Yesterday a new trail was dedicated on the Swan Island riverfront. The “Going to the River” trail is a 3/8 mile section of the existing Greenway Trail that now offers one full mile of peaceful, riverfront accessibility that isn’t surrounded by freeways, trains and hoardes of people.
On hand at the dedication was Commissioner Sam Adams, Portland Parks’ Gregg Everheart, head of Swan Island’s Transportation Management Association Lenny Anderson, Freightliner employees, staff from the city’s Bureau of Environmental Services, and others.
Sam Adams said this trail is just one part of a much bigger plan,
“We’re going to connect a trail from St. Johns to the Eastbank Esplanade and we’re doing it piece by piece.”
The new trail is the result of an effort that started six years ago by Swan Island transportation advocate Lenny Anderson. Anderson—who’s been walking on the Swan Island riverfront for 20 years—said he’s “tickled pink” to see this new trail finally become a reality.
The trail was funded through a grant program called the Community Benefits Opportunity which is a pot of money available to, “neighborhoods and business districts affected by the combined sewer overflow (CSO) construction project.” (see the CSO project website for more details).
The surface of the new trail is porous concrete, a somewhat experimental material that is touted for its ability to absorb and filter water. Parks staffer and landscape architect Gregg Everheart demonstrated it and said even though it’s a tad bumpier than other trail surfaces, it has major environmental benefits.
If you’re interested in helping with an existing effort to create a riverfront trail that connects the Steel Bridge to Cathedral Park in St. Johns, lend your support and time to npGreenway, a group who is working to make this a reality.
To visit the Going to the River Trail, head down to Swan Island via Going Street and go left at the first light. The trail entrance will be on your right.