Metro continues to work on the future Newell Creek Canyon Nature Park, which provides an opportunity to protect clean water, restore fish and wildlife habitat and provide people with opportunities to enjoy nature close to home.
Hundreds of community members over the course of two years helped shape the Newell Creek Canyon master plan, which the Metro Council approved in March 2016.
Since then, Metro staff has been working with Oregon City staff to obtain land-use approval in order to move forward with construction, said Tannen Printz, a Metro parks planner and project manager for Newell Creek Canyon. The land-use process has taken longer than originally expected. Metro staff met with city officials for the first pre-application conference in March 2016. After months of discussions, Metro submitted the formal land-use application in early March 2017. The city deemed the application complete in late August 2017.
Metro heard back from Oregon City officials last month on various conditions they would like to see included in the design and construction phases of the project. Metro staff is now reviewing the conditions and working to incorporate them in the design, engineering and construction plans. The hope is to receive approval later this year to move forward with construction, Printz said.
The plan is to issue a request for proposals later this year to identify contractors to construct the trails and other visitor amenities. At this point, construction would most likely occur in 2019, since Oregon City is requesting that construction work occur within specific months. Pending final land-use approval, the future Newell Creek Canyon Nature Park could open in late 2019 or early 2020.