From the Archive: Urban Wetlands: Koll Center and Smith & Bybee Lakes, Summer 2022

When I have limited time for a nature walk and want to search out an interesting place to explore that’s close to home, I often end up at an urban wetland tucked away just off the beaten asphalt path. The city, county, and Metro organizations, often in coordination with private “Friends Of” groups, have worked to create many nearby sites that help shepherd the watershed, provide habitat for plants and animals, and allow access to green spaces. Often this involves restoration efforts, cleaning up messes and removing invasive non-native species. Sometimes these projects result in pathways, viewpoints, and signage; others are more minimalist in scope and budget.

For context, this wetland area was tucked in between several business parks.
Urban Wetlands View: A juvenile Bald Eagle at Beaverton Creek Wetlands, Winter 2021

Here’s an aerial view of the Koll Center wetlands, with my two routes marked.

Access is from the industrial parking lots. The tennis court at the bottom of the photo is now overgrown, but there’s an adjacent path leading to the water’s edge, where I found swallows, killdeer, and a kingfisher — and many more audible birds in the vicinity. There was another access point was towards the top of this photo, near the Fanno Farmhouse, where a path led to the Greenway. The trail soon became indistinguishable from the wetland, so there was no route to the shore I had seen from the tennis court; but side trails allowed me to explore the surrounding trees and shrubs and their inhabitants. Even without trails and signs, this space provided a great hour of tromping in the mud and stalking the tweets and rustles along the various edges.

Here are the photos from these two outings:

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  1. […] For this outing, I walked through Greenway Park, across the creek from the Koll Center Wetlands I visited in the summer of 2022. The creek side of the path was mostly under water, ceding some of the disc golf holes to perchers […]