Since nearly time immemorial, Canyon Day has provided an outlet for Reedies who can find no joy greater than rooting around in the dirt. Each year, as spring breaks out all over, the call of the canyon beckons civic-minded students to spend a day volunteering their time to help manage and preserve the wild space on campus enjoyed by all.
Canyon Day has a long and varied history, reaching back to the very beginning of the college. The canyon as known today has not always been there. What is now the exceedingly vegetated natural area known and loved by all was once a simple pasture, the residence of the cows on the Ladd Estate's Crystal Springs Farm. What is now the canyon lake was in those days a meandering stream, originating then, as now, in the Portland Terraces springs uphill and east of campus. Trees and most undergrowth, other than the large Douglas firs, were absent except on the immediate streamside, as the cows kept the rest neatly munched down to size. The Ladd family donated their pasture to the college in 1910.