Metro’s parks and nature system has grown over the past quarter-century, funded by voter investments. See how the portfolio of parks, trails, natural areas and historic cemeteries has taken shape.
1992: The region comes together around a vision for a network of natural areas, parks and trails, approving the Metropolitan Greenspaces Master Plan. It provides a blueprint for future investments in the outdoors.
1994: Multnomah County transfers ownership, responsibility and staff for its regional parks, boat ramps, historic cemeteries and Glendoveer golf facilities to Metro. Almost overnight, Metro becomes a regional park provider responsible for managing more than 3,500 acres.
1995: Voters in Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington counties overwhelmingly approve a $136 million bond measure to protect natural areas and complete missing pieces of trails. Metro mobilizes to protect land in 21 target areas across the region. Ultimately, the bond preserves more than 8,000 acres of natural areas, protects 74 miles of river and stream banks and supports more than 100 local park projects.
2006: Nearly 60% of voters say yes to a $227 million bond measure to continue protecting water quality, wildlife habitat and outdoor recreation opportunities. This time, 27 target areas are selected for their high-quality habitat and ability to make a difference.
2007-2010: Metro opens three nature parks: Mount Talbert in Clackamas, Cooper Mountain near Beaverton and Graham Oaks in Wilsonville, creating a blueprint for the nature-focused destinations that make Metro’s parks and nature system unique.
2010: Metro makes its largest single purchase to date, protecting a forest of more than 1,100 acres – now known as the future Chehalem Ridge Nature Park. Nestled in the Chehalem Mountains near Forest Grove, the site features valuable oak habitat, beaver ponds and views of five Cascade peaks.
2013: Voters approve a five-year local option levy of 9.6 cents per $1,000 of home value, raising $8 to $10 million per year to restore habitat, improve existing parks, open additional sites to the public and expand programming across Metro’s portfolio. The levy puts a priority on reaching underserved communities.
2016: The operating levy is renewed for an additional five years, with support from more than 74% of voters across greater Portland. Funding will continue through June 2023.
2019: The 2006 bond is renewed, supported by 67% of voters across greater Portland. The bond will raise $475 million.