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Neighbors for Wetland Preservation
https://savewetland.org/

an Oregon non-profit
 

Portland Golf Club in unincorporated Washington County has announced plans to dredge their irrigation pond and store the dredge tailings in 500 eco bags on top of a wetland at the southern border of their property.  The land will need to be cleared and levelled before they do this.  Will they cut down these beautiful old Doug Firs?  We have asked, project planners have not provided clear answers.   For more information or to stay updated, contact savewetland@gmail.com

Portland Golf Club (PGC) plans to dump 5500 cubic yards of sludge 

(from their irrigation pond) alongside the trail 

between SW 81st & SW 84th in the Garden Home neighborhood.

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What we do know:

  • It will be loud

  • It will smell

  • They will destroy the existing wetland

  • It will mean loss of habitat for animals living there

  • It will be ugly (500+ TRUCKLOADS of dredge spoils stored in bags along path)

 

What we don’t know:

  • Will the path be out of commission during the project?

  • Does the sludge contain toxic materials?

  • Will they cut down all of these trees?

  • Will the sludge eventually flow into and contaminate Fanno Creek?

  • Will trucks damage the sewer lines which are under the Fanno Creek Trail?

THEY PLAN TO clear & level the south end of their property          pump water & dredge from their pond to the area          large trucks back & forth

along SW 82nd Ave/across the path        use a pump to separate water

from dredge spoils  pump water back to their lake          STORE sediment/dredge in more than 500 bags alongside Fanno Creek Trail          destroy a wetland

(and habitat) by filling it with dredge spoils

Update April 2024:

Things have been quiet lately — but that doesn't mean there isn't anything going on. Here is the status of applications, meetings etc:

 

  • Department of State Lands:  the PGC is *again* revising their application (3rd or 4th time).  It is due to the DSL by April 15.  We will keep you updated when the newest rev shows up

  • Department of Environmental Quality:  the PGC still has not filed an application (401 water quality certification) with the DEQ.  From our understanding, DEQ will *likely* be the agency who will address the dredge tailings and their potential toxicity.  Maybe this is why the PGC is delaying their application with DEQ.  When they file, we will let you know.

  • Oregon Water Resources Division:  Through Public Records Request, we have asked for all records pertaining to the PGC and their water rights over the past 100 years.  We will keep you updated as to findings.

  • Washington County:  As you may recall, the County has been engaged in an ongoing project to update the inventory maps for Significant Natural Resources.  They are in the "finalizing" stages.  In their most updated map, the area right along the trail (the southern portion of the Golf Course) is NOT designated as a riparian habitat, or any sort of upland habitat.  It has no designation at all by the County SNR mapping, despite a well-described and frequently-identified wetland in the middle of the piece of the property.  If you are interested in making your opinion known, plan on attending one of their in-person meetings Thursday March 21 5-730pm and  April 6 from 130-4 OR a virtual meeting April 2 from 6-8pm.  For more information SNR Meetings

If you take photos of birds or animals on or around the Fanno Creek Trail, please email to us so we can update our website.

 

Lastly, on a somewhat related note, many of you may have heard that the Portland Diamond Project (trying to bring Major League Baseball to Portland) is trying to purchase RedTail Golf Course in order to create a ballpark, as they describe it "the biggest land development in MLB history."  Many in the area have concerns:  roads, transportation, infrastructure, schools. . . and greenspace, animals, birds, water features-->which will all be gone.  Neighbors have mobilized to protest this project and to preserve the community in and around RedTail Golf Course.  If you would like more information or would like to be on the distribution list, send your contact info to SaveRedTailCommunity@gmail.com

Update March 2023:

Now is the time to send your thoughts and opinions to Washington County LUT regarding the proposed dredging and wetland destruction by Portland Golf Club.  (The Type II Public Notice for Public Comments is attached at the bottom of this email, along with a map) First, instructions on how and where to send the comments.  Thenbelow that is a summary of the project and also some thoughts on how and what to comment on.

 

Send your comments to both the main email and also the Project Manager:

 

lutdev@co.washington.or.us (Land Use & Transportation)

sean_harrasser@co.washington.or.us (Associate Planner)

 

In the subject line reference Case File # L2300011

 

You must include your full name and mailing address.  

Your email must be sent by Tuesday March 28 @ 4pm!

 

There are Community Development Codes (CDC)  which guide and regulate projects such as this.  If you can review #421 which addresses Flood Plain & Drainage Hazard Area Development CDC 421 and also #422 which addresses Significant Natural Resources CDC 422 and then TIE your comments and your personal experiences with these codes, your comments will carry more weight!

 

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information to help you with your comments:

PGC proposes to dredge 5500 cubic yards of sludge from Junor Lake, the pond on their golf course, using a floating pump.  The sludge will be pumped through a pipe to the southern edge of the property and put into fabric bags ~ 50 feet by 20 feet.  Heavy equipment will be used to haul the pumps and pipe to the pond.  For about an acre deep between SW 81st & SW 84th Aves PGC will clear the land of all vegetation except for the stand of Douglas Fir at the end of 82nd Ave.  They will excavate the .75-acre wetland (referred to as Wetland A) situated between 82nd and 83rd Aves and line it with the sludge bags to a depth of 8 feet.  The bags will form a visible mound that could be as tall as 7 feet.  The bags will weep water into a catch basin at the northern edge of the pile, and the water will be pumped back up to the pond through another pipe.  Some of the seepage from the sludge will be sprayed via above-ground sprinklers onto the land to either side of the pile (about an acre on each side) "until adequate ground cover has germinated across the disposal area and no longer has fine sediments in the seepage water."  This spraying could continue for months.

 

The Washington County Permit would allow PGC to work within the 100-year floodplain and within areas designated as Significant Natural Resources in the Raleigh Hills-Garden Home Community Plan (for a visual, see maps 4.1 and 4.2 here:)  Significant Natural Resource Map.  Junor Lake (the golf club pond) is designated Water Area and Wetland.  Fanno Creek, Woods Creek and the wetland adjacent to the pond (Wetland B) are designated Water Area and Wetland and Fish and Wildlife Habitat.

 

The Golf Club's application to the County can be found on our webpage savewetland.org

 

Comments you submit to the County should be your comments, not ours.  They should represent your thoughts, feelings and experiences.  Here are some ideas to consider as you send your email:

  • Describe how you use the portion of the Fanno Creek Trail between the Garden Home Rec Center and Allen Blvd, and how frequently you use it

  • PGC claims their pond (Junor Lake), the wetland adjacent to it (wetland B) and the wetland they propose to fill (wetland A) do not provide viable habitat for animals, including fish, birds and amphibians.  If you've seen specific fauna, describe it.  What will happen to the animals you've seen if their habitat is altered or destroyed?  This is a great place to tell the County if you feel that PGC has not met the requirements of CDC 421-7.11 by not mitigating the damage to the extent possible to the riparian & wetland habitats.

 

  • PGC has not tested the sludge for herbicides, pesticides, fertilizer components and other chemicals commonly used on golf courses.  The sludge and the water are likely contaminated with such substances.  PGC has not explained how these substances will not harm Fanno Creek, its watershed, neighbors of the property, users of the path, and local wildlife.  If you are concerned about the effects of potential contaminants, describe your concerns and let the County know that PGC's actions do not meet the intent of CDC 422-1.

 

  • If you have specialized knowledge, expertise, or life circumstances that bring to mind potential effects of this project on the floodplain, flora, fauna, Fanno Creek and eventually the Tualatin River, please share your knowledge

 

If you have any questions at all, please reach out!  Your comments do not have to be perfect, they just have to be completed by Tuesday March 28 @ 4pm!

Thanks for your concerns and your efforts!

 

Update January 2023:

  • Over the summer several concerned neighbors did a 90 minute walk Q+A with a representative of the project.  We walked 81st --> 84th and onto the border of the Golf Club.  We pointed out the many trees, foliage and flowers.  We talked about the wildlife we saw, and showed him photos of wildlife who call the Wetland "home."  Basically, we showed him the vibrancy of a living and working Wetland.  This walk was initiated by Neighbors for Wetland Preservation.  We have had no members of the proposed Golf Club project reach out to us in the interim.

  • In the past few weeks, the Golf Club has filed documents/applications at both the County and State levels.  They are moving forward.  In their applications, they portray the Wetland as dead and non-functional.  This is not accurate.  They describe themselves, the Golf Club acting as "stewardship of natural resources."

  • All of the documents they have filed are posted on our website.  It is important that each of us who is passionate about this city greenspace realizes what this project will actually look like:  the Wetland along the path, between 81st and 84th will be razed, it will be cleared, it will be just dirt.  It will be the destruction of that entire greenspace.  

If you are concerned and wish to know more, please contact:

SaveWetland@gmail.com

What you can do to help

  1. Education yourself: Please take the time to read County and State applications. This is a huge proposed project with tremendous implications for all of us, not just in the short term but for years to come. 

  2. Offer your skills: If you have particular stills (wildlife biologist, application analyst, greenspace/wetland specialist) please reach out. These applications can be quite technical and any skills you can offer will be welcomed!

  3. Testify:  The PGC will need to file applications with both the County and the State.  When this has been done and the applications are *approved*  there will be a public comment period. It is extremely important that everyone affected voices their opinion and opposition to the project.

  4. Donate: We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization; all donations are tax-deductible. Money given will be used for signs, fliers, website costs and attorney feels. Truly this is activism at its finest. It is so easy to donate on the website. Thank you in advance. have formed a non-profit called Neighbors for Wetland Preservation.  We are awaiting our IRS 501(c)(3) status which will allow us to fundraise and use money to make our voices heard.

  5. Post on social media: Please talk to your neighbors who live around you!  Send us an email to be on our distribution list.

  6. Spread the word: If you are willing to hand out fliers in the neighborhood to educate folks about the project, email us.

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