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  • Portland, OR: Johnson Creek Open Space

    Hello Folks,
    My name is Evan. I've just moved to SE Portland and hear that a new course may be built down here. That's great, but I also noticed a nice large chunk of open city owned land along Johnson creek between 82nd avenue and I-205. Has this area ever been considered for a disc golf course? What's Portland city parks view of disc golf courses? Does anyone know who might be contacted in the city?

  • #2
    The city of Portland isn't anti-disc golf; there's one course within city limits already (Pier Park). However, it can be tricky when you're dealing with riparian habitat, especially when salmon might be involved.

    Are you talking about this area here? http://maps.google.com/maps?ll=45.46...07725&t=h&z=17

    If so, I measure 3.5 acres north of the creek and another 3.5 acres of woods south of it. And you're correct that it IS city-owned, specifically by the Bureau of Environmental Services, which is responsible for stormwater management. But there's no footbridge between those two parcels, and 3.5 acres is too small for even a 9-hole course. Unless you were thinking of somewhere else....
    Oregon disc golf map


    • #3
      Originally posted by Adam Schneider View Post
      , and 3.5 acres is too small for even a 9-hole course.
      Tell that to the folks at North Park (18 holes on 4 acres).


      • #4
        By the way, there's a more intriguing 9-acre parcel just to the southwest of there, between 82nd and JCB, but that one's privately held (by one "Terry Emmert," who owns tons of land in Clackamas County), and is zoned commercial/industrial.

        But it's yours for $2,250,000.
        Oregon disc golf map


        • #5
          Agreed both side would be needed

          Thanks for all the comments. I agree with you that both sides of the creek would be needed...I'm not a fan of tiny courses. There is a small bridge across the creek on Lambert along the northern boarder of the property which might serve. I'm certainly aware of the concern over keeping the creek in good condition. That seems to me a good reason to put in a Disc Golf course. I've heard Pier Park was once a garbage dump, homeless, drug user, and criminal infested no mans land. This seems a similar opportunity to make this land along the spring trail safer and cleaner. Of course I'm preaching to the choir here.
          Thanks again.


          • #6
            9 holes is better than none... if the land is cool... Adam, just buy the land and we'll help you build the course, we know you rich, 2.25 million ain't nothing to ya... 7 acres for 9 holes is pretty good for that spot of land that is city owned...


            • #7
              just dreaming big here but take a look

              Here's a course map I imagined up...fun to dream about disc golf in your back yard.


              • #8
                Sorry to bring your dreams crashing down, but here's the reality.

                The area outlined in magenta is the land owned by Portland BES. (The parallelogram where you've got "#10" is of unknown ownership.) The red stripe I've drawn across the middle is about 50 feet on either side of Johnson Creek itself; usually you're not allowed do build anything closer than that without massive environmental review. And a new footbridge would be a necessity.

                Still, there might be possibilities, if you can get in touch with the right people, and especially if that area is somewhat "blighted" at the moment. And from what I've seen personally along the Springwater Corridor, that wouldn't surprise me at all.

                Does anyone know what those woods are like? (Dense, open, alders, firs?) This could be a good excuse for a Sunday morning bike ride...
                Oregon disc golf map


                • #9
                  Hole 10 is over the fence in my back yard and yes I know the type of growth back there. Good news is that area behind both houses is city. The mown open lot off to the east also appears to be city owned (although perhaps you know how to read the real estate sites better than I). As far as the forest in there it's mixed. The bad news is that it's pretty dense underbrush in places with lots of berry bushes. And I agree I drew three proposed foot bridges over different sections ideally. As far as it being blighted, in places there are large dump sites and transitory camp spots with old couches and such. Some of this has been cleaned up by locals to discourage transient activity. I'm curious how many police reports and calls have referenced this area and if that would also be a good selling point. My neighbors are quite adamant about criminal and drug usage problems. As a new resident I don't know more than what I've seen on short walks through in the last month.
                  Thanks again for all your thoughts, effort and discouragement. Keep it coming and I'll keep disc golf hope alive!


                  • #10
                    Which house do you live in?

                    Here's where you can find ownership info: http://www.portlandmaps.com/

                    And you're right, that north-south parcel along SE 89th Ave. is city-owned... but the wedge where you've got your #2 basket and #14 fairway is not; it belongs to "William & Deryl Howard."

                    If you want to pursue this, I'd suggest calling or e-mailing someone at BES. This might be a place to start: http://www.portlandonline.com/bes/index.cfm?c=36873
                    Oregon disc golf map


                    • #11
                      I surveyed the land today: http://www.oregondiscgolf.com/misc/johnson_creek/

                      I think there's definitely potential. The area north of the creek has a lot of homeless camps; the forest south of the creek is full of blackberries, but disc golf courses have been carved out of far worse (e.g. Waterloo & Bryant).

                      However, while I was walking/biking through that "parallelogram of unknown ownership," some guy in a tan house with red trim yelled out from his back deck, "HEY! That's private property! You better get out of there, 'cause I called the cops!" Granted, this doesn't PROVE that it's not city-owned land, but it certainly raises a question...
                      Oregon disc golf map


                      • #12
                        my question is: Has any one diagrammed out the current courses in the area and looked to see exactly where a course is NEEDED based on being the right piece of the Portland Disc golf puzzle? The Metro area has thousands of acres of useable disc golf park land. But, strategically, where should the next "Milo" or "Pier" go?
                        Wouldn't it make sense to look at developing new courses for say.........Worlds events. We know that at the Worlds events they use many courses in a very close proximity to each other. That should be the selling point for building new courses. We have plenty of short, non-technical courses, but let's focus our attention on building a strategic local course layout. what area of Metro is really lacking a championship course? South east, south, west, north?

                        I am just trying to encourage strategic thought here. Google a map of Portland and mark all the courses. Then pick out areas that would make sense to put a new course in. I like Harmony Park as an option. What about South West like the Tualatin Area? Perhaps also look into Durham CIty Park?
                        Training to be a bagger


                        • #13
                          A map of the courses around Portland, you say? Gosh, what an idea...

                          But I don't think we can be too picky. In the urban core, there's very little land available.

                          That said, SE Portland and northwestern Clackamas County (including Oregon City and Lake Oswego) is the biggest "hole" in the map, if you look at where people actually live. The area in between Lunchtime, Rockwood, Champoeg, and McIver is a big chunk of land that's home to hundreds of thousands of people and zero disc golf courses. If Harmony goes in, the biggest gaps will be NE Portland and Tualatin.

                          (Interestingly, the geographic center of the current DG-free zone is just northwest of Gladstone, and very close to Meldrum Bar Park. Bob Cabal has wondered about -- and wandered about -- Meldrum Bar in the past, but no one seems to know who owns it!)
                          Oregon disc golf map


                          • #14
                            Sorry about my neighbor Adam

                            The guy who yelled at you is almost certainly my neighbor (at least that's my neighbors house you described). He's protective...to say the least and he knows it's all city property but he always yells that to discourage criminals and drug users. He's got a couple kids, like I do, so I don't blame him. He probably does call the cops but I doubt the cops bother to come since he's clearly a total pain in the *&&.
                            Great to hear the conversation about where disc golf course should be also. I agree that McIver is a great course SE of the city and I'm happy to have it within an hour. However looking at http://www.oregondiscgolf.com/ I agree with Adams assessment that it's a big hole from Lunch Time to Rockwood and south all the way to McIver.
                            Hopefully, we can work on all avenues available and give our sport many new homes. It seems like a very natural fit with many parks to improve our natural disc golf habitat.


                            • #15
                              Info on the area and options

                              I just got two pretty cool responses from Maggie Skendarian (Johnson Creek Watershed Manager). She linked me the following guidelines for usage of Environmental Zones. Page 26 lists "Public Recreational Facilities" requirements. I suspect that with the right social skills this could be done. The next step is to get in friendly with the Johnson Creek Watershed Counsel. If we had their backing to "clean up", "remove non-native invasive species plants", and replant native erosion control species (around the fairways). By the way I didn't mention disc golf to her yet. Gotta work that in as if it was her idea. How did people sell Pier? If we could show the number of police calls before and after it would be a good selling point. Also be nice to compare the environmental impacts. Show how disc golf doesn't require cutting trees and uses open meadows with minimal to no mowing. Anyone know who sold that course idea?


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