Lowami Hart Woods -- trail improvements
Project Summary & Public Benefits
THPRD completed an extensive public outreach and master planning process for Lowami Hart Woods Park in 2001, at which time the THPRD Board of Directors directed preparation of a final draft master plan for the park by staff. The 2001 master plan layout can be viewed on this web page in the "Document Center" to the right. Through additional public outreach in 2010-2011, a revised master plan was developed. In October 2011 the THPRD Board of Directors approved the revised master plan by adoption of a resolution; the 2011 approved master plan can also be viewed on this web page in the “Document Center” to the right. Funding available through the voter-approved 2008 THPRD Bond Measure has made it possible to make site improvements identified in the 2001 and subsequent 2011 master plan.
The 27.75-acre park is predominantly forested with a sloping terrain. A section of South Johnson Creek flows through the park from south to north. Tributary streams and wetlands also exist on-site. The 2001 and subsequent 2011 master plans call for trails through the natural area, with a main trail segment planned to be part of the future South Johnson Creek Community Trail. Other master plan amenities include a small parking lot with adjacent picnic areas and informational kiosk, an informal central gathering area for environmental education of small groups, and new pedestrian bridges.
Contractors have cleared the trail alignment of trees and vegetation for summer trail construction. Trees felled will be repurposed for benches and other uses by THPRD and Portland Parks & Recreation Department. Please see the previous update below for more infomation about the tree removal process.
THPRD will be advertising the trail constuction bid this April, and trail construction is expected to begin in July
The Lowami Hart Woods Natural Area improvements are currently in Site Development permitting review with City of Beaverton. An Early Grading Permit associated with the pending Site Development Permit has been granted by the City in order for THPRD to complete phase 1 of the construction improvements. Phase 1 includes the removal of approximately 77 trees within parts of the Lowami Hart Woods Natural Area planned for development of paved trails and a parking lot. Contractors will be on-site beginning late December 2012 and through January to complete the tree removal work by January 31, 2013.
Phase 2 of the construction improvements is planned for summer 2013, to include remaining site preparation followed by construction of the trails and other related improvements.
It is THPRD’s goal to minimize impacts to Lowami Hart Woods Natural Area during construction of improvements. Three important ways THPRD is working to accomplish this goal are to:
• Remove only the minimum number of trees needed to complete the proposed improvements;
• Avoid impacts to nesting birds during project construction; and,
• Avoid waste by salvaging removed trees for reuse in project improvements where possible.
Based on City of Beaverton Development Code, a total of 502 existing trees will be potentially impacted by construction of the proposed trail and parking lot improvements at Lowami Hart Woods Natural Area. Therefore, THPRD received City of Beaverton Land Use approval to remove 502 trees during this project. However, THPRD desires to remove only an estimated 77 of the 502 trees that will be directly impacted by the proposed improvements, and to preserve the remaining 425 trees in place. Trees being removed represent a very small percentage of the total number of trees in the natural area and include a number of dead, hazard or poor quality trees. THPRD has worked closely with the City of Beaverton and design consultant, Vigil-Agrimis Inc., to develop construction documents which require the contractor to adhere to strict tree protection measures during construction. In addition, THPRD has implemented a monetary tree protection incentive/penalty program which will reward the contractor for successfully preserving trees and penalize the contractor for damaging or removing trees to be preserved during construction.
The project has been broken into two construction phases in recognition of the seasonal nesting periods for migratory and predatory birds. THPRD Natural Resources staff conducted a bird survey in November 2012 to document bird activities on-site and to ensure that no early nesting is taking place that would be impacted by the phase 1 tree removals; results of the survey indicated that no early nesting is taking place. The tree removal work will be completed by January 31, 2013 to avoid disturbing birds during their typical nesting period. In summer 2013, THPRD’s contractor will begin phase 2 of the construction improvements which will include the remaining site preparation followed by construction of the trails and other related improvements.
THPRD is also making efforts to salvage and reuse wood materials from trees that need to be removed during this project. THPRD staff has worked closely with the City of Beaverton and design consultant, Vigil-Agrimis Inc., to develop strategies for incorporating salvaged wood materials into the project construction improvements; salvaged wood will be reused on-site for constructing custom log benches and wood fencing, and for wood chip surfacing, trailside curbing (cribbing), and trail treads for soft surface nature trails. Also, chipped wood from cutting waste and slash will be used as needed erosion and sediment protection within the construction area. Furthermore, THPRD planning and natural resources staff are working together to identify opportunities to reuse wood materials elsewhere on-site or for other projects throughout the park district where natural area restoration and habitat enhancement is needed; and, THPRD will continue to explore opportunities where partnering agencies such as Clean Water Services and Metro may be able to reuse salvaged wood materials for restoration or habitat enhancement projects within the greater Tualatin River Basin. Finally, for all remaining wood that cannot be reused on-site or elsewhere, THPRD is urging our contractor to donate haul-off wood to community firewood programs or for other local charitable uses.
As always, if you have any comments and/or questions, please contact Steve Regner of Planning & Development at 503/629-6305 or through the THPRD's Web Contact Form.
Please direct bond project-related comments or questions to Nicole Paulsen at 503/629-6305 or electronically via THPRD's web contact form.
Vigil-Agrimis, Inc. Design Professionals
Urban Forest Pro