Ideas shared for Gabbert Butte Nature Park plan
Community members once again gathered to help dictate the direction of the Gabbert Butte Nature Park plan, providing input on the trail system and main entry.
The event, hosted by Metro regional government and the city of Gresham on Tuesday evening, March 20, at West Gresham Elementary School, helped shape the future natural area. Discussions ranged on where the trails would run, and how to balance parking with natural spaces in the main entry way.
"We have a big opportunity here to connect the east butte trail systems," said Olena Turula, park planner with Metro.
Many of the comments asked for the developments to be unobtrusive, with the community often leaning toward choices with small footprints. While amenities like restrooms and a picnic shelter are likely to be added, the most popular entryway choice off Southeast Regner Road, near Southeast 29th Street, kept the focus on nature.
The trails that will be constructed could run several different routes, though all will offer new connections to the Gresham Butte saddletrail and several neighborhoods. There are already 1.5 miles of trails on the butte, though that distance will be dramatically increased after the development. Planners also expect to close a portion of the existing routes because of its inaccessibility and dangerous incline.
Wedged between Southwest Regner Road, Southwest Butler Road and Southwest Towle Avenue, Gabbert Butte is one of three buttes within Gresham city limits. The 150-acre space is covered in big leaf maple, alder and Western red cedars. Numerous wildflowers also bloom there in spring. Gabbert's peak is at 994 feet, with an elevation gain of about 500 feet from the base.
Those who wish to comment on Gabbert Butte can visit www.oregonmetro.gov/gabbertbutte to take a survey. Another planning session will be held this summer, with the final master plan expected to be approved by fall.