Fernhill Wetlands Project Information
Fernhill Wetlands is part of 748 acres in Forest Grove owned by Clean Water Services and managed in partnership with the City of Forest Grove and Fernhill Wetlands Council. Fernhill Wetlands is also a world-renown destination for birders who come to see rare migratory birds. Fernhill Wetlands generally refers to Fernhill Lake, Cattail Marsh, Eagle Perch Pond and Dabbler's Marsh which are accessible to the public by trails. There is a public parking area, and this summer a new picnic shelter and rest room were added. Among Clean Water Services' operations are a wastewater treatment facility, a street sweeping debris sorting and storage area, a place where native plants are grown for community projects, and acreage that is leased for farming.
Clean Water Services is constructing natural treatment wetlands to cool and remove nutrients from the water before it returns to the Tualatin River. This is an innovative and sustainable approach to wastewater treatment that will save ratepayer dollars while also improving the ecology of the wetlands for better habitat, with the ancillary benefits of more opportunities for education and recreation.
The major project phases:
- 2012 Construct 3 acres of natural treatment wetlands, water feature, foot bridges, new trail segment, and berm.
- 2013 Reshape and replant Fernhill Lake, Cattail Marsh and Eagle Perch Pond shorelines.
- 2014 Construct subsurface treatment filter bed, pending permitting by DEQ.
- 2015 Begin to use water for agricultural irrigation east of Fern Hill Road.
- 2017 Begin to use water for agricultural irrigation west of Fern Hill Road.
|Photo courtesy of Gary Witt
Directions to Fernhill
Take Highway 47 south out of Forest Grove. Turn left onto Fern Hill Road and continue a quarter mile to the free parking lot on the left. There is a rest room and picnic shelter. Download a map (PDF, 370KB).
Events at Fernhill
Friends of Fernhill Wetlands Meeting
Wednesday, May 1, 7 - 8:30 p.m.
The Grand Lodge, The Alice Inkley Room
3505 Pacific Avenue, Forest Grove
Artist and Audubon Society of Portland's Shawneen Finnegan will present "For the Love of Shorebirds." A stroll along one of Oregon's beaches will produce encounters with energetic little gray and white birds frenetically chasing the waves back and forth. Appropriately named, the Sanderling is one of the 54 species of plovers and sandpipers that have been recorded in Oregon and 31 of these shorebird species have visited Fernhill Wetlands. Shawneen will share her passion for this engaging family of birds, some of which spend only a few days per year in Oregon as they make their annual circuit between wintering grounds as far south as Patagonia and breeding grounds within the Arctic Circle. She'll bring some of her beautiful bird artwork for sale. Afterward, join a discussion to set goals and plan future events for the Friends of Fernhill Wetlands.
Fernhill Wetlands—A Showcase of Sustainability
Tuesday, May 7, 7 - 8 p.m.
Forest Grove Library, 2114 Pacific Ave
Presented by Forest Grove City Councilor Victoria Lowe
Find out why people are flocking to Fernhill Wetlands. A new Water Garden and natural treatment systems to improve water quality are also enhancing habitat for migratory birds and creating a more beautiful place for visitors to enjoy. The City of Forest Grove, Fernhill Wetlands Council and Friends of Fernhill Wetlands, local schools and many community members are collaborating with Clean Water Services on this ground-breaking project.
Plant Natives at Fernhill Wetlands
Saturday, May 11, 9 - noon
Help plant native perennial plants around the picnic shelter. Together we can beautify Fernhill Wetlands while creating butterfly and hummingbird habitat! Meet at the Fernhill picnic shelter at 9 a.m. Rain or shine. Please bring work gloves and sturdy boots. Free coffee and donuts. For more information contact Christian Haaning
Questions? Contact Sheri Wantland at (503) 681-5111.
Education and volunteers
In 2012, Clean Water Services staff supported these activities at Fernhill Wetlands:
April 27: 140 Eighth graders from Evergreen Middle School in Hillsboro with 6 teachers, 4 parents and 3 PhD candidates from PSU did water quality sampling and conducted macrointerbrate studies and planted 285 trees and shrubs and 150 plugs in Dabbler's Marsh.
July 11: Eight exchange students from the Tokyo University International Academy and two Willamette University student applied bark chips to 100 feet of Dabbler's Marsh Trail and repotted 200 native wapato plants at the Stream Operations Center.
August 8: 25 graduate students from Pacific University's School of Pharmacy spread 22 yards of bark chips on the rest of Dabbler's Marsh Trail.
October 6: Birds and Beer drew approximately 75 birders, photographers, landscape architects, and others to birding tours led by John Rakestraw and Mike Houck, and presentations about the Fernhill Wetlands Improvement Project at McMenamins Grand Lodge.
October 10 and 11: Forest Grove Community School first and second graders, teachers and parents visited to learn about wetland functions, migratory birds, and native and invasive species.
November 3: Friends of Fernhill Wetlands planted native trees and shrubs near the public parking lot.
The City of Forest Grove has worked with Eagle Scouts to install a kiosk and other amenities.