Two decades ago, then-Gov. Barbara Roberts celebrated the opening of Multnomah County's newest boat launch.
Both Chinook Landing Marine Park and Roberts are tied to Metro now, and the former governor – now a Metro councilor – was on hand Oct. 20 to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the opening of the facility.
"As the governor of the State of Oregon, I led the grand opening dedication here at Chinook Landing Marine Park on Oct. 4, 1991," Roberts said. "I am proud to be back here 20 years later. To be honest, this is my first time back since the dedication 20 years ago and I’m proud to see the facility looking so great."
More than 3.4 million people have used Chinook Landing, an average of 171,400 visitors each year, mainly during the busy fishing season and warm summer months. Many of the ramp's users come from around Oregon and Washington, making it truly a regional facility.
It took a unique private-public partnership to build this 67-acre marine park, which has six launching lanes and parking for more than 300 vehicles. Chinook Landing is the largest public boating facility on the Columbia River in Oregon.
"Today we celebrate 20 years of history with this wonderful facility. Taking care of community investments demonstrates Metro’s values and priorities. What we may not have in money to maintain our facilities, we make up for in sweat equity," said Paul Slyman, Metro's director of parks and environmental services.
The ceremony ended at the viewpoint overlooking the Columbia River. The viewpoint was once the location of a Native American village called Nichaqwli.