Mount Tabor Park

Residents of Portland have long been proud of having an extinct volcano, Mount Tabor, in their midst. Sadly, the prominent land form was recently downgraded to a cinder cone vent. Nonetheless, the park that historically supported agriculture and orchards well outside the city is now a jewel in the Portland Park system. Named by pioneer resident Clinton Kelly after Mt. Tabor in Israel, it was Portland’s largest park until 1947.

The park supports a full spectrum of active recreation facilities, but it balances those with wildlife-supporting landscapes. As it is, Mount Tabor provides habitat for an impressive range of bird species. Significant portions of the park are managed in a natural state for habitat. The park relies on volunteer groups to remove invasive plant species and plant native vegetation throughout the 191-acre landscape. Mt. Tabor Park illustrates how the needs of people can be balanced with larger environmental concerns. 

Another major feature of the park is its collection of open water reservoirs, which hold the city’s drinking water that is gravity fed from the Bull Run Reservoir near Mt. Hood. Although they currently are the primary water supply, new federal requirements appear to mandate covering the open water for security and sanitation. This move is wildly controversial in the community.

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