Garden of Love  LbNA # 7163

Placed DateFeb 15 2004
LocationPortland, OR
Found By The Gamecock
Last Found Sep 10 2008
Hike Distance?

Whitaker Ponds
7040 NE 47 Ave (1/4 mile north of Columbia Blvd)

Whitaker Ponds is a 13-acre natural area in the Cully neighborhood owned at the present time by Metro, but managed by Portland Parks & Recreation Natural Resources. There are two ponds, neither of which is visible from the street. Part of the site was once a junk yard full of scrap metal, old cars, and 2,000 tires. After public acquisition, the junk was removed, and the site has since been restored with thousands of native plants.

A Black cottonwood forest stretches eastward from NE 47 between the two ponds and the Whitaker Slough. While the westernmost pond, adjacent to the interpretive center, is more accessible and scenic, it is the eastern pond that typically produces more wildlife sightings. Sightings of Great blue heron, Osprey, Brown-headed cowbirds, Willow flycatchers, and Berwick's wrens are all common around the pond.

Whitaker Ponds is a great example of what collaborative partnerships can achieve. Some of the land was purchased by Metro; just over two acres were donated by Ned Hayes in 1997; the land in the middle of the site is owned by Portland Public Schools; PP&R Natural Resources manages the site; and Portland's Bureau of Environmental Services and Portland Parks & Recreation provides youth and adult education programs.

Find the student mural, keep walking. See the baseball diamond? Make your way to right field. Turn around and look at the pond. See the log in front of you? One end is hollow. Tucked inside this log you'll find my little addition to this labor of love.

This is a fantastic place to take children. The path is unimproved so it's not stroller friendly (Unless you have the one with the big tires) but it is fairly flat.