Tom McCall Waterfront Park

Sure, the Pacific Northwest is known for its rain. Whether it comes as a trickle or a torrent, the 3 feet that falls on Portland each year is a reminder that water is key to our city's sustainability.
Our drinking water comes from an exceptionally pristine source: rain fall and snow melt collected in large reservoirs on the flanks of Mt. Hood. We revere this natural resource.

We care about how our city affects the water quality of our rivers. Portland is located 70 miles inland from the Pacific Ocean on a bend in the Willamette River (rhymes with "damn it"), near its confluence with the mighty Columbia. These rivers and their tributaries support several species of endangered fish, descendants of an ancient gene pool of amazing migratory anadromous creatures commuting through our city, but rarely seen. Our culture is tied to the complex environmental chain that supports the fish, especially the water they swim and spawn in. 

In the early 1990s, the Environmental Protection Agency ordered Portland to clean up the Willamette River under the Endangered Species Act. Our city, like many others, has a combined sewer and sanitary system that overflows into the river in large storm events. And, like most cities, untreated runoff from paved surfaces and roofs remains the largest source of water pollution. In addition to separating the piped systems, the city has developed and implemented some of the most innovative stormwater management infrastructure and regulations in the country. One result of the innovation is all of our beautiful sustainable landscapes, which show you the way Portland experiences and celebrates its water.

Experience a sustainable landscape along our cleaner, revitalized Willamette River: the Tom McCall Waterfront Park. Named for Oregon's most visionary governor, this park is one of Portland's most significant and flexible open spaces. ZGF Architects developed the initial master plan. Many design hands have added to the park since.

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