Preserve. Restore. Connect.
Preserving this land begins with influencing city bureaus, non-profits and land trusts to work together. The owner of this parcel is willing to keep it undeveloped if it is purchased by the city. To that goal we are creating awareness by developing a web site and Facebook page, demonstrating that conserving the Benson's Oak savannah is a neighborhood priority, and raising awareness about the significance of the bluff to the health of the Willamette River, animal and bird populations, and community livability.
Restoring the bluff’s native habitat requires volunteer efforts. Volunteers will work with specialists to learn how to identify distressed ecosystems and reduce invasive species to restore ecological health along the steep wooded area (escarpment) that extends from Overlook Park north to Swan Island and beyond to Willamette Blvd. The white oak and madrona trees have a unique relationship with the ecology of the river, especially in a changing climate.
Connecting Overlook Bluff with urban wilderness trails to St. Johns is a long term goal. Within the city there is a mandate to create urban paths that are pedestrian and bike safe. The escarpment can be the location of sheltered trails that link Overlook to Swan Island to Waud Bluff to St. Johns across the bridge and into Forest Park on the west side of the Willamette River. Imagine being able to hike surrounded by trees along this sliver of land. The River Plan mandates the creation of pedestrian-safe trails in north Portland. Visit the npGreenway site from our link page for more information.