Crystal Springs Rhododendron GardenSE SE 28th Avenue
(one block north of Woodstock)
is a great place to take kids if they like to feed ducks and geese. You will need a certain food though, available at the garden or at a nearby fruit stand just north of the gardens.
Caution: the geese can be a little agressive when competing for food with other birds. Some smaller children may be frightened by the wing flapping and it is possible to get your hand bitten.
Web site below is for the Portland Parks web page about the park, but considerable effort is also done by the Portland Chapter of the American Rhododendron Society.
Created when the Bybee Bridge was replaced in 2004, this little garden is a memorial of sorts for a few leftover pieces from this bridge. It is also a small community space and park, with a few benches and a drinking fountain.
The large pillars are the old light poles that used to be at the ends of the bridge. According to the engraved stones, the original bridge dates from the 1930s, but in fact the cast name plates on the bridge itself (which were relocated from the old bridge) say 1918. Either way, the pillars are a memorial to the original bridge, and the art-deco style of some of its features. They sit on platforms created from original streetcar rails and street bricks surrounding the rails, also supposedly from the bridge (though possibly these came from the street as well).
The garden contains a fair amount of local Eastmoreland history on its engraved stones, including a bit about some of the local heros (Abigail Scott Duniway, who fought for women's right to vote in Oregon, for example) and landmarks (such as Eastmoreland Golf Course).
Unfortunately, the garden is located at a fairly busy intersection, and suffers from a bit of traffic noise.
The web page below is on the Eastmoreland Neighborhood Association web site. This has quite a bit more information on this little park, and the surrounding area.
While this fairly small park is located just north of the rather busy SE Holgate Blvd, it doesn't suffer from a huge amount of traffic noise. There is noise, but the noise level isn't quite what it is in other parks that are close to such busy streets.
As best as I can tell, the reason for the reduced noise level has to do with the large rhododendron bushes that are along the south side of the park and provide considerable noise dampening. We can only hope that some day other Portland parks have such a noise barrier.
The park has a number of picnic tables that sit in the shade of fairly large fir trees, two playground areas (one of which is shared by the nearby school and therefore isn't always publicly available) and a number of grassy areas, some of which have partial sun. The playground area that isn't part of the school grounds also sits in fairly deep shade from the fir trees.
A small gully runs along the north edge of the park.
The one unique feature of the park is an observation deck on top of what appears to be the old heating plant for the school. This observation deck provides a view (though not a particularly spectacular one) of part of downtown Portland and the neighborhood to the immediate west.
Kenilworth Park also has tennis courts, which are quite popular during some times of the year.
Location: North of SE Holgate, South of SE Cora, between SE 32nd and SE 34the Avenues. It is served by bus route #17 (Holgate) and bus route #9 (Powell) is only several blocks north. To drive, take the Holgate exit off of Highway 99E and head east to the park.
Located at SE 39th Avenue and Evergreen Street, this park is a typical southeast Portland neighborhood park. While the traffic on SE 39th Avenue is somewhat heavy at this location, it is nowhere near as heavy as it is north of Woodstock.
A small playground, tennis courts, a baseball diamond, and some picnic facilities are located here.
Many of the trees are quite large, and provide quite good shade in the summer months.
All of these photographs were aquired during a January 20, 2009 visit to the park.
Reed College is a small liberal arts college in southeast Portland. It is reasonably well known, and has created some attention due to the eccentric nature of some of the people that have attended there over the years.
In the middle of the campus there is a gultch with a small lake, which has been allowed to exist in a natural state. In recent years, Reed College has taken some considerable interest in this natural area. Today, there are official "Canyon Day" events where students and others from the community help rebuilt the natural environment by removing invasive plant species and replace them with native plants.
The area has also been recognized as a state game refuge with all applicable laws in force.
The pond in the middle of the canyon is a popular place for geese and ducks, and from time to time it is possible to see various other birds there, including Great Blue Heron.
A bark dust or dirt (depending on the location) path leads around the entire perimeter of the pond, and continues westward pretty much all the way to SE 28th Avenue.
The address of the college is 3203 SE Woodstock, Portland 97202. However, there are many access points to the campus. The Canyon is pretty much in the geographic center of the campus.
An attractive pedestrian bridge crosses the pond and connects from one side of campus to the other.