Banks – The Killin Wetlands Nature Park, a body of water and natural area located largely between Highway 6 and Cedar Canyon Road outside of Banks will formally open to the public on Saturday, September 22 during a grand opening celebration held on the site from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The Metro-owned property is 590 acres, most of which is covered in wetlands year-round, with dozens of animal and plant species making their home in what Metro officials have described as a rare type of habitat – a peat wetland – in Oregon.
According to the Killin Wetlands Access Master Plan, a document prepared for Metro by Nevue Ngan Associates, Killin Wetlands “remains the best example of a peat wetland in the Willamette Valley. ”
Sensitive and notable species, including the geyer willow, the northern red-legged frog, willow flycatcher, and more make their home in this wetlands, alongside more common species, including elk, deer, cutthroat trout, and more.
The new park, on a site long popular with birders who set up scopes alongside Highway 6 and on Cedar Canyon Road, is designed to allow nature enthusiasts to set up in a more controlled environment – a necessity, say Metro officials, to reducing conflict between motorists and birders.
Boaters are out of luck – Metro discourages the use of boats in the wetlands to protect the many avian species that make their home in the wetlands, and will not provide amenities to would-be boaters at the park.
Metro purchased the property, located miles outside of their boundaries, with funds from the 1995 and 2006 natural areas bond measures passed by Portland-area voters who reside within Metro boundaries.
The grand opening will feature guided tours, and refreshments from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The park is located at 46280 NW Cedar Canyon Rd, Banks.
Look for a series of articles on the Killin Wetlands from the Banks Post and Gales Creek Journal, coming soon!