehalem Ridge in January 2010 with money from the 2006 voter-approved natural areas bond measure designed to protect water quality, wildlife habitat and access to nature for future generations. The property was formerly owned by a lumber company and before that, substantial areas were farms or orchards. Metro purchased additional surrounding parcels from willing sellers over the years.
Chehalem Ridge has five year-round streams that flow to the Tulalatin River, which provides drinking water to about 360,000 homes and businesses. When acquired in 2010, the land at the commercial tree farm was overgrown with dense stands of Douglas firs. Restoration work since then has strategically thinned the Douglas firs to allow sunlight to reach the ground. Oak and madrone woodland has space to thrive and wildlife is evident all around. Crews have removed invasive weeds and planted native shrubs, grasses and trees.
Planning for a future nature park at Chehalem Ridge got underway in early 2016. The Metro Council in October 2017 approved the master plan to guide future visitor amenities.
Money from the voter-approved natural areas bond measure in 2006 and the parks and natural areas levy in 2013 was used to acquire land, restore habitat and plan for public access. Design, engineering and construction will also be paid for with money from voter investments.