A World Class River Center for a World Class City
The Portland River Center will be a 29,000 square foot facility adjacent to OMSI’s proposed North Campus, on a site overlooking the Willamette River. The River Center will be a magnet for Portland residents who care about and seek to experience the river. Light watercraft activity in downtown Portland has been centered on the Eastbank Crescent for over a decade. Given its central location and public transit options, the River Center will be one of the most publicly accessible locations for all users to interact with the river.
The River Center will offer educational programming and recreational options to dramatically grow the base of river users. The River Center will work with local partners to expand educational programming that includes direct interactions with the river. In addition, the facility will include over 17,000 square feet of boat and equipment storage space with immediate proximity to the river to allow for safe and efficient transporting of kayaks, canoes and boats.
Unprecedented River Access
The River Center will create unimpeded access to the water and allow for the easy movement of canoes, kayaks, dragon boats and rowing shells back and forth from the river. In addition, the River Center partners will collaborate with the City to provide a dedicated light watercraft dock to meet the growing needs of the city’s light watercraft users.
The River Center will include 5,000 square feet of educational space for use by Willamette Riverkeeper and other river advocacy and educational organizations. This setting overlooking the river will make the Willamette come to life for children and adults learning about the river for the first time and encourage further exploration of this natural beauty in downtown Portland.
The River Center partners will work with the City of Portland and other local organizations to clean up and restore the riverbank adjacent to the proposed facility with native vegetation, improving the habitat for salmon. In addition, by improving access to the river, the River Center will broaden the community of river users who care about and want to take care of our river.
River Interpretative Center
The PRC will invite the public to learn more about the Willamette River, and its 187 mile watershed in Oregon, through an interpretive center curated by Willamette Riverkeeper. By dedicating its lobby to teaching the public about the river, all users of the PRC will develop a deeper understanding of the river that they see and enjoy every day.
Enhanced Greenway Experience
The River Center will transform a stark uninviting space into a lush environment for pedestrians and cyclists that allows for direct access to both the river and the burgeoning Central Eastside district. In addition, the PRC will complete the long awaited connection between the Eastbank Esplanade and OMSI's campus and the Springwater Corridor.
Access for All
The River Center will ensure that all members of the public are able to access the facility and the river. The PRC partners have a long history of providing opportunities for individuals of all abilities to participate in activities on the river, and the River Center will remove all remaining barriers to Portland residents to experience the Willamette.