The Garden Guide

Tanner Springs Park Portland

Tanner Springs Park is sunk 1.5m below street level, giving it a degree of quiet and seclusion. Yet it is 12m above the old Tanner Springs which commemorated both in the parks name and its design theme: water. This area of Portland had been a wetland when the city was built. The streams which fed the wetland were placed in pipes and the wetland was, in the vocabulary of the nineteenth century, 'reclaimed' to create firm land for a tannery. The water in the park is runoff from the surrounding area. It is cleaned by the wetland habitat and discharged into Tanner Creek. Decks cross the water and the Art Wall was built from disused 368  rails from a local railway. The local community were involved in the design process and have now taken responsibility for maintaining the park. The designer, Herbert Dreiseitl had experience in community art projects and his books on Waterscapes have inspired a generation of landscape architecture projects which focus more on art, water and ecology than the flowers, lawns and speciment trees which were once the park designer's staple. This small park in Oregon is likely to hve inspired the much larger Qunli Stormwater Wetland Park in China.

Tanner Springs Wetland Park (image courtesy Graham Ballantyne)

Tanner Springs Wetland (image courtesy sfgamchick)

Tanner Springs Art Wall (image courtesy Graham Ballantyne)

Tanner Springs Park, Portland, Oregon, USA

Visit the Tanner Springs Park Portland website

Nearby gardens