In a press release issued today, the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde announced they’ve purchased the former Blue Heron paper mill site and future home of the Willamette Falls riverwalk.
Since sharing their plans to purchase the site from Falls Legacy LLC in June, Grand Ronde tribal leaders and Willamette Falls Legacy Project staff have worked together to develop a better understanding of what the collaborative partnership could like moving forward. Metro, on behalf of the Willamette Falls Legacy Project, holds an easement to build the riverwalk along the Blue Heron paper mill site's waterfront.
The riverwalk, set to break ground next year, is the critical first component of the larger Willamette Falls Legacy Project, a collaboration between Metro, Oregon City, Clackamas County and the State of Oregon--and now the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde. After two years of community engagement and stakeholder input, a riverwalk conceptual design was unveiled in June 2017. Last year, project staff submitted initial riverwalk permit applications to the Army Corps of Engineers, Department of State Lands and National Marine Fisheries Services.
Construction on the first phase is anticipated to begin in 2020.
The Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde has always supported the riverwalk project. They have been a valuable partner on its development and will be an active part of planning moving forward. The Legacy Project remains committed to working closely with each of the sovereign tribal governments that have ties to Willamette Falls and who have actively shaped the riverwalk vision to date -- The Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, The Confederated Tribes of the Siletz Indians, The Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, The Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs and The Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakima Nation.