Elk Rock Island is closed due to wildfire damage
On the evening of September 9, 2020, a wildfire broke out on eastern edge of Elk Rock Island in Milwaukie that burned just under two acres of natural area. NCPRD and the city closed both Spring Park’s Natural Area and Elk Rock Island to allow staff to begin the process of wildfire damage restoration. A beloved community treasure on the Willamette River, Elk Rock Island contains sensitive habitats that are home to an array of plant and animal species. We will be working with City of Milwaukie and other local agencies to begin the process of wildfire damage restoration. Please help us in our efforts to restore this important and unique site by honoring the current closure.
Elk Rock Island is closed to the public due to wildfire damage. Portions of Spring Park, including the natural area and trail leading to Elk Rock Island, are also closed. Please respect these closures. The more people that violate the closure, the longer it will take for the site to recover and the greater the impact to community at-large.
Closed now through March 31, 2021
The existing closure of both Elk Rock Island and Spring Park will be in place through the end of March 2021. This date is subject to change.
RESTORATION UPDATES (Posted Sept. 22)
The City of Milwaukie’s arborist continues to monitor wildfire tree damage and hazard tree risk at Elk Rock Island. Mitigation of hazardous trees has been implemented. NCPRD staff, with support from stakeholders, documented post-burn soil conditions and created a list of native plant species for erosion control and restoration seeding. Stakeholders include Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Metro Native Plant Center, Portland Bureau of Environmental Services, volunteers and retired Portland Parks & Recreation staff who previously worked at Elk Rock Island.
NCPRD purchased weed-free straw and native seed to spread in the burn areas, where soil burn severity and soil erosion potential was moderate to high. Perennial shrubs, like thimbleberry, have already re-sprouted in lower burn severity zones. In the burn unit, NCPRD will move the trail away from steep slopes and stop trail erosion with two small trail reroutes. NCPRD and City of Milwaukie staff will monitor trees, erosion, and vegetation and make additional management action recommendations as needed. As part of the FEMA emergency response, the timeframe for restoration and repairs is two years.
ALTERNATE PARKS AND NATURAL AREAS
With the closure of Elk Rock Island and the Spring Park Trail, we encourage you to explore other parks in the district. NCPRD offers many parks that provide connections to nature and recreational opportunities. Below is a list of other nearby parks to visit, and you can learn more about all NCPRD parks here.
Fire Damage Images