In Portland, Oregon’s Washington Park, visitors can enjoy a zoo, museums, and the world-famous International Rose Test Garden. Formerly undeveloped wilderness acquired by the municipality for the first time in 1871, it lies to the west of the city proper. The park’s attractions alone warrant a full day’s visit, and a second day can be spent wandering the unique gardens.
Washington Park is larger than 458 acres, with an elevation change of nearly 800 feet between the intersection of 24th and West Burnside Street to that of SW Fairview Boulevard. The area referred to as “Washington Park” on signs and maps includes not just the 241.45 acres of city park land formally designated as “Washington Park” by the City of Portland, but also the adjacent 64-acre Oregon Zoo and the 153-acre Hoyt Arboretum.
New rose types are grown in the world-famous International Rose Test Garden. Roses bloom late into the fall in the city’s temperate climate, but tourists should plan their trip around the annual Rose Festival, held each May and June. Another place to spend the day in peace is the Portland Japanese Garden, located in Washington Park. Located on the site of a former zoo, it is one of the largest in the world outside of Japan.
The modern zoo, the Portland Children’s Museum, and the Hoyt Arboretum are among popular destinations inside the park. There are crocodiles from Africa, beavers from the United States, and elephants from Asia at the Oregon Zoo at Washington Park. There are 12 miles of pathways that go through the woodland that makes up the Hoyt Arboretum, which spans 190 acres.
The Portland City Council approved a master plan for Washington Park’s 20-year expansion in March 2018. The plan planned for enhancing the park’s facilities, such as the arboretum, and facilitating easier movement around the area.
Due to their age and a federal need to cover all reservoirs, the City of Portland is in the process of replacing the two outdoor reservoirs with subterranean reservoirs covered by reflecting pools. By the close of 2023, we should have reached our goal of project completion. Historical preservationists and locals worried about the effects of the construction voiced their disapproval of the $67 million project.