Willamette Falls Project – Visioning for Blue Heron
April 6, 2021
The Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde purchased a 23-acre property at Willamette Falls that was formerly home to the Blue Heron Paper Company mill. The property sits on the east bank of the Willamette River in Oregon City and is located within the Tribe’s ancestral homelands land and holds significant historical and cultural importance for the Tribe.
The lands were once home to the Charcowah village of the Clowewalla (Willamette band of Tumwaters) and the Kosh-huk-shix Village of Clackamas people. They were ceded to the United States government under the Willamette Valley Treaty of 1855. Following the Willamette Valley Treaty, tribal members were forcibly removed from Willamette Falls and relocated to Grand Ronde.
GBD Architects and Walker Macy worked with the Tribe to create a Vision for the site focused on the central idea of HEALING. The vision is guided by the values of spirit, place, people and prosperity and will includes environmental restoration that will restore long-lost natural basalt landscape and water channels, native plantings and restored riparian habitat, thoughtful mixed-use development, new tribal areas, public gathering spots, a long-planned Riverwalk, access to the falls and the opportunity to share the story of the Tribe and its historical and cultural connection to Willamette Falls.