The steep slopes of the beautiful urban forest in Newell Creek Canyon have long made access difficult and dumping problematic. Metro is hoping a 12-acre addition to the natural area will provide a solution to both problems.
Metro acquired the newest parcel adjacent to Newell Creek Canyon in Oregon City earlier this month for $1.25 million in hopes of using it as a trailhead and gateway for future public access to the 215-acre natural area. Neighbors are helping shape a planning project underway now that will plot opportunities for future trails, habitat restoration, conservation education and other improvements.
The property sits on Fox Lane just east of Molalla Avenue. Nestled behind a strip of businesses and home to invasive plants and abandoned transient camps and shopping carts, the new acquisition at first glance seems to have little potential as a natural resource.
Despite first impressions, the property is actually a key piece to the puzzle at Newell Creek Canyon when considered in the context of the greater natural area.
“This newest natural area becomes the gateway to achieving some critical actions to improve and protect the steep, slide-prone hill slopes and streams and to connect the neighborhood to the natural area,” said Kate Holleran, senior natural resources scientist at Metro, in an email.
Prior to Metro’s purchase, the previous land owner cleaned up a significant amount of debris, including asbestos-contaminated roofing materials, shopping carts and other items.
Acquisitions at Newell Creek Canyon are made possible thanks to voter-approved bond measures and levies tasking Metro with improving and caring for regional natural resources. A major restoration project began in 2012 in partnership with the Greater Oregon City Watershed Council, Oregon City and Clackamas County Soil and Water Conservation District.
Learn more about Newell Creek Canyon