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Be A Good Neighbor

Swift Watchers from the documentary, On the Wing by Dan Viens

Watching Vaux's Swifts swirl around and enter their nighttime roost at Chapman Elementary School is an increasingly popular Portland pastime. On any fair-weather evening in September, you will be one of  500-3,500 people arriving at and departing from this small neighborhood. Please be a good neighbor to Chapman-area residents by reading and following these tips:

Things to know before you go

  • On-street parking near the school is very limited, especially on Pettygrove St. This year, parking is available at Montgomery Park, located six blocks from Chapman at 2701 NW Vaughn St. If you decide not to use the Montgomery parking lot, your best defense is to plan to arrive early enough to park on the street and walk a couple of blocks.  
  • Do not drive up Pettygrove Street beyond (west of) 26th Avenue: It's a dead end and easily becomes congested to the point of being hazardous. Please help the many residents of Pettygrove keep their own daily schedules -- as well as their sanity!         
  • City parking authorities will be patrolling. They will ticket vehicles for blocking driveways, double-parking and parking at fire hydrants. 
  • Public transportation brings you within blocks of the school. Check out the Portland Streetcar or TriMet bus line 15.
  • There are public restrooms at Wallace Park near the intersection of NW 25th and NW Raleigh St.  This is the northeast corner of the park. Portable bathrooms will also be provided.
  • Garbage cans are few and far between - plan ahead! Bring your own garbage bag and take all your waste and recycling with you. This includes cardboard!
  • Respect the property and privacy of neighbors - stay off lawns and driveways.
  • Do not loiter on school grounds after the swifts have gone to bed - move to Wallace Park instead.
  • It is illegal to smoke or drink alcohol on public school property.
  • Remember that this event is supervised by YOU!  
Please read, heed and share these tips to make Swift Watch a wonderful experience for everyone. The swifts, falcons and hawks will be there doing their part. Please do yours too!

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