News of the College Feb. 2001

College turns attention
to the canyon

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In an effort to preserve the canyon’s extraordinary water quality and enhance fish and wildlife habitat, the college has drawn up a strategy that outlines steps for canyon management. The plan focuses on encouraging fish passage and growth of native plant colonies.

To make the canyon easier for fish to navigate and provide spawning areas, the college will build a fish ladder and passageway that will “daylight” the outfall from the lake and re-establish the original stream channel and habitat areas.

The Canyon and Bridge



Invasive, non-native plants such as Himalayan blackberry, English ivy, and morning glory will be eliminated over a period of time and replaced with plant communities that include conducive natives such as Oregon ash, Sitka willow, wapato, and salmonberry. Other work will include relocation of trails that are too close to the water and establishment of a headwater forest slope as a buffer to neighboring residences. The entire program is expected to take 10 years and cost $1 million.

The canyon plan was set into motion with gifts from trustees John Gray and Laurel Wilkening ’66. Wilkening’s donation was used in part to pay for a professional assessment of the canyon by two local ecologists, and the rest will fund canyon improvements and encourage student involvement. John Gray’s gift will be used for planning and construction of the fish passage and spawning areas.

The canyon has been the subject of Reed senior theses and serves as an open classroom for several K-12 classes throughout the Portland area. Reed community members as well as neighbors and friends visit the canyon for academic projects as well as for enjoyment of a healthy, working watershed. The headwaters of Crystal Springs issue forth at the east end of the canyon, and the city of Portland has identified Reed Lake as “the only naturally occurring pond (or lake) remaining in the inner-city area.” The plan calls for more viewing areas from which people can observe this valuable resource.


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