What do I do if an owner is not controlling an aggressive dog?
Owners who see unattended dogs or other serious incidents such as dog biting should call Washington County Animal Services at 503-846-7041. After hours call the non-emergency police dispatch at 503-629-0111. Emergencies should be reported to 911. Please refer to the park rules posted in the park.
Where does the park’s name come from?
The park is named in honor of Hillsboro Police K9 Dog Officer ‘Hondo’, who lost his life in the line of duty in 1997. There are tributes to Hondo at the park, including a bronze plaque mounted on a stone column at the entrance and a non-functioning painted hydrant.
Who operates Hondo Dog Park?
Hondo Dog Park is owned and operated by the City of Hillsboro. It is open to the public (providing park rules are followed) from dawn to dusk 7 days a week, except Mondays and Thursday when it is closed until Noon for routine maintenance. The park is officially adopted by the Hillsboro Dog Assocation, whose members volunteer to help with dog owner education and projects at the park. For more information on how you can get involved, visit www.hillsborodogs.org.
Why are the grass areas closed during the winter and rainy time periods?
We have not specified definite closure dates, as it will be truly weather dependent, but it is essential to close the grassy areas of the park in order to maintain an enjoyable and safe dog park. If the grass is damaged, it can create an unsafe and muddy environment for dogs and people, and it can can take months or longer to repair. Right now is an especially critical time for the young grass.
Why isn’t there a dog drinking water fountain in the winter area?
Water was not installed in the winter area because the water is turned off in the entire park in the winter due to cold temperatures. People are welcome to bring water for their dogs.
Why isn’t there a specific small dog area for the winter?
The design of the park and winter area was based on input from a citizen committee of dog owners as well as research of other dog parks. It was anticipated that the number of users would be lower during the colder and wetter times, and we also hope to be able to open the small/timid dog area some in winter. All owners need to be responsible for their dogs so everyone can enjoy the park year round.
Why shouldn’t we leave toys or water bowls to share with other dogs?
Unfortunately, dogs carry and spread health problems just like humans. While it is thoughtful to leave dog toys or a container for dogs to drink water out of, it could cause the spread of viruses such as kennel cough and parvo. If you bring such items to the park, please take them with you when you leave.
Will the grass areas ever be open during winter?
It is our hope that breaks in the wet weather will allow the grass areas to occasionally be open during the winter. Ultimately, it is a delicate balance in order to provide this service to the public while also keeping the grass intact and maintaining a quality park for all to enjoy.
Are there any dangerous or poisonous animals that I should be aware of?
The most dangerous animals we have here are probably the yellow jackets in late summer. We do not have any carnivores larger than coyotes.
Are there Bald Eagles at Jackson Bottom?
Yes, we have a pair of Bald Eagles that nest at the Preserve. Their nest is located in a large Black Cottonwood tree at the northeast corner of the Preserve
Are there other hazards I should worry about?
We are located along the Tualatin River, so please be aware while hiking on the riparian trail. We have some poison oak (although it is not common) and there is a great deal of poison hemlock growing in the uplands – the poison hemlock is a large part of why we ask all visitors to not pick any plants while here, it is extremely toxic and the ingestion of even very small amounts can cause illness or even death.
Can I bring in an animal specimen (or a recently deceased animal) to add to your collection?
Please call us at 503-681-6206 and we'll determine if what you have is something that we can use.
Can I bring my dog? Can I ride my bike?
Dogs and bicycles are prohibited at all times in the Preserve.
Can I collect animals or plants, such as for a school project?
Jackson Bottom is a habitat for many amazing plants and animals. As a wildlife preserve, our primary mission is to preserve that habitat and promote the well-being of all of the organisms that call this place home. Because of this, we do not permit any collecting of animals or plants, no matter how tiny.
Can I get to Jackson Bottom on TriMet or by bike?
We don’t recommend it. We are located over a mile from the nearest TriMet stop, and Highway 219 is not safe for pedestrian traffic. Only the most experienced and confident bike rider would likely be comfortable biking on 219, as well.
Did you kill the animals in your specimen collection?
No. Our specimens come from a variety of sources. Many were donated by institutions that were clearing out old collections. Others have come from Goodwill; when Goodwill receives a donation of an animal specimen, they are generally not permitted to resell it and it is either re-donated or, if that’s not possible, it is destroyed. Still more specimens are from animals that have died on or near the Preserve either from natural or human-related causes (such as being hit by a car).
How long has Jackson Bottom been in existence?
In the 1970s, dedicated individuals began the process of improving the wetlands to increase wildlife habitat. That modest beginning has spawned a lengthy chronicle of caring people working hard to restore the Preserve to an area of growing beauty and productivity. Jackson Bottom Wetlands Preserve was incorporated as a non-profit organization in 1998. The Education Center opened in September of 2003
How was the eagle's nest removed?
The nest was about 95-feet up in the tree, situated in the crotch of three large limbs. The nest is an enormous, complicated structure of thousands of large sticks, eight feet deep by six feet wide. It took tall and powerful equipment and highly skilled operators to bring the nest and its section of the tree safely to the ground. Fortunately, PGE was willing to send a crew and one of its tallest boom trucks to do the job.
The PGE linemen started by trimming back the tree with chainsaws, gradually paring it down to the section holding the nest. Then they rigged a network of straps and cables to hold together the 12-foot section of tree that holds the nest. Finally, one sawyer made the last cut and the boom operator gently lowered the 1500-pound tree and nest to the ground below.
I am a leader of a local scout troop, can we come out and work with your staff to earn our badge?
Potentially! We enjoy working with scouts and are usually able to accommodate these kinds of requests. However, our schedule is extremely tight in the spring and fall, so please call 503-681-6429 and we'll determine if our availability meets your needs. Generally, we do charge a small fee for these programs.
I am an Eagle Scout who would like to do a project at the Wetlands.
Great! Please contact our Outdoor Recreation Manager, Lori Prince, at 503-681-6424 to talk more about what you have in mind and what our needs are.
I found a baby bird / injured raccoon / lost turtle / etc. Can I bring it to you?
We do not have a wildlife care facility; please contact the Audubon Care Center at 503-292-0304.
I want to bring my class out for a field trip.
Contact our youth education supervisor at 503-681-6278. Descriptions of field programs can be found on our Programs page.
I want to help out, how do I volunteer?
Thank you for wanting to get involved! Please call Volunteer Coordinator, Sarah Delepine, at 503-615-3479. She’ll want to know more about you and what kind of a project you’re looking for. She will match your skills and interests with our needs.
Is the Bald Eagle nest real?
Yes! As far as we have been able to ascertain, it is the only authentic Bald Eagle nest on display in the US.
Is the eagle nest from Jackson Bottom?
No, it is from Fern Hill Wetlands. While the nest was unoccupied, branches and portions of the trunk began to fall from the tree. Knowing that the remaining trunk was destined to fall, permission was obtained from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to salvage the nest.
My class raised tadpoles (or butterflies, etc) and now they’re ready to be released. Can we release them at Jackson Bottom?
Every ecosystem is a delicate balance, and introducing new organisms can offset that balance easily. Many of the organisms used for classroom study (notably bullfrog tadpoles) are not native to our area, and in fact can cause serious damage when introduced. Organisms can also introduce diseases into a population. If you know where your animals were originally collected, release them back there. Otherwise, the best choice for the environment is to keep the adults as pets. For more suggestions, please call the Audubon Society at 503-292-0304.
What animals will I see in the Preserve?
To get an idea of the kinds of animals that call Jackson Bottom home, see the Flora and Fauna found at Jackson Bottom.
What can I see and do at Jackson Bottom?
Jackson Bottom has four miles of walking trails. The large covered deck is a great place to relax and watch birds. Our exhibit hall features hands-on exhibits and, to our knowledge, the only authentic bald eagle nest recovered from the wild. The Nature Store carries an extensive selection of nature books and gift items. Watch our Events Calendar for listings of programs available to the community.
What rules apply to the bald eagle’s nest?
The federal Eagle Protection Act makes it “illegal to take, possess, sell, purchase, barter, offer for sale, transport, export, or import a Bald or Golden eagle, alive or dead, (including products made from them) or any part, nests, or eggs thereof without a valid permit to do so.” There are legal requirements concerning the scientific and exhibition purposes of this nest. Jackson Bottom Wetlands Preserve was issued a permit from the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service for “public wildlife conservation education and scientific research.”
What was that weird animal I saw that looked like a beaver but had a rat tail?
It was most likely a nutria, Myocastor coypu, an invasive aquatic mammal originally from South America.
Where is Jackson Bottom Wetland Preserve located? How do I get there? How much does it cost to visit?
Jackson Bottom Wetlands Preserve is located at 2600 SW Hillsboro Hwy. in Hillsboro, Oregon. There is no admission charge; a donation of $2.00 is suggested. You can find directions under Visit Us.
Who owns the eagle nest?
The Federal Government owns the eagle nest, and it is on loan to Jackson Bottom Wetlands Preserve for “public wildlife conservation education and scientific research.”
Who was Jackson Bottom named after?
Jackson Bottom is named after Hyer Jackson, who moved to Oregon in 1854. Click here to read more about Hyer and Jackson Bottom history.
Why are there ducks nesting by my swimming pool? What should I do?
Please call the Audubon Society for more advice, 503-292-0304.
Outdoors In Frequently Asked Questions
Are food and drinks allowed at Outdoors In?
Yes, snacks and lunch are allowed in our classroom area. As a courtesy to other patrons, birthday treats, gifts, and decorations are not allowed during Public Play. Alcohol and glass are prohibited.
Are restrooms available? And a changing table?
Restrooms are not located inside Outdoors In, but are available on the second floor of the building. Stairs and an elevator are available.
The bathrooms require a key. Please request a key from the Facility Supervisor on duty.
A changing table is available inside Outdoors In.
Can I leave my child at Outdoors In while I run out for a moment?
No. We understand your child would prefer to stay and play but unless another adult is present with you, you are required to bring your child with you anytime you leave Outdoors In.
Does Outdoors In take toy donations?
If you have toys in very good condition, please contact Outdoors In directly to arrange for us to inspect toys and to determine if we are in need of them.
Please keep in mind, we have many toys and cannot accept all donations. Please feel free to research other donation centers in the community, as there is always a need for gently used toys.