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Drums beaten, ribbon cut at Greenway Trail ceremony

Trail segment, scenic overlook dedicated with day of events.

COURTESY OF THE CITY OF TUALATIN - Matt Garrett, director of the Oregon Department of Transportation, speaks as Tualatin Mayor Lou Ogden, left, looks on at the dedication of the Tualatin River Greenway Trail.

The newest piece of the Tualatin River Greenway Trail was inaugurated with a formal flourish Saturday as city officials held a ribbon-cutting and dedicated a scenic overlook named for a former city manager and longtime volunteer.

The Yvonne Addington Overlook is one of several spurs along the ¾-mile trail segment, which runs from the Tualatin Public Library to the former RV Park of Portland property, to provide users with a view of the Tualatin River and a spot to admire interpretive elements placed along the trail, including boulders and castings of bones dating back to the Ice Age.

“That was certainly the best time of my life I've ever had Saturday,” Addington told the Tualatin City Council on Monday. “It brings tears. … That was a wonderful tribute.”

Addington, who grew up in Tualatin, was the first city manager of the community, back in the 1970s. She was instrumental in the repatriation of mastodon bones discovered in the Tualatin area and originally displayed at Portland State University; they are now housed at the Tualatin Library.

Tualatin's Ice Age heritage is a major feature of the new trail segment. Along with the interpretive elements at the Yvonne Addington Overlook and elsewhere along the trail, there are impressions in the trail surface itself representing the tracks of mastodons and giant sloths, the footprints of early humans who arrived in the area more than 10,000 years ago, and the glacial outburst floods that covered the Willamette Valley beneath hundreds of feet of water.

The Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde were also invited to the dedication ceremony for the new trail segment. They joined the festivities with a drum performance.

COURTESY OF THE CITY OF TUALATIN - The Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde put on a drumming performance at the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Tualatin River Greenway Trail.

Paul Hennon, Tualatin's community services director, told the council he was pleased by the turnout.

“It was good weather,” he remarked. “There were a lot of people.”

The city and other community partners held a number of other activities throughout Saturday to celebrate the trail.

The Times sponsored a Trail Trekker 5K along the trail in the morning. Before the run kicked off, Tualatin Mayor Lou Ogden quipped that participants might have to forgo setting a personal best in order to stop and enjoy the interpretive elements and other trail features along the way.

“There's just so much cool stuff that's been built into this trail,” he said.

Trees were also planted at each end of the new segment Saturday.

The trail celebrations are ongoing, and a full list of activities this month is available on the city's website.

COURTESY OF THE CITY OF TUALATIN - Commemorative geocoins will be given out to those who complete a geocaching challenge along the Tualatin River Greenway Trail.The library is holding a scavenger hunt for families through April 30; anyone interested in participating can pick up a booklet from the library, located at 18878 S.W. Martinazzi Ave. The library will also host a drop-in geocaching event beginning at 9 a.m. this Saturday.

“There is no need to sign up,” Heidi Marx, a city event specialist, told The Times in an email. “Just show up and you will be given a form that has the coordinates for all ten caches. The caches are spread out along the entire trail, not just the new section. Once you have found all ten caches, you can turn in your completed form for a limited edition geocoin.”

The trail project was funded mostly by donations and grants, including through the Oregon Department of Transportation's ConnectOregon V program. Matt Garrett, ODOT's director, was among the dignitaries present at Saturday's ribbon-cutting.SUBMITTED PHOTO - The Young Professionals Organization from the local Allstate Claims Department - Megan Martin, Chris Thompson, Nasaria Cardoza, Bryon Bromley, Zach Goebel, Chelsey Driessen, Joel Jeffries and Kristie Serrano  - volunteered at the Arbor Day Tree Plant and Grand Opening Ceremony of the Tualatin River Greenway Trail on Saturday.

The city of Tualatin and its consultant Cardno also received an award for excellence in sustainability from the American Planning Association’s Sustainable Communities, Urban Design, and International Divisions this month for the trail segment.

The trail will eventually connect directly across the old RV park property, Ogden noted Saturday. An elevated boardwalk currently dead-ends at the property line.

A representative for the property's ownership group told The Times earlier this year they plan to construct the missing link in the trail when they redevelop the site and dedicate it to the city of Tualatin.

All told, the Greenway Trail runs for more than 4 miles through parts of Tualatin, Durham and Tigard. The trail is open between dawn and dusk and is suitable for walkers, runners and cyclists.

COURTESY OF THE CITY OF TUALATIN - Dozens of people participated in a Trail Trekker 5K sponsored by The Times on Saturday morning along the Tualatin River Greenway Trail.

By Mark Miller
email: mmiller@commnewspapers.com
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