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Great Blue Heron Week

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When: May 27, 2014 08:00 AM to Jun 01, 2014 05:00 PM

Join the Audubon Society and other partners in The Intertwine Alliance in celebrating more than a quarter century since the Great Blue Heron was adopted as Portland's official city bird.

Great Blue Heron - Scott Carpenter
Great Blue Heron - Scott Carpenter

28th Annual Great Blue Heron Week: Great Blue Herons of The Intertwine!

Join the Audubon Society of Portland, Urban Greenspaces Institute, and other partners in The Intertwine Alliance in celebrating Portland’s official city bird.

Each year since the Portland City Council adopted the Great Blue Heron in 1986, the region has celebrated efforts to ensure the heron remains an icon for integrating built and natural environments. Great Blue Heron Week is an opportunity for us to take time to celebrate the past year’s successes as well as start working on future challenges. It’s time to explore The Intertwine! Get out in a kayak, on a bicycle or on foot to enjoy our greenspace heritage and to consider what remains to be done. Explore the full schedule of Great Blue Heron Week events:

Tuesday, May 27

Birding The Intertwine: Birds of Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge

Tuesday, May 27 | 8-11 a.m.

This two-mile loop stroll around the Bottoms is appropriate for families and will provide a great opportunity to learn new bird calls and songs and see Osprey, Bald Eagles and songbirds in the Bottoms and along the Springwater on the Willamette trail. Meet Mike Houck at the parking lot at the north end of Sellwood Park, SE Sellwood Boulevard and SE 7th Avenue at 8 am sharp. Bring binoculars and, if you have one, a spotting scope.

Wednesday, May 28

Tadpole Tales

Wednesday, May 28 | 10-11 a.m.

Tadpole Tales - BES
Tadpole Tales - BES

Children aged 3-5 with their parents are invited to a short story and guided nature walk with the Columbia Slough Watershed Council. Watch birds fly overhead, search for hidden animal homes, and learn about local trees and flowers. Event runs rain or shine. $3 admission/donation per child, no charge for adults. Meet at the Columbia Slough Water Quality Facility: 19619 NE Sandy Blvd. RSVPs appreciated. For information and to RSVP, visit the Columbia Slough website or call 503-281-1132.

Exploring The Intertwine: Happy Hour at Tanner Springs Park

Wednesday, May 28 | 5-6 p.m.

Join Mike Houck and Mike Faha, GreenWorks landscape architecture, to walk Tanner Springs and learn about the park’s design and how a one-square block nature park attracts Osprey and a semi-resident Great Blue Heron. Faha worked with GreenWorks colleague and new Portland Parks Director Michael Abbate’ and Germany’s Herbert Dreisetil, with input from local residents, to create a contemplative nature park that complements nearby Jamison Square Park and The Fields in what has become a wonderful park triptych. Learn from landscape architects what went into the design and how nature has returned to this postage stamp wetland. For the adults, we will repair to a nearby watering hole to continue the conversation. Meet the two Mikes at the NE corner of Tanner Spring Park, NW 10th Avenue and NW Northrup, promptly at 5 p.m.

Thursday, May 29

Great Blue Heron colony on Ross Island - Mike Houck
Great Blue Heron colony on Ross Island - Mike Houck

Exploring The Intertwine: Birding The Willamette Greenway at South Waterfront

Thursday, May 29 | 8-9 a.m.

Meet Mike Houck for an early morning bird song walk along the temporary greenway trail at South Waterfront for residents and the public. Mike will point out the Great Blue Heron nesting colony on nearby Ross Island and identify birds by sight and song along the greenway. Meet on the greenway trail on the Willamette River side of the Meriwether at 8 a.m. sharp. Bring your binoculars and spotting scopes and dress for the weather. Directions: Take the Portland streetcar, bike or drive to SW Moody and SW Curry Street and walk to the eastern end of SW Curry and onto the temporary greenway in front of the Meriwether condominiums.

Lady Bug Walk at Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge

Thursday, May 29 | 10-11 a.m.

Portland Parks Environmental Education Program is excited to offer a special Ladybug Walk in celebration of Great Blue Heron Week! Ladybug Walks are guided nature walks for children ages 2-5 and their grown-ups. Children get to borrow a backpack of tools (that looks like a ladybug) for the walk. Cost for participating children is $4. Walk lasts about an hour. No pre-registration is required – simply show up! Location: Meet at Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge’s north parking lot across from 5040 SE Milwaukie Ave. For more information call Chrissy Larson at 503-823-3601. Dress for the weather.

Great Blue Heron in Oaks Bottom - Mike Houck
Great Blue Heron in Oaks Bottom - Mike Houck

Exploring The Intertwine: Herons of Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge

Thursday, May 29 | 5:30-8 p.m.

This evening two-mile stroll around the 160-acre Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge, led by Mike Houck, is appropriate for the entire family. Mike will point out Great Blue Herons, Bald Eagles, and a host of songbirds that call the Bottoms home. Meet Mike at the parking lot at the north end of Sellwood Park at 5:30 p.m. sharp! (Corner of SE 7th Avenue and SE Sellwood Boulevard). Bring binoculars and dress for the weather. Part of the hike will be on dirt, possibly muddy, trail, so wear appropriate footwear.

Friday, May 30

Birding The Intertwine: Birds of Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge

Friday, May 30 | 8-11 a.m.

This two-mile loop stroll around the Bottoms is appropriate for families  and will provide a great opportunity to learn new bird calls and songs and see Osprey, Bald Eagles and songbirds in the Bottoms and along the Springwater on the Willamette trail. Meet Mike Houck at the parking lot at the north end of Sellwood Park at SE Sellwood Boulevard and SE 7th Avenue at 8 a.m. sharp. Bring binoculars and, if you have one, a spotting scope.

The Vanport Flood: An Informal Tour

Friday, May 30 | 4-6 p.m.

On May 30, 1948 at 4:17 p.m., a levee burst and the Columbia River flooded Vanport City, once the second-largest city in Oregon. This tour features speakers, three sites with public art and informational signs, and sharing by Vanport families and historians. A World War II housing project, Vanport was home to nearly 100,000 people during its existence. The event is suitable for adults and children aged 10 and up. This outdoor tour begins at the Delta Park/Vanport Park and Ride and continues by carpool. Free. RSVPs appreciated. For information and to RSVP, visit the Columbia Slough website or call 503-281-1132.

Heron Lakes - Mike Houck
Heron Lakes - Mike Houck

Birds and Trees Sunset Great Blue Heron Rookery Bike Ride

Friday, May 30 | 7-9 p.m.

Join Portland Parks & Recreation Urban Forestry for a beautiful sunset bike ride of North Portland’s hidden treasure, Heron Lakes Golf Course. This 6 mile loop ride will explore the trees and wildlife of Heron Lakes Golf Course, and take a closer look at one of the largest heron rookeries in Portland. This ride is free but helmets and lights are required. Meet at 8400 N Denver Kenton MAX Stop (ride route map: tinyurl.com/sloughandgolfbikeride). For more information and to register go to www.portlandparks.org or email trees@portlandparks.org.

Saturday, May 31

Ross Island Paddle and Pull

Saturday, May 31 | 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Join Portland Parks & Recreation and Willamette Riverkeeper for a day of paddling canoes on the beautiful Willamette River and pulling invasive garlic mustard plants on Ross Island. Canoes, gloves, tools, training and snacks provided. Please bring water and a sack lunch. Free. Pre-registration is required as canoe space is limited. To register, contact Marissa Dorais at marissa.dorais@portlandoregon.gov or 503-823-7016.

Stewardship Saturday, Wilkes City Park

Saturday, May 31 | 9 a.m. to noon.

Join the Columbia Slough Watershed Council for a native plant mulching event! Over the winter, local students and volunteers have planted dozens on native plants along Wilkes Creek. Volunteers at this event will help mulch and weed the plants to help them survive the drier months. We’ll provide tools, gloves, snacks and training. This is a great activity for groups and students looking for service hours. Parents should note there is a shallow stream on site. Families and volunteers of all ages are welcome, but youth under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. Registration requested. For information and to RSVP, visit the Columbia Slough website or call 503-281-1132.

Cycle the Well Field, Great Blue Heron Week - BES
Cycle the Well Field - BES

Cycle the Well Field

Saturday, May 31 | 8:45 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Bring your bike and your friends for a tour of Portland’s Columbia South Shore Well Field! Experts from the Portland Water Bureau and the Columbia Slough Watershed Council will lead this 16-mile trip on easy terrain. Learn about the safety, functionality and history of Portland’s underground drinking water system, which supplements the main supply from Bull Run. Helmets required; light refreshments provided. Open to ages 12 and above. Meet at Aloft Portland Airport at Cascade Station, 9920 NE Cascades Pkwy. Free. Pre-registration required; to register, visit the Columbia Slough website or call 503-281-1132.

Exploring The Intertwine: Sharrows to Sparrows, Pier Park to Smith and Bybee Lakes

Saturday, May 31 | 9 a.m. to noon.

For the uninitiated, a Sharrow is a 4-foot by 6-foot shared-lane pavement marking that Portland is using to identify Neighborhood Greenways. The marking is a bicycle with two arrows on top, and it is the official, national marking used by traffic engineers to identify a shared travel lane. Leaders: Mike Houck and Greg Raisman, Portland Bureau of Transportation. Mike will share his ability to call in and recognize all manner of birds by their call or song. Greg will share the ins and outs of Portland’s Neighborhood Greenways. Neighborhood Greenways play a central role in The Intertwine by creating a citywide network of slow-speed, residential streets that connect schools, parks, and wildlife habitats while providing access to business and transit. You supply the bike (in good repair please!) and bicycle helmet (absolutely required) and we provide a great ride on the wild side. Ride suitable for families. Bring binoculars, a camera and water. For review of previous rides go to: www.tinyurl.com/sharrowssparrows. Meet Mike and Greg at the Pier Park parking lot on the corner of N Bruce Avenue and N James Street promptly at 9 a.m., ready to ride!

Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge - Mike Houck
Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge - Mike Houck

Exploring The Intertwine: Birds and Indigenous Plants of Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge

Saturday, May 31 | 3-6 p.m.

Leaders: Mike Houck and Judy BlueHorse Skelton, Herbalist and Educator and PSU Indigenous Nations Studies Program. This two-mile loop stroll around the Bottoms is appropriate for families and will provide a great opportunity to learn new bird calls and songs and learn about native plants and their importance to Native American culture. Meet Mike and Judy at the parking lot at the north end of Sellwood Park at SE Sellwood Boulevard and SE 7th Avenue at 3 p.m. sharp. Bring binoculars and, if you have one, a hand lens will be handy for plant identification.

Sunday, June 1

Twenty-seventh Ross Island Regatta

Sunday, June 1 | 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Paddlers by Ross Island - Mike Houck
Paddlers by Ross Island - Mike Houck

Held in honor of the 28th annual Great Blue Heron Week, the Ross Island Regatta is an opportunity to enjoy a morning on the Willamette River and explore the future of Ross Island, the Holgate Channel, and Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge as one of The Intertwine's most significant urban natural resources. Celebrate the Slow-No Wake Zone in the Ross Island Lagoon and the upstream portion of the Holgate Channel. Trip leaders: Mike Houck, Urban Greenspaces Institute; Bob Sallinger, Audubon Society of Portland; Emily Roth and Lynn Barlow, Portland Parks and Recreation; Mark Wilson, native plant restorationist.

Meet trip leaders no later than 9:30 a.m. at Willamette Park Boat Ramp to unload your canoe or kayak and get into the water by launch time.

Directions: If you are renting a canoe or kayak from Alder Creek Kayak and Canoe or the nearby Portland Kayak Company, make sure you leave plenty of time to get your craft and be at Willamette Park at 9:30 a.m. sharp to get in the river. Alder Creek Kayak: 503-285-1819 or www.aldercreek.com. Portland Kayak Company: 503-459-4050 or www.portlandkayak.com. After unloading your craft at the boat ramp, be sure to park in a CAR parking space. You will be ticketed if you park in a trailer space. Be sure to pay for parking. There are two machines near the restroom at the south end of the main parking lot. For more information, contact Mike Houck at mikehouck@urbangreenspaces.org. We will return to Willamette Park at approximately 1 p.m.

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