Friends of Arnold Creek Home Page

Last Update : 04/04/01 (I even fixed all the links)

Arnold Creek originates on the north slopes of Mount Sylvania, a dormant volcano in Southwest Portland,Oregon, USA. It is a tributary of Tryon Creek, which flows into the Willamette River, a tributary of the Columbia River which empties into the Pacific Ocean. Portions of land adjacent to Arnold Creek are included in special Environmental Zones in the city of Portland. The Friends of Arnold Creek are dedicated to the protection and preservation of this precious natural resource.

For all TODAY's environmental news for the bioregion, go to InterRain's The Tidepool

Read more information about the Tryon Creek watershed by the University of Portland. This is a wonderful site with many specific facts about the watershed.

Skip down the page to current issues and work tasks.

A name for the Metro Greenspace at the Headwaters of Arnold Creek!

At the June 1998 meeting of the West Portland Park Neighborhood Association, after a nine month public outreach process to solicit and discuss alternatives, the General Membership recommended the name


for the proposed name of the Metro Greenspace at the headwaters of Arnold Creek. The Neighborhood Association and Friends of Arnold Creek will be writing to Metro, the City of Portland, and Multnomah County, asking them to officially adopt this name.


is after Deputy Sheriff Ernest Loll, who was shot by poachers defending the neighborhood's wildlife, in 1935. You may have noticed his memorial stone, on SW 35th at SW Arnold, next to Arnold Creek.


signifies that the forest is a natural area, to be left undisturbed by mankind.

Thanks to everyone who offered suggestions and opinions for the new name. At some point, filing the paperwork needed to request the new name will make it to the top of someone's To Do list. Any volunteers?

What's it like in the forest at the headwaters of Arnold Creek?

Children from Markham School learning about the Metro wildlife refuge at the headwaters of Arnold Creek, March 1996.

Listen to Arnold Creek! (223k .WAV - for those new to computerspeak, that means it takes a long time to download. But, hey, how many other web pages offer the sound of a bubbling creek?)

Where is Arnold Creek?

Click this symbol for a map showing Arnold Creek's location

Links to City of Portland's Bureau of Planning web site for zoning maps of Arnold Creek:

Headwaters at SW 45th to SW 35th

SW 35th to the east end of Arnold Woods and Palatine Heights

SW Lancaster to SW Creightonwood Place

SW 11th Drive to the confluence with Tryon Creek at Boones Ferry

Purpose and organizational structure, Friends of Arnold Creek:

Friends of Arnold Creek was established in December 1993. Its primary focus at that time was the protection of the headwaters of Arnold Creek, a goal initially achieved by the 1995 purchase of ten acres in the West Portland Park neighborhood by the Metro Greenspaces program.

Group structure was determined by five Board members. The founding Board members were Jim Baker, Patty Barker, Nancy Drais, Amanda Fritz, and Paul Mattson.

The mission of Friends of Arnold Creek is to preserve and enhance the health of the Arnold Creek watershed.

Friends of Arnold Creek is a semi-formal, semi-dormant group of neighbors, who occasionally get fired up to plan and implement practical activities that improve the health of the Arnold Creek watershed. To be notified of plantings etc, subscribe to the SWNI Newsletter, using the link to Southwest Neighborhoods, Inc. later on this page.

Our main focus in 1997 was mud. We dug in it to plant native species in restoration projects and rescue them from impending development; monitored construction projects to encourage minimized erosion and siltation into Arnold Creek; and worked with children and adults teaching why mud and creeks shouldn't mix.

In 1998 we continued to address both regulatory and practical methods of improving the Arnold Creek watershed.

In 1999, our main achievement was as part of a coalition successfully encouraging the cities of Portland and Lake Oswego to buy 10 acres of land on SW Stephenson between SW 37th and SW 39th. This land, now known as KERR PARK, will be jointly managed by the two cities' Parks Departments, to become a habitat park with walking trails. Friends of Arnold Creek will be participating in planning and improvements for this wonderful new park.

In 2000 - 2001, our efforts have been limited to continued monthly water quality monitoring at the headwaters of Arnold Creek. We have data on dissolved oxygen, pH, temperature, and turbidity, every month for the past five years.

Friends of Arnold Creek members also participate in the Tryon Creek Watershed Council

To find out more about Friends of Arnold Creek, send e-mail to: Amanda Fritz

For monthly watershed news, see the Tryon Creek Watershed Council page, currently featuring details of plans to protect and enhance Steelhead habitat in the Tryon Creek watershed.

On-site and Regional Stormwater Management:

The Friends of Arnold Creek are involved in discussions with many stakeholders about how to manage stormwater more effectively. One solution would be to require integration of stormwater management and landscape design. This restaurant parking lot in Spokane, Washington, shows how inobtrusive, attractive, and effective such arrangements can be.

Note the curb cuts allowing runoff from the parking lot to filter through the grass before reaching the overflow outlet.

The photo doesn't show this very well, but the pipe delivering water from a nearby road is about a foot lower than the overflow outlet grate. This allows accumulation of water and settling out of pollutants before the storm sewer takes the water to the river.

Another solution to urban stormwater management problems would be to include grassy swales as part of every street improvement project. This photograph shows a new swale in the right-of-way of SW Palatine Street, near the headwaters of Arnold Creek. The swale was planned and constructed as an integral component of the street paving project. It provides filtering of contaminants from the street runoff, and allows some stormwater to enter the groundwater reserves before the flow is channelled to Arnold Creek.

The new street is sloped to direct runoff to the grassy swale on the far left of the photograph. See all the details on Friends of Arnold Creek's Swale Page, or look at individual photographs of a close-up of the swale, its connection to a piped system, and the outflow at Arnold Creek.

A beautiful old growth stump was unearthed and preserved during the project. It was moved to a place of honor highlighting the entrance to the forest.

More Great Links:

Watershed Links:

These are some of my favorite information sites about watersheds around the state:

Applegate Watershed Citizen-government partnerships improving their watershed

The Rogue Institute for Ecology and Economy Community and watershed issues

Oregon River Organizations Lists all watershed groups in Oregon by zip code

American Heritage Rivers Find out the latest on President Clinton's initiative to support community-led watershed protection efforts. Friends of Arnold Creek co-sponsored the SUCCESSFUL NOMINATION OF THE WILLAMETTE RIVER for this honor.

If you didn't see the watershed you're interested in, try EPA's Surf Your Watershed

Environmental Education:

River Resources Good site for classrooms studying rivers

The Salmon Page A comprehensive review of the life cycle of the salmon, including how to cook them, by fifth graders

Community Links:

Southwest Neighborhoods, Inc Includes updated information on district parks and planning work

Crestwood Neighborhood Association SW Portland's first and best neighborhood association home page

West Portland Park Neighbors No longer sponsored by the West Portland Park Neighborhood Association, due to concern about editorial control, but still has many useful local links

Maplewood Neighborhood Association Has been under construction 1/97, but hey, it's there

Oregon On-line A great place to start surfing around the state

Tryon Creek State Park Can you identify the bridge in the photo?

Planning Resources:

Eric's Links By one of the City of Portland's Bureau of Planning planners

Oregon Land Use Information Center Everything you ever wanted to know about land use issues in Oregon. This site is awesome.

Planning and Architecture Resource Center A national site

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