Greenway Park used to have a beaver or two living along Fanno Creek, which winds through the area, and the park-goers and animals lived in harmony.
But now a family of beavers calls it home and they’re flooding the park. The beavers have dammed Fanno Creek, and Tualatin Hills Park & Recreation District gated off a section of the flooded trail at least six months ago.
Even after several days of dry weather, the trail remains underwater. A secondary loop takes walkers and bikers around the high water but, lately, it’s been flooding, too, when it rains, said James Wilson, a frequent trail user.
Wilson said he has watched the park, which has playgrounds, basketball courts, tennis courts and disc golf as well as an extensive trail system, transform into a lake over the last three years.
”Beavers are cool animals but you can’t let them destroy the thing,” he said. “This is not a lake, it’s a park.”
That’s right, beavers are ruining a perfectly good city park with their mucky nature activities. That certainly doesn’t happen in BEAVERTON anyway. I’ve already written the park and the press about flow devices and Bruce wrote me back concerned that the city attorneys have warned the that changing the stream will leave them open to lawsuits. I told him what we did and said that removing beavers also opens you to lawsuits and we’ll see what happens. There are some smart beaver champions out that way and let’s watch and learn.
THPRD was waiting to see if Fanno Creek would wash away the dams, said Bruce Barbarasch, superintendent of natural resources and trails management. But that hasn’t happened, and the park district is considering other options.
Barbarasch said THPRD could let nature run its course and make a portion of the park a wildlife area. Other options could include rerouting the flooded trail or building a boardwalk or bridge over the area.
Building a new trail or a boardwalk, however, is expensive and the park district doesn’t have funding for it at the present time, he said.
Nearly 100 percent of Greenway Park is in a flood plain, Barbarasch said.
One helpful commenter on the article suggested changing the name of the town to Peopleton. Problem solved! Failing that, they all need to watch this video over and over.
Here’s an update from our friend Rusty Cohn at the Napa beaver dams: