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Lewis & Clark's Columbia River - "200 Years Later"
"Whitaker Ponds, Portland, Oregon"
Includes ... Whitaker Ponds ... Whitaker Ponds Natural Area ... Whitaker Slough ... Portland ...
Image, 2012, Whitaker Ponds Nature Park, Portland, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
West Pond, Whitaker Ponds Nature Park, Portland, Oregon. Image taken March 9, 2012.


Whitaker Ponds ...
Whitaker Ponds are two ponds located within the Columbia Slough Watershed and the Portland city limits. The ponds drain into Whitaker Slough which drains into Columbia Slough. Columbia Slough is a nineteen-mile long drainage on the Columbia River floodplain and stretches from Fairview Lake (near Troutdale) to Kelley Point where the waters enter the Willamette River at River Mile (RM) 1.0. The Whitaker Ponds and the Whitaker Ponds Natural Area lie just south of the Portland International Airport

Image, 2012, Whitaker Ponds Nature Park, Portland, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
East Pond, Whitaker Ponds Nature Park, Portland, Oregon. Image taken March 9, 2012.


Early Whitaker Ponds ...

Whitaker Ponds are located in T1N R2E, Section 18, just south of Whitaker Slough, an arm of the Columbia Slough.

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management's 1852 cadastral survey (tax survey) map for T1N R2 shows one small pond located in the same approximately location as today's Whitaker Ponds, however it is north of Whitaker Slough, between Whitaker and the Columbia Sloughs. It is located howeveer in the northeast corner of Section 18. The map also shows a large lake located north of Columbia Slough in Sections 7 and 8.

On the 1860 cadastral survey the southern part of a the large lake is located on the property of Anthony Whitaker. The sloughs are not depicted and neither is the small lake/pond in Section 18. The large lake is shown to be in parts of Sections 7 and 8. Today this is the home to the Oregon Air National Guard.

According to the Whitaker Ponds Nature Park's information sign (visited 2012):

"Native Americans fished, hunted and camped here in the former floodplain of the Columbia River. The Lewis and Clark expedition stopped near here in 1805-1806. Homesteader Anthony Whitaker obtained a Donation Land Claim and farmed here in 1846. Flood control levees built in 1919 prevent seasonal floods."

According to the U.S. Bureau of Land Management's General Land Office Records (GLO) database, on February 4, 1867, Anthony and Isabella Whitaker were granted title to 643.67 acres of T1N R2E, parts of Sections 7, 8, 17, and 18 (1850 Oregon-Donation Act).


Whitaker Ponds Natural Area ...
"This nature park is home to two ponds, a mile loop trail, an ecoroof-covered gazebo, and a canoe launch into Whitaker Slough. The two ponds are surrounded by a black cottonwood forest which has been enhanced over the past 15 years with thousands of native plants. A wildflower meadow near the entrance on NE 47 Ave supports local pollinators in summertime, and the Lewis & Clark Garden near the gazebo highlights plant communities from the western United States.

A sloping ramp leads down to an observation dock on the west pond, from which visitors can see fish, frogs, and water bugs. A second dock into Whitaker Slough is located on the north side of the park, and offers excellent access for canoes and kayaks. Paddlers can launch from the park and travel west on Whitaker Slough to connect to the main stem of the 19-mile Columbia Slough. Note that no fishing or paddling is allowed in either of the ponds. ...

The park and its facilities are the result of many collaborative partnerships involving the City of Portland, Metro, the Columbia Slough Watershed Council, and many community members. Portions of the park were used as a junkyard before they were acquired, and over 2,000 tires were removed in the process of restoring the area to a nature park. PP&R manages the park, and the Columbia Slough Watershed Council has offices onsite."


Source:    Portland Parks and Recreation website, 2016.


Whitaker Slough ...
Whitaker Ponds drain into Whitaker Slough, an arm of the Columbia Slough. The two merge approximately 1/2 mile downstream of Whitaker Ponds.

Views ...

Image, 2012, Whitaker Slough, Portland, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Whitaker Slough at Whitaker Ponds, Portland, Oregon. Image taken March 9, 2012.
Image, 2015, Whitaker Slough, Portland, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Whitaker Slough at Whitaker Ponds, Portland, Oregon. Image taken August 19, 2015.
Image, 2012, Whitaker Ponds Nature Park, Portland, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Whitaker Ponds Nature Park, Portland, Oregon. Image taken March 9, 2012.
Image, 2012, Whitaker Ponds, Portland, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Painted Wall, Whitaker Ponds, Portland, Oregon. Image taken August 19, 2012.
Image, 2012, Whitaker Ponds, Portland, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Painted Wall, Whitaker Ponds, Portland, Oregon. Image taken August 19, 2012.
Image, 2013, Whitaker Ponds Nature Park, Portland, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Swallowtail, Whitaker Ponds Nature Park, Portland, Oregon. Image taken July 29, 2013.
Image, 2014, Whitaker Ponds, Portland, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Great Horned Owl, Whitaker Ponds, Portland, Oregon. Image taken March 7, 2014.
Image, 2015, Whitaker Ponds, Portland, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Great Egret, Whitaker Ponds, Portland, Oregon. Image taken January 26, 2015.


From the Journals of Lewis and Clark ...

Clark, ...
 




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*River Miles [RM] are approximate, in statute miles, and were determined from USGS topo maps, obtained from NOAA nautical charts, or obtained from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers website, 2003

Sources:    Portland Parks and Recreation website, 2016;    U.S. Bureau of Land Management's General Land Office (GLO) Records database, 2016;   

All Lewis and Clark quotations from Gary Moulton editions of the Lewis and Clark Journals, University of Nebraska Press, all attempts have been made to type the quotations exactly as in the Moulton editions, however typing errors introduced by this web author cannot be ruled out; location interpretation from variety of sources, including this website author.
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June 2016