Friends of April Hill Park

Service Berry flower

Friends of April Hill Park, Jill Gaddis

As the founder of Friends of April Hill Park, I feel it is important to recognize and address how fortunate our community is to have a neighborhood park. The park was created in the 1950’s as parents saw the need for an open space for their children. They wanted to give their children a place to play, with no fear of being harmed or feeling unwelcome. I want to ensure that this remains true for ALL visitors to April Hill Park. 

Recently the Friends of April Hill Park, with a Metro grant, was able to have a boardwalk and new trails built, with the idea that everyone who visits is safe.  When we built the boardwalk, our safety concerns focused on keeping pedestrians from slipping and assuring plants and wildlife were safe from being trampled. And I have to admit, my privilege didn't allow me to think of other safety concerns, ones that dealt with keeping people of color feeling safe in our park. I was shocked by the recent video of Cristian Cooper, a man simply out enjoying nature, and had the police called on him because he was black. He was targeted because he was a black man and a white woman decided he was in the wrong place. 

Trails, playing field and playground are for everyone.  We must make sure our park is a place where all of our neighbors can feel welcome.  It is a place for everyone to learn about nature, enjoy being outdoors and a place to meet new and old friends.

Friends of April Hill Park is committed to supporting those who are demanding justice and change. We are educating ourselves on the intersection where environmentalism and social justice collide. We have work to do. It can be uncomfortable, but it is needed. The only way we will see change is to change our ways of thinking. Please take the time to read these important articles on this topic. Let's get started and involved.
Leigh Thomas, Vogue Why every Environmentalist should be Anti-Racist
The Joys and Challenges of Exploring Nature While Black
Black Birders Week’ Promotes Diversity and Takes on Racism in the Outdoors

We want to hear from you on how we can make the park safe for everyone, especially for our Black Community;


Work Party flyer

5th Annual OSU Alumni Work Party

Saturday, May 19
9am - 12pm

This is a community project and all are welcomed. Children must bring an adult.

Friends of April Hill Park
Portland Parks & Recreation
OSU Alumni Association


Work Party Flyer

Join Southwest Trails
Friends of April Hill Park
Work Party

November 2, 2017
9am - 12pm

Building a new trail for
April Hill Park

Tools and refreshments provided.
Dress for weather


Work Party flyer

April Hill Park Work Party
Building a new trail

Thursday, September 7, 2017
9:00am - 12:00pm

Join SW Trails and Friends of April Hill Park for a trail building work party in April Hill Park. Tools and refreshments provided. Dress for weather, it should be sunny.


Work Party flyer

Annual OSU Alumni Work Party

This is a community project and all are welcome (children must bring an adult)

Saturday, May 20
9am - 12pm


Ribbon Cutting with Jill and Mike

Invitation to Celebrate our Gateway to Nature

Sunday, April 9th, 2017
2 pm - 4 pm
April Hill Park - SW 58th Ave. and Miles Street

Invitation to April Hill Park Celebration

This Event is Free and All are welcome. We're also looking for volunteers to help with this event! Please call Southwest Neighborhoods, Inc., (503) 823-4592.

  • Robert Gray Middle School Marching Band
  • Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde drummers
  • Tours of natural area
  • Special guest: Metro Councilor Bob Stacey and more...
  • Booths and activities
  • Refreshments

Friends of April Hill Park partners: Metro, Portland Parks & Recreation, City of Portland Environmental Services, Maplewood Neighborhood Association, Southwest Neighborhoods, Inc. and Southwest Watershed Resource Center.

Contact: Southwest Neighborhoods, Inc., (503) 823-4592



April Hill Park Work Party Feb 11 2017


April Hill Park Planting Native Plants Work Party

Saturday, February 11, 2017
9:00am to 12:00 pm

Meet by the Giant Sequoia. All ages welcome. Children must bring an adult. Get to know your neighbors and April Hill Park. Dress for the weather. Tools and refreshments provided. Sponsored by Friends of April Hill Park,, Maplewood Neighborhood Association,, and Portland Parks and Recreation.

"The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago, the second best time is now." ~ A proverb


Construction Update - October 2016

These two videos explain how the boardwalk piers were installed earlier this month.



Movie in April Hill Park

Sunday, August 14
April Hill Park

Free. Music by Rogue Bluegrass Band. Fun begins at 6:00pm. Movie: Star Wars-The Force Awakens begins at 8:30pm. Food for purchase, raffle, fire and police vehicles, climbing wall, kids activities, local booths and more. 

Sponsored by Maplewood Neighborhood Association and Friends of April Hill Park.

In order to make this an event that no one will forget, there is still a need for volunteers to help with activities before and during the movie and with the planning leading up to the event. Contact to get involved in this wonderful event.


Construction Update - August 2016

There are new holes that were dug for the bridge footings next to Woods Creek. Contractor is pumping the water out to pace the footing forms in the holes.

Images; (1) Forms for the 11 foot wide bridge footing, (2) New holes for the bridge footings; (3) Tools needed for muddy work—- Boots; (4) Forms for footings.

Forms for the 11 foot wide bridge footings

New holes for the bridge footings

Tools needed for muddy work—- Boots


Forms for footings


Construction Update - July 2016

Construction July to October 2016 sign posted on a fence

Construction has started on the April Hill Park, Wetland Protection Project.  The trail work has started.  Stay tuned for updates. Check out our FaceBook page and on Instagram Friends of April Hill Park.


New dirt trail

construction worker working on new dirt trail

Construction back hoe in front of the April Hill Park sign


Social trails become compacted, act as channels draining the wetland

A visit to April Hill Park after a rain event in February 2015 told a clear and obvious story that the social trails are seriously impacting the natural area. One of the impacts is these compacted trails act as channels draining the wetland. The salamander, newts, and frogs need the wetland to develop from immatures into adults. If the wetland dries up too fast, they die. This video shows how one of the social trails is draining the wetlands.


The new April Hill Park Protection Project with boardwalk, bridges and trails are designed to prevent this, providing a safe way for visitors to experience the park's natural areas with minimum impact. This project is funded by the Metro Natural Areas Bond Measure’s Nature in the Neighborhood Capital Grants Program, Portland Parks & Recreation, and generous donations by neighbors.


New Seasons Green Team Work Party
Thursday, July 14, 2016
1:30 - 3:30 pm

All neighbors are welcomed to join in. Meet at the playground. See you there and Thank you New Seasons.



April Hill Park
Wetland Protection Project Kickoff Celebration

Friday, June 10
11am - 1pm

Honored Guests: City of Portland Parks Commissioner Amanda Fritz, Metro Councilor Bob Stacey, Tribal Historic Preservation Officer for Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde David Harrelson.

The April Hill Park boardwalk, bridges & observation platform are becoming a reality through the dedicated efforts of the project team: Friends of April Hill Park, Portland Parks & Recreation, Josh Owen, Maplewood Neighborhood Association, and Southwest Neighborhoods - SW Watershed Resource Center.

Funding for project construction from Portland Parks & Recreation, the Metro Natural Areas Bond Measure's Nature in Neighborhoods Capitol Grant Program, and generous donations from community residents.


April Hill Park Work Party Saturday May 21 9am-1pm

April Hill Park
Annual OSU Alumni Work Party
Saturday, May 21
9am - 12pm

This is a community project and all are welcomed.
(Children must bring an adult)

The Friends of April Hill Park, Portland Parks & Recreation, and OSU Alumni invite you to join them in april Hill Park this Saturday, May 21, from 9am - 12pm.

Friends of April Hill Park
Bird Walk
Saturday, April 16, 8-10am

View the flyer

Meet at the April Hill Park kiosk. Led by Sarah Swanson & Max Smith, authors: Must See Birds of the Pacific Northwest. Enjoy the songs and netting behavior of the birds who make their home at the April Hill Park wetland and surrounding area. Find out more about ways to help enhance habitat for birds, both in the park and in your neighborhood.

Families welcome.

Sponsored by Friends of April Hill Park, Maplewood Neighborhood Association and Portland Parks & Recreation.