happyly approved

Westmoreland Park Natural Play Area

7530 SE 22nd Ave, Portland, OR 97202

Everyday 5am-12am

$

outdoor-adventures, water-activities, exercise-oriented-outings

Portland's Westmoreland Park is not your Average Natural Playgrand!

Westmoreland Park Natural Play area was a pilot project in 2013 with a goal to “create settings in developed parks that encourage creative play and interaction with natural features”, and Parks and Rec delivered a kid-friendly haven! This place is not your typical playground. You will not find brightly colored plastic slides, swings or seesaws. Instead, you will find natural logs, sand, small water reservoirs and boulders with climbing ropes. In the summer months, there is also a water pump dial that kids can turn and pump themselves. The waterfalls onto a concrete streambed, creating a tiny temporary stream that kids can play in and observe.

Sometimes it feels disconcerting to let your kid roam around the forest when you take her out on the trails. You never know when a felled tree is unsteady or if they are about to catapult themselves over a hidden ravine. This playground allows parents to relax knowing that their kids are interacting with natural features in a safe and intentional environment. 

There are two organically separated sections for older and younger kids. The older kids can enjoy climbing up boulders and logs using ropes tethered to the top of the features. They can also practice their balance on a large pile of logs intentionally placed around the playground. The smaller kid area features a lot of sand, a concrete stream bed that turns into a stream with the turn of a dial and many small rocks and stumps to sit and climb on. There are often sand toys left behind from other families such as bulldozers, shovels and buckets so if you forget your own sand toys you may be in luck. 

There is street parking right next to the park and a giant parking lot about a half-mile past the park. Crystal Springs Creek runs parallel to the park with a cute wooden bridge that crosses the creek on your way to the park, so make sure to stop and say hi to the resident ducks and geese.

There are basic restrooms at the park with no changing tables. Bring a picnic lunch because there are many picnic tables nestled under large pines on the west side of the creek and playground. Pets are not allowed in the immediate play area but are welcome along the paths and other green spaces surrounding the park. Bring sunscreen and hats in the sunny weather as the actual park features are not shaded by the large nearby pines. The park is open year-round but is best enjoyed during the summer months when the water features are operating and the sun is out!

Features

Parking Restrooms Good for All Ages Admission Free
Thoughtfully captured by:
Taylor Cervenka
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