A stretch of Hall Creek in downtown Beaverton has been given new life, just in time for Arbor Day.
Beaverton, with the help of property owners, local agencies and a $354,000 Metro Nature in Neighborhoods grant, has restored 650 feet of what was once considered the dirtiest part of Hall Creek.
The section, which runs between Southwest 114th and 117th streets, between the MAX line, a car dealership and other shops, had become increasingly overgrown with invasive plants, and a nearby trail through the trees led to safety concerns.
The improvements made to Hall Creek will restore the stream’s health, reduce flooding, and increase safety for community members using the bordering trail.
“It’s a terrific opportunity to connect people with the streams of their neighborhood,” said Dave Waffle, a member of the Tualatin River Watershed Council and assistant finance director at the city of Beaverton. “It’s also a prototype of the high-quality improvements that we can make in the habitat of the streams in downtown Beaverton, to turn these streams into an asset and be part of the revitalization of the community.”
At the ribbon-cutting ceremony April 9, Beaverton Mayor Denny Doyle said that over the last eight years, city officials heard from more than 10,000 residents asking for more trails between parks, more greenspaces, and improvements and restoration of natural areas.
“So a little more than 650 feet of Hall Creek has been improved, and that’s an understatement,” Doyle said.
The creek itself was realigned. Instead of running straight through and flooding neighboring parking lots and businesses, it meanders, with log jams added to provide habitat for fish, a filter vault, and a new trash grate before Hall Creek joins Beaverton Creek.
While invasive plants were removed, more than 8,000 native shrubs and trees were planted. Many of these are right along the creek’s banks to further help with flood control by absorbing and holding excess water.
As the creek was rerouted, a surprising number of fish and wildlife were found there.
Dace and stickleback fish and lamprey were spotted in the creek, which amazed wildlife biologists, Waffle said.
“Finding a lamprey this far up river in the basin… was just incredible,” he said.
Beside the creek, the trail was rebuilt, bringing it closer to the creek and opening it up to more light and visibility to improve safety. The trail was also made with pervious concrete, which will further help with water absorption.
“We did things on this project that cost us more,” for reasons such as using sustainable materials, said project manager Debbie Martisak of the Beaverton Public works department, “and it was for the right reasons.”
The best thing about the project, Martisak said, was the community involvement and reclaiming the area as part of the community.