The Sellwood Gap Project

A community-driven effort to utilize new public lands along the Springwater Corridor Trail

MARK YOUR CALENDAR: Monday, May 12th 7-8 pm at SMILE. Please join the Sellwood Gap Working Group as we present a summary of the public input which will inform the summer-long design process for these lands. We expect to invite initial community feedback on draft designs in July (date TBA).

Want to stay in the loop and get involved in this project? Click here to join the Sellwood Gap e-mail listserve. 


Background: The Springwater Corridor Trail is one of the crown jewels in the region’s trail system. This popular bicycle and pedestrian path parallels the historic Springwater Line rail route from inner southeast Portland near OMSI all the way to Boring. The “Sellwood Gap” refers to an incomplete section of the trail as it runs through Portland’s Sellwood-Moreland neighborhood. The Sellwood Gap begins just south of the Sellwood Bridge at SE Umatilla Street and extends along the railroad tracks to SE 19th Avenue at Ochoco Street. Through voter-approved bond measures, Metro purchased six vacant parcels of land within the Sellwood Gap to enable the City of Portland to pave the trail from SE Umatilla Street to 13th Avenue. Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) will manage the trail and the lands under the terms of an Intergovernmental Agreement. Though construction of the trail is expected to begin in early 2014, neither the City nor Metro has plans for the use of the land adjacent to the trail once this gap is closed.

(Click to see larger version) VIEW ADDITIONAL MAPS HERE.

springwater-corridor-map showing Sellwood Gap

Community Interest: Residents of the Sellwood-Moreland neighborhood – acting through the neighborhood association’s Stewardship of Natural Amenities Committee (SNAC) – have initiated a community-driven process for deciding how these public lands could be enjoyed and maintained by neighbors and trail users in collaboration with PP&R. In neighborhood meetings, proposed uses for the land have included restoring native landscapes, preserving wildlife habitat, creating community gathering spaces, preserving passive open space, incorporating edible landscaping, and recognizing the area’s historic significance, among other values. While the group seeks public input on the emphasis for all six public land parcels, initial work will begin with a Demonstration Project on the triangular site located between SE Linn and Marion streets at 9th Avenue. Through a survey and two public meetings, SNAC’s Sellwood Gap Working Group and PP&R invite the broader community to provide input regarding priorities for the use of this land. The feedback provided will inform the group’s final design plan. The working group additionally seeks to identify people who are interested in helping to implement a community-driven vision for all of the public lands within the Sellwood Gap.

THANK YOU to the 330 people who completed the online survey and 110 neighbors who attended two public forums at the SMILE Station in February and March! Please join us May 12th for a summary of all the comments received. (See top of page.)


View Maps from the Public Forum Presentation

Concerned about safety? Evidence from hundreds of rail-trail projects around the country demonstrates that trails like the Springwater Corridor are safe and valuable community amenities. Read Rails-Trails and Safe Communities, the recent Rails-to-Trails Conservancy Study, or this summary from the Burke-Gilman Trail’s Effect on Property Values and Crime in Seattle.

Read SMILE’s Sellwood Gap Public Involvement Plan

Read SMILE’s draft Demonstration Site Narrative

Have an idea or want to volunteer? Email us at

Read the City of Portland’s 1992 Master Plan for the Springwater Corridor

Read Metro’s 2006 Sellwood Gap trail alignment assessment

Want to learn more? Check out the trail map, Portland Parks & Recreation, Metro and  The Intertwine.

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