Designing for the Future

Garden Expansion Project

The second phase of design work was complete with the submission of a ‘preferred alternative’ to the Citizen Advisory Committee in late September 2016. Land Morphology and Olson-Kundig Architects have submitted the design and it has received land use and permit approval.

Nearly eight acres in the undeveloped Upper Garden will offer new botanical and programmatic experiences to visitors and make a connection to the historic Garden and Manor House along Johnson Creek. The design intends that Leach become the signature public cultural attraction in East Portland. We expect to go to construction by June 2019.

The full report “A Magical Transformation: Leach Botanical Garden Development Plan” (PDF embedded below) includes details about the design process and descriptions of the landscape framework, architecture, and phasing approach.

Upper Garden Construction FAQs

ARE YOU OPEN DURING CONSTRUCTION?
Leach Garden will be open during construction, though areas where work is taking place will not be accessible. The Garden offices, Manor House, and Gift Shop may be inaccessible during some parts of the construction. We will note such changes on the website.
WHERE CAN I PARK?
Parking that is currently available includes: The Creekside parking lot, across the Johnson Creek bridge from the Garden entrance, plus two handicapped spaces at the Manor House entrance. Street parking on SE 122nd Dr. is legal unless posted otherwise. We will update any changes.
CAN I STILL WALK AROUND THE GARDEN?
During the construction various areas of the Garden will be closed to the public. We will post notices on site and online as the project unfolds to provide updates on access. Expect closure limits to change as construction progresses.
WHAT IS GOING TO BE BUILT?
Elements of this project phase include the Aerial Tree Walk, Fireside Arbor and Terrace, Pollinator and Habitat Garden, Gathering Green, new accessible pathways, parking areas, and restrooms. A main path and staircase from the new entry will take people on a direct route from the Upper Garden to the Manor House. Claybourne Street will become the main entry to the Garden. The main part of the Garden will be fenced and gated. A new 24/7 pathway will provide a street-safe route from the intersection of SE 122nd Avenue and Claybourne down to the sidewalk just outside the Manor House entry gates.
ARE TREES AFFECTED BY THE CONSTRUCTION?
Trees are affected by the construction. The vast majority of trees in the construction zone will be protected under the City of Portland standards. The Aerial Tree Walk is designed to have the least possible impact on trees. In the Upper Garden areas project zone, some trees will be removed, but many new trees will also be planted as part of the project.
ARE HONEYBEE HIKES STILL ON WEDNESDAY MORNINGS?

Check our website each week to insure that Honeybee Hikes are taking place.  Currently, Honeybee participants should gather on the East Terrace on the far side of the Manor House.

WILL THE SUMMER LECTURE SERIES AND OTHER EVENTS AT THE GARDEN STILL OCCUR?
Yes. Please refer to our main event calendar for all current activity listings and their details.
CAN I VISIT THE MANOR HOUSE AND THE GIFT SHOP?

The Manor House and Gift Shop will follow regular hours. If construction causes a change of accessibility of any facilities, we will update this FAQ.

CAN I STILL RENT SPACE IN THE GARDEN?
Rentals in the Garden will continue to take place, with some date and time restrictions. More information on rental availability can be obtained by calling our EVENT RENTAL line at 971-832-9081.
WILL THE PLANT SALE STILL HAPPEN IN APRIL 2020?

The Plant Sale held at Floyd Light Middle School will be held as usual.  It is currently scheduled for Saturday, April 18, 2020.

HOW LONG WILL THE PROJECT TAKE?
The  Upper Garden project is expected to be completed by fall/winter 2020.  A firm date for a dedication ceremony and opening will be selected when we are closer to completion.

Questions about the project? Contact Ross Swanson: 503-823-3577
Questions about Leach? Contact the garden's administrative office: 503-823-1671 

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