The college’s canyon, a 28-acre watershed running through the heart of campus, features walking trails, Reed Lake—the oldest naturally occurring lake in Portland—and a balanced ecosystem that has become an integral part of the academic program and independent research projects.
Efforts that began in the late 1990s have restored the canyon to a self-sustaining watershed divided into three zones: lake, stream, and emerging marsh. Since then, the canyon has attracted many kinds of wildlife, including otters, beavers, steelhead trout, kingfishers, eagles, coyotes, and the occasional English major. With a focus on conservation, the college holds Canyon Day twice a year, bringing the community together to help pull invasive plants and replant native vegetation.
The canyon has been used in academic coursework, independent faculty research, and thesis research. The following is a list of recent theses featuring the canyon.
Where the wild things are: diversity and distribution of small mammals in the Reed College canyon
—Jacob Kraus ’15
Macroinvertebrate diversity in the Reed College canyon
—Jenny Balmagia ’14
Salmon increase in the Reed canyon: a multi-year study of conservation and restoration
—Jack Craig ’13
Phenology and morphology of Taricha granulosa overwintering larvae and aquatic adults in Reed College canyon: implications for ecological restoration
—Mathilde Mouw ’12
Microbial diversity on the anode surface of a Reed Lake sediment fuel cell
—Charles Morse ’11
Ecological analysis of spatial and temporal patterns in distribution and abundance of fishes in the Reed canyon stream
—L. R. Bryant ’09