Cooper Mountain Nature Park

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The elected regional government for Oregon’s Portland metropolitan area (Metro) began purchasing open space on Cooper Mountain after the passage of a 1996 Greenspaces Bond measure. Incorporating input from more than 1,000 stakeholders, Metro developed a master plan for visitor improvements on the purchased 231 acres, including a network of trails and public facilities, interpretive cultural and natural history signage, and a "nature house" for environmental education programs.

ESA collaborated with Metro on the development of this spectacular 231-acre hilltop site. From refining the master plan to wetland delineation, site design, trail planning, land use and environmental permitting support, and construction documents, our design team helped make this vision an award-winning visitor experience drawing people from across the Metro region. The park incorporates 3.5 miles of soft-surface trails, bridges, and boardwalks skirting mixed forests, oak savannah, upland prairies, wetland prairies, and riparian scrub-shrub. The design minimized development impacts and enhanced degraded habitats based on our understanding of the site’s unique variety of Willamette Valley habitats.  This information helped us to create a habitat-friendly master plan with respect to plant species, wildlife, and pollinators.

We incorporated sustainable strategies for innovative stormwater management and wastewater treatment into the site plan. Rainwater demonstration gardens and stormwater treatment wetlands filter parking lot runoff and educate visitors. Since public sewer service is unavailable at the rural site, our team engineered an on-site wastewater facility and treated-effluent distribution system. The stormwater and wastewater management strategies account for the site’s natural hydrology in order to sustain ecological functions.

ESA helped to bring the vision for the Cooper Mountain Nature Park into a reality, successfully establishing Cooper Mountain as a regional open space hub and destination.

This project received a 2011 Merit Award from the Oregon Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects.

Specialized Services

  • Design specifications and construction bid packages
  • Habitat restoration and enhancement
  • Master planning
  • Native plant revegetation
  • Public access, trail analysis and design
  • Stormwater management
  • Wetland delineations
  • Zoning and development codes