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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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).
Can I bring my dog? Can I ride my bike?
Dogs and bicycles are prohibited at all times in the Preserve.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Why are there ducks nesting by my swimming pool? What should I do?
Please call the Audubon Society for more advice, 503-292-0304.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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
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.”
Can we come in during Outdoors In Public Play to celebrate a birthday?
We welcome you to come in and celebrate birthdays at Outdoors In however, as a courtesy to our other public play patrons, there are strict parameters. We do not allow cake/cupcakes, gifts, decorations, balloons, reserving/having additional tables/chairs, etc.
What does the $50 cleaning fee entail?
You will be responsible for packing up/taking your own personal items and will need to be ready to exit the facility as soon as your rental is over. Everything left behind will be disposed of.
Does Outdoors In accept toy donations?
If you have toys in very good condition, please contact Outdoors In directly to make arrangements for us to inspect toys and also determine if we need them. Please keep in mind, we have many toys and not all toys may be accepted. Please feel free to research other donation centers in the community, as there is always a need for gently used toys.
Can we be let in earlier to Outdoors In or stay longer than our rental?
Sorry, no. You signed a contract for the hours you booked your rental and we must adhere to this contract.
Can I have more than 70 people at my Outdoors In rental?
The maximum number of people we allow at rentals is 70 (fire code). Please plan ahead for your guest list so you do not go over this number.
Can Outdoors In be rented for a private party?
Yes, please check our rental page for information.
Is Wi-Fi available at Outdoors In?
Yes, the Hillsboro Civic Center has Wi-Fi.
Are adults allowed on the play structure or climbing wall at Outdoors In?
Yes of course, we encourage adults to get involved with playing on the equipment with their children.
Is Outdoors In wheelchair accessible?
Is there an area to park my stroller?
Sure. You are welcome to bring your stroller inside OI and park it out of the way or in the lobby right outside Outdoors In. We are not responsible for lost or stolen items.
What forms of payment are accepted at Outdoors In?
Visa, MasterCard, Discover, cash and checks.
How many kids are allowed in per adult at Outdoors In?
The number of children allowed in per adult is unlimited.
Can my friends/family get the resident rate during Outdoors In Public Play if we are all together?
We ask you to use the address of where each child resides.
How do I know if I'm a Hillsboro resident?
If the owner of the house you reside in pays City of Hillsboro PROPERTY TAXES, then you are considered a Hillsboro Resident.
My older child is 12-17 years old is not planning on playing when they come to Outdoors In with my younger child(ren) and me, do I still have to pay for them?
Yes, anyone under the age of 18 who is not directly caring for their own child is required to pay the single visit entrance fee.
If we come in to Outdoors In to play during the morning Public Play, are we able to come back for the afternoon Public Play at no cost?
Each Public Play is considered a single visit and there is a charge for each one.
Does an Outdoors In punch card cover one child, or a family?
The punch card can cover as many people under 17 as you would like and is not just for one person. Each person under 17 must pay to enter OI. We have a punch card holder available for your convenience if you would like us to store it for you in a locked drawer.
Does Outdoors In have passes available for purchase?
Yes, we have a five visit punch card and a 10 visit punch card available for purchase. These punch cards are at a cost savings and we have a punch card holder available for your convenience if you would like us to store it for you in a locked drawer.
Are shoes required to play at Outdoors In?
Shoes are not required, but socks must remain on. Bare feet are not allowed.
Are restrooms, with a changing table available at Outdoors In?
Restrooms and changing tables are not located inside Outdoors In, but are nearby on the second floor of the building. Access is via an elevator or stairs.
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, you are required to bring your child with you anytime you leave Outdoors In.
Are food and drinks allowed at Outdoors In?
We have a classroom area which is set up with tables, chairs, and high chairs in which outside food and drinks are allowed. Adults are welcome to carry around water and/or coffee in the playground area while attending to their children.
Alcohol is prohibited.
What is Outdoors In?
The dry version of an outdoor playground. It features 3,800 sq ft of space with a full size play structure, a bouldering wall, a whole body electronic gaming console, and a classroom space filled with toys for children of all ages.
Are pinatas allowed at my Outdoors In rental?
Only pull string pinatas are allowed at rentals. No hitting devices are to be used. Candy may only be in the classroom space.