Salem Riverfront Park Master Plan


Salem Riverfront Park is one of Salem’s premier, treasured, and well used parks. GreenWorks partnered with the City of Salem to update the master plan for Salem Riverfront Park, incorporating an additional four acres of land on the south end of the park.  

The large open lawns, open air amphitheater and views of the Willamette River make the park a favored place for large and small events held throughout the year and it’s a popular place for walking, jogging and getting a breath of fresh air.

Through a robust public outreach process, GreenWorks and City staf worked with focus groups and the public to develop and prioritize concepts for park improvements and additions.  A key feature in the new addition to the park is a new, larger amphitheater designed to complement a proposed covered stage and a river viewing terrace with dramatic views of the Peter Courtney Minto-Island Bridge.

Relocating the covered stage and amphitheater to the south end of the park means Salem can host larger events in the park and take advantage of the existing—soon to be upgraded with nature play elements and terraced overlook seating—playground, as well as the splash pad, pavilion, and seasonal ice rink.  

Our updated master plan includes a floating river walk, expanded dock facilities for kayak and canoe rentals, and space for fishing. We also improved connections to other Salem parks, including a future trail along adjacent Pringle Creek and existing links to Wallace Marine Park.

Hood River Community Housing

GreenWorks and Carleton-Hart Architects are working with the Columbia Valley Housing Authority to develop new affordable housing in Hood River, Oregon. The project connects residents with nature, provides opportunities to play, and is sited sensitively to reduce impacts on existing topography and vegetation. Stormwater planters, permeable paving, and use of native and adapted plantings complement other amenities for residents, including seating areas, a playground, community garden beds, picnic spots, trails woven throughout the site, connections to transit, and a new multi-purpose regional trail for maximum accessibility.


St. Helens Riverfront Connector


GreenWorks helped the City of St. Helens, Oregon plan a new road between popular parts of town. We provided design and planning services for anticipated growth and increased traffic between highway 30 and the Riverfront District. Pedestrian and bicycle safety and connectivity are integral to the plan, as well as efficient traffic flow, including that of large trucks. GreenWorks produced 3D video visualizations and illustrative plans to help the city decide on a preferred option.

Westmoreland Park Nature Based Play

Westmoreland park from drone during sunset, people playing on logs and rocks, a stream and a pond below

The Westmoreland Nature-Based Play Area is a pilot project for Portland Parks and Recreation. GreenWorks collaborated with Portland Parks & Recreation to replace an outdated playground with a nature-based play environment. GreenWorks focused on developing a context-sensitive design that would reference the specific characteristics of the site and its surrounding community. Extensive outreach was built into the design process.

logs come to a point with children climbing, standing on piles of rocks on a cloudy day

GreenWorks led a comprehensive public involvement and consensus building process that resulted in unique play elements, which were custom-made for this park that celebrate the community’s vision.

The design team included environmental artist, Adam Kuby. Adam collaborated with the design team on the overall conceptual design of the playground that represents the restoration of the adjacent Crystal Springs. He helped envision these artistic elements as play features within the design.

Sustainable features include water conservation, drought-tolerant planting design, efficient irrigation, native or native-adaptive plant material, sustainable stormwater management, incorporation of salvaged concrete re-purposed for water play elements and many salvaged logs for climbing features and custom benches. This project opened in 2014 and is “wildly” popular with children and adults alike. The project was awarded the ASLA Oregon Honor Award.

sand play area with children playing, parents sitting on benches on sunny day
mature plants and a sand play area separated by a wood fence on a sunny day

Learn more from Americans for the Arts, KATU2 and US Army Corps of Engineers videos made before the park’s construction, and from PDXParent.

Independence Riverview Park Conceptual Design

The Willamette River in front of Indpendence Riverfront Park, the city of Independence behind
Independence landing riverfront park plan graphic birdseye

Conceived of a an extension of Riverview Park, Independence landing offers users a number of passive recreation opportunities.

Greenworks is honored to be working with the City of Independence to implement the vision set forth in the Open Space Master Plan completed in 2015. The current work on Independence Landing improves a key piece of public waterfront located immediately south of Riverview Park, the flagship of the Independence park system. Designed in tandem with the with the large waterfront re-development on the old Valley Concrete Site, Independence Landing  is one piece in a larger orchestrated effort to revitalize downtown Independence and support commercial growth.

Independence Riverfront Park Gathering of the reptile man under the shade
Independence Riverfront Park birdseye view Willamette River

Included in the plan are a waterfront multi-use trail with a river overlook, a shaded patio and lawn space able to accommodate flexible programming, a sizeable restoration planting area braided by soft surface trails and a grove of shade trees in which the user can find informal, private seating areas. This implementation of the Open Space Master Plan sets the stage for the continued expansion of improved public waterfront southward along the Willamette River and strengthens the downtown, pedestrian connections to the waterfront.

The success of this project has been a measure of how well the project team has worked together. Shawn Irvine and David Clyne with the City of Independence and Steve Ward with Westech Engineering have been instrumental in guiding the design process, representing the diverse community of Independence and streamlining the construction of this exciting new park space.

Conceptual Visualization

Independence Waterfront Park Perspective Plan Drawing

Tanner Springs Park

GreenWorks collaborated with Atelier Dreiseitl of Germany to design Tanner Springs Park, an urban park in Portland’s Pearl District. Envisioned as an urban park with a wetland focus, the park serves the developing surrounding neighborhood as well as visitors to the area. The sustainable design features innovative uses of water and stormwater, creating a refuge for people and wildlife in the midst of this bustling downtown neighborhood. The design process was highly interactive involving the citizens of Portland through a series of public workshops.

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PC: Tom Good

PC: Tom Good

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Metro Graham Oaks Nature Park in Wilsonville


GreenWorks provided schematic design, construction documents, and construction administration for this $1.4 million, 205-acre regional park in Wilsonville. The design process engaged the City of Wilsonville, the adjacent Elementary School, and its direct neighbor–Villebois Community–to create a Nature Park that truly reflected the needs of its community while staying true to Metro’s project goals. The design imparts a hierarchy of trails to facilitate access to natural areas such as restored oak savannah, woodlands, wetlands, and riparian forests. The regional Tonquin Trail provides regional access to the park, while secondary loop trails and forest hiking trails offer additional scenic, leisure routes. The integration of art was an important design element to Graham Oaks. The park’s entrance is designed to provide a strong sense of place and includes numerous sustainable site features (i.e., stormwater facilities in the parking lot, a green roof picnic shelter and native plantings throughout). The gateway interpretive plaza introduces visitors to the wildlife and history of the area, while viewpoints, plazas, bridges, boardwalks and interpretive features throughout the site help visitors enjoy the unique attributes of the park while striking  a careful balance between access and restoration. The park serves many roles as an educational tool to the neighboring Elementary School, a neighborhood Park to nearby Villebois Park and a regional destination for access to nature and recreation.

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Hood River Waterfront Park

GreenWorks provided master planning and design services for the waterfront park in Hood River. The 6-acre park lies north of downtown between the Hood River Event Site and “The Hook” (a protected harbor for learning windsurfing) on property donated by the Port of Hood River. The Park helps connect the community to the Columbia River through a family-friendly public gathering space that accommodates a wide spectrum of uses. Our team went on to provide design services. Design features include beach and swimming access to the Columbia River, innovative children’s play facilities, and flexible areas for large community events and festivals. In addition, the park reclaims eight hundred feet of riverbank, laying back the slope and restoring the river’s edge with a wide variety of native riparian plants. The park sits north of commercial use sites to the south and has improved connectivity to the waterfront and increased economic development and commercial revitalization.


Washougal Waterfront Nature Play Area

Eegah the Sasquatch pulls erric the erratic boulder at washougal waterfront nature play area
Children play on sasquatch statue named “Eegah”

GreenWorks was hired by The Port of Camas-Washougal to design a new nature play area adjacent to the Columbia River. The play area is a highlight along a mile-long trail that begins at Washougal Waterfront Park and meanders along the shoreline of the Columbia River. The design for the playground encompasses a broad spectrum of play experiences for children of all ages and abilities using natural materials to encourage physical, social, and exploratory play.

The focal point of the play is a large erratic boulder nicknamed “Erric the Erratic” which is a remnant from the Ice Age Floods. Other components include an embankment slide, musical instruments, log climbers, and a discovery trail that winds through the forest. The Conceptual Design Alternatives were recently prepared and presented to the Port with final concept completed in January of 2017. The park opened to the public on June 7th!

A computer generated 3d design depicting Children Playing sasquatch eegah and Erric the Erratic
Children climb on a Rope Stretching between Sasquatch Eegah and Erric the Erratic Boulder

Hogan Butte Nature Park

stone overlook in front of a mature oak tree with interpretive signs

Hogan Butte is a 43 acre park south of downtown Gresham and west of US 26. Hogan Butte has a rich natural history that is highly visible on-site and from the stunning 270 degree views from the top of the butte (with views of Mt. Hood, Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Adams, Mt. Rainier, the Columbia River Gorge and the City of Gresham). The position of the property and connections into the community provide unique opportunities for public access and education.

diagram showing elevation change with amenities like viewpoints, shelters, and a LABYRINTH

GreenWorks developed the Master Plan for the site, which recognized the unique value of the Hogan Butte site, both as a natural asset and community asset. The Master Plan meets community assessed needs and protects the natural environment. Program elements included: protecting and restoring natural resources, providing public access, appropriate infrastructure such as restrooms and parking, trails, signage and education. Hogan Butte has a rich natural history that is highly visible on-site and from the stunning 270 degree views from the top of the butte. The position of the property and connections into the community provide unique opportunities for public access and education.

“…a half-mile paved pathway snakes its way to the top. From the crest of the butte is a great view of Mount St. Helens, Mount Adams and Mount Hood, while the mountain finder situated there promises occasional peeks of Mt. Rainier and Mt. Jefferson too.” - The Oregonian

“At the top elevation of 930 feet, take in a stunning ‘Volcanic Viewpoint,’ a panoramic view of Mt. Hood, Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Adams, Mt. Rainier, the Columbia River Gorge and city of Gresham. Walk the half-mile paved interpretive loop trail and enjoy picnic areas with views of the forest. Educational signage is available in Russian and Spanish. An ADA-accessible parking lot has 20 spaces.” - Oregon Metro

Conceptual Visualizations

2006 quality visualization of pathway winding around a hill with picnic shelters and a meadow

Couch Park Inclusive Playground

Scores of Portlanders surround children and public officials at the Couch Park Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
Kids on a group swing at the Couch Park grand Opening

Couch Park is located in the Historic Alphabet District in NW Portland. Sharing ownership with Portland Public Schools, the park is the official home of Metropolitan Learning Center’s playground. The park also has a large 10,000 sf plaza that is an abandoned Right-of-Way that is used as a major North-South pedestrian thoroughfare. Finally, there are the rolling, grassy berms and pathways surrounded by a dense canopy of trees that make up the remainder of the park. The re-design of the plaza and playground was the highest priority and most costly of all the 2016 Bond Projects dedicated to refurbishing aging parks and playgrounds in Portland. 

The old wood playground structure beloved by the MLC students was removed in 2015 due extensive structural rot and multiple hazards. The plaza was no longer ADA accessible due the the humps and bumps from differential settlement between concrete bands and brick pavers. The plaza and playground had old trees, some that were in poor conditions, others that would present challenges for designing and construction around without serious impacts.

The playground, Portland’s first inclusive playground on the west side, is designed for kids of all ages and abilities and is a true hybrid of natural elements and factory built play equipment.  The focal point being a fort on a mound that skirts between large trees to make kids feel like they are in a tree fort, is by far the coolest thing in the playground that kids will use as a centerpiece to create their own adventures and games.

The design for the plaza and playground are within the same footprint as the previous spaces as required by the language of the bond. The plaza’s bold paving patterns are based on the historic grid of bricks and concrete bands but use different textures of concrete to replicate the  historic paving pattern. 

A distinguishing characteristic of the design is demonstrated in the forward thinking of incorporating sustainable stormwater practices into parks and urban plazas. The design showcases vegetated stormwater planters as a primary space maker verses pushing them to the side to inconsequential spaces as mandatory minimum add-ons. The flow through planters define the circulation zones, separate the playground from the plaza, create edges for sitting, and provide a healthy splash of color to a very urban neighborhood. 

Fanno Creek Greenway

GreenWorks has hired by Clean Water Services on a multi-disciplinary team lead by HDR to restore a segment of Fanno Creek and improve the Fanno Creek Trail in downtown Tigard. GreenWorks’ role on the project is to provide trail design for a quarter mile segment of the 15-mile regional trail that extends from Tualatin to Portland through Tigard. The creek enhancements include restoring a previously straightened portion of the creek to a natural, meandering alignment that will improve hydrologic function of the creek and adjacent floodplain. The Fanno Creek Trail improvements mimic the new creek alignment to draw pedestrians and bikers further into the park to experience the natural environment. The project also included replacing an old bridge, elevated to improve stream hydrology and maximize trail function for cyclists using the Fanno Creek Trail.

Fanno creek remeander under construction from the sky
Bridge crosses fanno creek with cement and rock ringed overlook in foreground
fanno Creek trail winding toward bridge over creek under construction
Illustration of proposed remeander of fanno creek showing creek winding through neighborhood

Orcas Island Nature Play Area


GreenWorks was hired by San Juan County to design a playground on Orcas Island—a 57-square-mile island beloved by locals and tourists alike for its lush natural resources and vibrant cultural attractions. Set in the heart of the community, the new nature-inspired play area will serve as the only playground in the 17 parks that make up the San Juan County’s park system.

An energetic and involved group of residents were instrumental in bringing the play area to fruition, both in long-term advocacy, as well as involvement in the design process. The group was inspired by Portland Parks & Recreation’s Westmoreland Nature Play Area and sought out GreenWorks to bring their vision to life. A local design review committee worked closely with the design team to identify a preferred alternative.

The theme of the play area is “island hopping,” which is evident in the park’s materials: several massive boulders represent islands, large log climbers give a nod to driftwood, and sand play mimics the island shores. An enthusiastic group of local craftspeople and artists have donated their time, talents, and materials in the construction of this project. The play area is set to open in the summer of 2019.


Gateway Green


Gateway Green is a 25-acre site located in East Portland at the confluence of two major freeways. This previously unused remnant landscape has a host of complicated public access challenges making the prospect of creating a park seemingly impossible. Community leaders and advocates who saw a potential for reclaiming this forgotten landscape have been instrumental in framing a vision and rallying support for developing the site into a usable park space. 


Because of the challenges Gateway Green presented—its size, unique terrain, close proximity to light rail, and lack of adequate access for pedestrians—off-road cycling was identified as one of the many viable, long-term uses envisioned for the site. In 2017, temporary off-road bike trails were constructed as a means to activate the site and deter homeless camping. The immediate success of the bike facilities has brought local and national recognition to the project, which in turn has given the City of Portland and the project partners motivation and support to push forward with refining the long-term vision to include other uses. 

A plan has recently been developed to guide future work to restore habitat, improve access, and enhance other recreational activities. The crux of the design challenge has been to create a plan that balances active and passive uses along with innovative urban habitat restoration. 


Robust support for developing the site has been led by the highly visible and active group, Friends of Gateway Green (FoGG). Since 2008, FoGG has envisioned Gateway Green as a place that could provide a much-needed site for off-road cycling, and other outdoor recreation in East Portland. FoGG’s advocacy and partnership building has made the project become a reality.

Windjammer Waterfront Park

windjammer park, shipwreck shores, and oak harbor wastewater treatment plant from a drone on a partially sunny day

Our work in Oak Harbor began with the renovation of Oak Harbor Waste Water Treatment Facility. Since the facility is located in Windjammer Park, funds from the renovation were allocated to develop an integration plan for the park and GreenWorks was asked to prepare the Integration Plan. ]

children play in shipwreck shores during its grand opening day, logs and a shipwreck spout water

GreenWorks lead the design effort for the Windjammer Park Integration Plan by working closely with the City of Oak Harbor and the Community Advisory Group (CAG). GreenWorks presented program elements at the first CAG meeting. With the feedback gathered at this meeting the team developed three design options representing an array of desired elements. During the process there were two open houses as well as an online open house to solicit comments from the public on the three options which assisted with devising a preferred concept.

“GreenWorks lead the design effort for the Windjammer Park Integration Plan by working closely with the City of Oak Harbor and the Community Advisory Group (CAG).”

The Windjammer Park Integration Plan is a long-term plan integrating existing and new program elements in this 28.5 acre waterfront park that includes a popular RV site playground lagoon trail network and waterfront access. GreenWorks worked closely with the City of Oak Harbor and a community advisory group on developing three park concepts and eventually a preferred alternative. The final concept included the renovation of the swimming lagoon improved pedestrian walking trails reconfigured parking lots new events plaza and splash park outside the facility as well as a performance stage new playgrounds and multi-use fields.

The Windjammer Park Plan is expected to be implemented in segments over time and GreenWorks developed the phasing plan to guide the future programming of the Park. The Integration Plan was adopted by City Council in May 2016.

Design Illustrations

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Washington Park Accessibility

The Washington Park International Rose Test Garden accessibility improvements project renovated a portion of the garden to increase accessibility and visitor enjoyment. In preparation for the Rose Garden’s Centennial Celebration in 2017, Portland Parks & Recreation tasked a team led by GreenWorks with this project whose primary goal is to ensure the public’s safety by removing barriers to access and provide accessibility upgrades to meet current ADA standards while maintaining and enhancing the historic character of the Rose Garden. The Main Promenade features a new ADA ramp system with stone walls and formal handrails to complement the iconic sculptural water feature.

GreenWorks managed a complex design team of engineers and accessibility experts providing site design, construction drawings and specification documents.  GreenWorks facilitated a 3-day design charrette with Portland Parks & Recreation and the design team.  Additionally GreenWorks provided 3D visualizations of design elements and developed presentation graphics for the public engagement process.

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Bend Whitewater Park

aerial image of deschutes river flowing through Bend, oregon, past the old mill district at sunset

On the Deschutes River, the Colorado Avenue Dam maintains water surface elevations upstream in the Mill District, but is located in an area of the river that is heavily used by boaters, kayakers, and tubers. Prior to this project, the dam and footbridge configuration blocked downstream passage and required all river users to exit the river and portage around the impediment, exposing a high number of low-skilled users to the potential of being swept into the dam.

people line a pedestrian bridge above people in tubes and on rocks in the deschutes river, the old mill smokestacks in the background

A team that included GreenWorks designed this project to provide safe passage over the existing dam. In addition to the in-water recreational components, the design includes increased habitat diversity along the river by incorporating fish passage and on-bank habitat restoration, design improvements to McKay Park, and replacement of the pedestrian bridge.

The project is made up of three distinct channels:

  1. The Passageway Channel with modest rapids for people floating the river with tubes,

  2. The Whitewater Channel with four wave features for more experienced whitewater enthusiasts, and

  3. The Habitat Channel, with no public access, provides habitat to local and migratory wildlife.

    Opened in 2015, the new Bend Whitewater Park enhances recreation by allowing river users to travel through the dam without having to portage and improves riverfront habitat in an ecologically sensitive area.

aerial view illustration of river passing through three distinct channels with car and pedestrian bridge on upstream end

George Rogers Park

GreenWorks prepared the Master Plan and design services for George Rogers Park located along the Willamette River in Lake Oswego. The project created visual and physical connections to the Willamette River and between elements within the park. Gateway enhancements, interpretive elements, and improved waterfront access were key design components. Creating a cohesive plan was paramount and included unifying the Barbecue Terrace with the Memorial Garden Terrace. The design also provided a soft canoe launch and waterfront access improvements. Boardwalks connected terraces and provided overlooks to the public beach area. The project removed existing pavings within the floodplain and provided mitigation plantings for all encroachments in the floodplain and greenway.

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Mirror Pond Bank and Trail Improvements

GreenWorks with sub-consultants, Inter-fluve, Inc and HDR, are working with Bend Park and Recreation District (District) on the Mirror Pond Trail and Bank Improvement Project. In 2013, GreenWorks worked on a Visioning Plan for Mirror Pond from the Galveston Bridge downstream to the Portland Bridge including both sides of the river. In early 2017, the GreenWorks team moved forward with design to repair failing systems along the river, connect and extend the Deschutes River Trail, address ADA, mobility and access and create and enhance habitat.  

Mirror pond from air with bend and pilot butte in background

The project site is in the heart of downtown Bend and spans from Drake Park through private land to Pacific Park along the right bank of the Mirror Pond and the Deschutes River. Drake Park is a popular downtown community gathering place and is highly used by floaters, runners, cyclists, pedestrians and others. There are user conflicts between floaters and pedestrians and cyclists and pedestrians.  Drake Park, on the upstream end, is also the hop-out site to take the River Shuttle. Due to the high traffic, GreenWorks is designing a large waiting plaza with restrooms and benches across from the shuttle parking. In addition, the team is working to expand and enhance the beach, making this location a more enjoyable and safe location for users. 

There are sections along Drake Park that preclude cyclists, strollers and wheel chairs as well as areas where there are user conflicts between pedestrians and cyclists. The GreenWorks team has creatively designed an accessible route to connect the Deschutes River Trail from Pioneer Park downstream through Pacific Park where it meanders on back surface streets until it reaches a new boardwalk at Newport Bridge. The boardwalk will span from Newport Bridge along the edge of Mirror Pond to the plaza in the center of Drake Park. Once users get to the plaza, there will be spilt in the trail, cyclists will traverse toward the road and meet back with the original alignment of the DRT and pedestrians will along the water edge. 

Banks along the river are eroding and there is constant maintenance. The GreenWorks team along with stakeholders worked together to determine that the banks were not to be armored with rip rap but where to address erosion as well as create habitat. The solution involves the removal of the concrete cap on top of the wall, deconstruction of banks and reuse the rock in place, adding large wood a few strategic locations as well as riparian plantings. In two sections of the project where the large wood will be located, split rail fence will be installed to deter the trampling of vegetation that will allow for the vegetation to remain in place for the enhancement and creation of habitat.  

Currently, GreenWorks is beginning to move the design from 30% to 100% and eventually through construction. 

Spring Park

North Clackamas Parks and Recreation District and the City of Milwaukie partnered to improve in-stream and riparian areas and a new trail access at Spring Park in Milwaukie, Oregon. As the project Landscape Architect, GreenWorks analyzed the topography and sensitive areas to find the ideal location for a soft surface trail, boardwalk, and overlook that would improve access and provide excellent user experience within the restored riparian landscape.