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City Hall Watch: Salmon restoration projects celebrated
On Wednesday the City Council proclaimed Sept. 24 to be Portland's first "Salmon in Our City Day," declared Crystal Springs Creek to be the city's first Salmon Sanctuary, and awarded a $5,000 grant to the Johnson Creek Watershed Council and the Crystal Springs Partnership to continue their stewardship of it.
Salmon are found in almost half of Portland's 300 miles of streams. But salmon in Portland were listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act in 1999. In response, the city initiated numerous projects to restore streamside habitat for fish and other native species.
The biggest success so far has been the restoration of Crystal Springs Creek, where salmon can now swim the creek's entire length. Future projects are planned at Oaks Bottom, Tryon Creek, several creeks in Forest Park, and the Columbia Slough.
Bull Run threat over
The threat to Portland's primary water supply from the Eagle Creek Fire ended last week. The Water Bureau Emergency Operations Center that had been working with firefighters to monitor conditions near the Bull Run Watershed stood down on Monday, Sept. 18.
Although helicopters had been dropping buckets of water in the far northeast and northwest corners of the management unit, the threat was considered over when heavy rains started on Sunday.
"There will be ongoing work by the federal firefighting agencies in and around the watershed over the next few weeks to ensure the fire danger has passed and that fire suppression areas are prepared for winter rains," the bureau said the next day.
Lents playground opens
A new playground in Lents Park officially opened on Friday, Sept. 22. It was funded by the Portland Parks & Recreation maintenance bond approved by voters in the November 2017 election.
The playground, location in the park at Southeast 92nd and Holgate, includes a rock climbing wall and accessibility improvements in accordance with the 2011 Lents Park Master Plan.
Other recent improvements in the park include upgrading Walker Stadium and the completion of a turf soccer field with lighting.