Glencoe Swale Tour: Part One

Headwaters to NE Roghan Street

It’s been a while since Glencoe Swale was photo-chronicled. The colored stars on the map mark the areas that were visited on the first leg of the photo shoot.

Red Star: Headwaters- NW Evergreen Road near Genentech

Only those who know will recognize this little plot of fenced land for what it really is… the headwater of Glencoe Swale.

Cattails and other wetland-suited plants grow lush inside the fenced area.

Protected grates mark the spot where waters are directed on their way through culverts under NE Starr Boulevard.

NE Starr Boulevard can be seen next to a retention pond built to capture runoff from future construction. Hillsboro’s growth plan will transform acres of what was farmland into development. The process has begun… at the mid-left side of this photo  orange construction fencing heralds where fertile fields will grow parking lots and sprout industrial architecture.

Look in any direction… development looms on the fringes surrounding the Glencoe Swale headwaters and stream flow. This view shows the expanse of orange construction fencing and the first of many buildings. In an ideal world, pervious parking surfaces and native plant landscaping would help to protect the habitat and groundwater recharge here at the headwaters.

Orange Star: City of Hillsboro Public Works 

Some of the newest constitution belongs to the City of Hillsboro. The City’s Public Works Department makes its home right at the edge of Glencoe Swale

Native plants provided by Clean Water Services create a buffer between development and natural habitat area.

Natural resources, although valued in the City’s Vision and Comprehensive Plan, will not remain unchanged…

But for now, the stream and surrounding habitat is peaceful.  A herd of deer is frequently seen grazing the nearby field.

Yellow Star: NE Sewell Road

Glencoe Swale streams past a private property. The extent of the Clean Water Services native planting project is best viewed from this location.

Stream flow passes through culverts on NW Sewell Road, and spills out over an extensive field.

At the far end of the field, water is again carried through culverts under Evergreen Road.

Green Star: NE 25th Avenue

A weather-worn sign placed by the Tualatin River Watershed Council is the first along Glencoe Swale. It is steadfast with the message that this waterway is a tributary of McKay Creek and part of the Tualatin River watershed.

Culverts are no stranger to the Swale. Waters are routed off Portland |Hillsboro Airport property and under NE 25th Avenue.

From the airport, water flows freely across more field area until it reaches NE 15th Avenue.

Blue Star: NE 15th Avenue

More culverts direct water under the street into a protected wildlife area.

Natural resources are protected here. This small nature preserve is home to a large variety of birds.

A man-made pond system helps to manage the runoff from large expanses of parking and buildings at an Intel campus. Ducks frequent this year-round wet spot.

Purple Star: NE Roghan Street

Glencoe Swale begins flowing through suburban neighborhoods here. Glencoe Swale Tour: Part Two will continue through suburbia as the waters find their way to McKay Creek. That segment is currently being photographed. Keep watch… it will be posted very soon.