Portland District Header Image


Home > Missions > Current projects > Crystal Springs Creek restoration

Crystal Springs Creek and Westmoreland Park ecosystem restoration

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the city of Portland are working together in southeast Portland to restore a portion of Crystal Springs Creek to improve fish habitat and passage. This reflects the Corps’ commitment to environmental stewardship by restoring ecosystems and improving watershed health. This partnership between the Corps and the city of Portland is authorized under Section 206 of the Water Resources Development Act of 1996, which allows the Corps to partner with non-federal agencies to restore degraded aquatic habitats. Project costs are shared between the Corps (65%) and the city (35%).


Westmoreland Park restoration

Crystal Springs Creek, a tributary of Johnson Creek that flows through Westmoreland Park, has a steady, year-round flow and provides ideal fish habitat. Endangered salmon and trout species, including coho, Chinook and steelhead migrate through the creek to the ocean and back again to spawn. This summer, the Corps will partner with the Portland Parks and Recreation and Environmental Services to transform the existing concrete-lined duck pond into a wetland area through which Crystal Springs Creek will flow. This will reduce water temperatures, improve habitat for threatened native salmon, and restore habitat for native waterfowl, amphibians and mammals. The finished project will provide a healthier park for people and native wildlife.  All in-water work will be done from July 15 to August 31, to minimize impacts to migrating fish.

Tacoma Street culvert replacement

The Corps, together with the Bureau of Environmental Services, is replacing several culverts to improve fish passage. Culvert replacement is a key element of recovery of endangered juvenile salmon and trout species. Preparations are underway to replace the culvert at S.E. Tacoma Street and S.E. 21st Avenue. The new 14-foot-wide, natural-bottomed culvert will replace the existing 4-foot-diameter pipe culvert, improving fish passage and hydrology. Early preparation for summer construction included removing branches from some trees to avoid impacts to nesting migratory birds. Those same trees will later be removed from the site before construction begins. Work on Tacoma Street requires removing four trees, some of which are already in poor health. All in-water work will be done from July 15 to August 31, to minimize impacts to migrating fish.

For more information

Phone: 503-808-4510

Email us about Crystal Springs Creek

Project images

About this project

Collapse All Expand All

Restore 2,400 linear feet of the creek to improve fish habitat by:

  • Removing concrete curbing along the creek and pond banks
  • Adding logs, pools and riffles in the creek channel

Remove the duck pond and restore a wetland in its place

Plant nearly 15,000 native plants in the wetland and along the riparian corridor to shade the creek and prevent erosion.

New and reclaimed recreational amenities include:

  • More than 2,500 linear feet of new boardwalks and paths
  • Two overlooks and one water access ramp
  • Benches, picnic tables and lighting

Restoration project benefits

  • Create a healthier park for people and native wildlife
  • Reduce water temperatures and improve habitat for threatened native salmon
  • Restore wetland habitat for native waterfowl, amphibians and mammals
  • Improve park amenities for visitors, including trails, a boardwalk, picnic tables, and benches

Watch these videos to learn more about this restoration project

Westmoreland Park and Crystal Springs Creek ecosystem restoration

Volunteers move mussels away from restoration area


A 14-foot-wide, natural-bottom culvert will replace the existing 4-foot-wide pipe culvert, improving fish passage and hydrology.

A new striped pedestrian crossing will be installed at SE Tacoma St. and SE 21st Ave. 


The park is closed west of the primary path from SE Bybee Blvd. to SE Lambert St. One bridge near the maintenance building will remain open during construction, allowing access from the east side of the park to SE 22nd Ave. All other bridges are closed. Recreation areas such as tennis courts, ball fields, the casting pond and restrooms on the east side of the park are open and accessible via McLoughlin Blvd., SE Bybee Blvd. and SE Nehalem St. Residents and visitors should expect increased noise and construction traffic during the project.