On June 17, Metro will hold a grand opening celebration for its newest park: Chehalem Ridge Nature Park. The in-person event, which is free and open to all, will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., with formal remarks and observances from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.
The day will include free food, guided tours of the park in Spanish and English, hands-on activities, a sensory-friendly zone, and much more. In place of a ribbon cutting, attendees can share an activity based on the Tualatin Kalapuya people’s cultural practice of atuchip (the moving of stones and earth).
Chehalem Ridge Nature Park is located just 15 minutes from Forest Grove and Cornelius. Event parking is located at Centro Cultural at 1110 N. Adair St. in Cornelius, Oregon. Free shuttles will run every 30-to-45 minutes between Centro and the park from 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. The park’s parking lot and equestrian lot will be closed to general parking and reserved for event participants and those with mobility concerns.
Read more details about the grand opening event
Chehalem Ridge is Metro’s second-largest park, with 10 miles of trails ranging over 1,260 acres of hilltops that provide views of the Tualatin River Valley and the Coast Range. The park also includes picnic shelters; multi-use trails for hikers, equestrians, and cyclists; and public art.
“This is a proud moment for Metro, celebrating 15 years of planning and restoration,” said Metro Councilor Juan Carlos González. “It’s also an opportunity to thank the many partners who helped make this park possible, including Centro Cultural, Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians, Cornelius and Forest Grove local public officials, Oregon State Parks, the Trust for Public Land, Washington County – and, of course, the voters who chose to invest in parks and green spaces through our bonds and levy.”
Chehalem Ridge lies on land named the Outside Place by the Atfalati people, also known as the Tualatin Kalapuya. In recent decades, most of the park’s property was a commercial tree farm. With voter-supported funding and encouragement, Metro acquired the land in 2010 and began work to restore it to a more diverse forest that has created room for other plants to thrive.
The park was planned with extensive input from Washington County community members. Centro Cultural played a lead role in connecting community members to the park. The park was built with money from the 2006 and 2019 parks and nature bond measures.