Film showcases canyon restoration

A new short film, Crystal Clear, showcases remarkable work done by the City of Portland Environmental Services, Reed College, Johnson Creek Watershed Council, and many others in the Crystal Springs Partnership. Our own Zac Perry, canyon-restoration manager, is featured.

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Fish Sighting Fall 2014

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Fall Canyon Day 2014

canyon day imageJoin the Reed community in planting native trees and shrubs, removing invasives and rebuilding sections of damaged trail. The event is free and open to anyone. Tools, training, food and fun will be provided. The event will be held on Saturday, October 4th 9am ’til 3pm. Meet your friends in the canyon near the Reed waterfall, just west of the landbridge and Reed Lake.

Dress for the weather and bring gloves if you have them.

For more information email or call 503-572-8636

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Reed Canyon featured on Oregon Field Guide

Watch Oregon Field Guide that highlights Crystal Springs and the Reed Canyon (starts around the 20:25 mark).

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Spring Canyon Day 2014

Spring Canyon Day 2014 is coming!

Saturday April 5th

Join the Reed College community in restoring native plant habitat and enhancing water quality in the Reed canyon, the headwaters of Crystal Springs Creek. This event is free and open to everyone.

  • Tools, training, food, and fun provided.
  • Dress for the weather and bring gloves if you have them.

Meet at the east end of the canyon near the Centennial Orchard.

For more information:
call 503-572-8636

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Pictures from Fall Canyon Day 2013

This fall Canyon Day was held on October 5th. A beautiful fall day surrounded the activities which included the removal of 6-cubic yards of invasive plant material, and the reintroduction of over 800 native understory shrubs and ground covers.
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Looking back helps us move forward

The canyon fell into the trusting hands of the ‘crew’ this past summer. Their dedication to protecting this headwater forest and the cleanest water source in the City of Portland will leave a lasting impression on this campus.
Don’t let their smiles fool you- Canyon Crew is an assembly of trained killers (seen here performing their victory dance of destruction).


These students gave their blood, sweat and tears (of joy) to the canyon this summer and for that the canyon is forever grateful. The restoration and protection of this natural beauty is something that takes the support of its community to rebuild. Every season (almost every day) we observe changes in our canyon that echo and reflect the college’s commitment to preserving and improving the natural springs that bubble up from the depths- and provide the headwaters to the last free-flowing creek within the city, to the Pacific Ocean.

Deer sighting SE corner of canyon

This summer we spotted our first deer in the canyon, and a thriving population of Osprey competing with river otter for fish within Reed Lake. Seeing these larger species come in and follow on the heels of the rehabilitation of these 28 acres of forest continue to remind us how special and unique Reed Canyon is tucked into this beautiful campus, surrounded by this beautiful city.


This summer Canyon Crew gave focus to improving the safety of our 1.8 miles of trail that serpentines though these woods- all the while ripping and tearing invasives from the comfort of their beautiful settings.

Reed College has decided to forgo the use of pesticides to accomplish our goals of restoration within Reed Canyon which may prove to be more labor intensive- but it’s obvious that this mechanical approach has helped preserve non-target species both plant and amphibian- that we continue to add to our species list for further study.

The Canyon Crew is a special group- They make lasting impressions on the livability of our most special wildlife habitat. Their efforts and are appreciated by all who wander our woods.


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Beavers’ work, closeup

Took a walk at lunchtime around the canyon, and there’s plenty of ample signs of beaver work. Decided to take a closeup of what their dentures have been doing to one particular tree . . .


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Summer color in the canyon

Just a few colors blooming out there this summer!

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Goodbye for now until we meet again

Well, the ground is hardened and the trails are little dusty out there- in the distance, you can see wide-eyed freshman descending on the campus.

It must be the beginning of school here at Reed again. The 2012 summer canyon crew has officially left their mark on the soils deep within. New benches were created in the eastern portion of the canyon-giving visitors close look at the first set of springs emerging from the aquifers below.


This summer we can look back and raise our water bottles to the great loss of invasive vegetation- without them we wouldn’t be here today- and in their absence we toast our achievements. For your safety, sections of trails have been repaired and widened and now await your next visit- providing safe access and sure footing no matter what time of day.


In addition to the daily rigors of weeding the canyon- we successfully finished stabilizing the section of the creek under the theater building. Frequent streamside and water access though out the years had pushed that section of the canyon into a degraded state- and the ever widening portion of creek edge not only impacted the spawning grounds downstream, but led to a widening of the creek- resulting in a shallow riffle with no stream bottom complexity.

This summer the canyon has been rewarded with its patience at the hands of the Canyon Crew. Their persistence for protection has freed the indigenous natives from the smothering effects of Wild Clematis (Clematis vitalba) and the ever-sneaky morning glory (Calystegia sepium). Next time you walk the trails you will see the results of their hard work and see first-hand why so eagerly they give their blood, sweat, and tears (of joy) to the Reed Canyon. Even in these past few months we have seen and documented an increase in native wildlife attracted to the canyon’s developing food and habitat communities. To be a witness of the intertwine- and see the results of your work almost immediately- is sometimes all the thanks one needs. We could see birds in the distance flocking to the newly uncovered patches of snow and thimble berries just uncovered. A quick rest for some and a meal accompanied by the sounds of Crystal Springs Creek flowing in the background.

Thank you Canyon Crew for all your hard work- your work may not always be easy to see- but as we continue to succeed year after year at these little tasks laid before you, we can see the big picture. This summer the canyon continued it’s transformation towards becoming an elite self-sustaining ecosystem at the center of an elite institution.


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