Metro purchased the main portion of Chehalem Ridge in January 2010 with money from the 2006 voter-approved natural areas bond measure designed to protect water quality, wildlife habitat and access to nature for future generations.
The property was formerly owned by a lumber company and before that, substantial areas were farms or orchards. Metro purchased additional surrounding parcels from willing sellers over the years. After a decade of conservation planning, restoration work, park planning, and input and inspiration from community members, Chehalem Ridge has been transformed into a nature park for all to access and enjoy.
Money from the 2006 bond measure and the 2013 parks and natural areas levy was used to acquire land, restore habitat and plan for public access. Planning got underway in early 2016. The Metro Council in October 2017 approved the master plan to guide future visitor amenities. Design, engineering and construction was also paid for with money from voter investments.
Metro worked with many different organizations to gather community input on the park's design. Some partners include 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, and Washington County. Thousands of community members helped to shape the park's plan.
At more than 1,250 acres, Chehalem Ridge became Metro's second-largest nature park when it opened to the public in 2021. It provides the region’s residents and visitors access to nature while protecting water quality and wildlife habitat.