The Willamette River Greenway Program, established by the 1967 Oregon legislature, is a cooperative state and local government effort to maintain and enhance the scenic, recreational, historic, natural and agricultural qualities of the Willamette River and its adjacent lands. A number of trails exist along the greenway, but significant gaps still exist.
Oregon State Treasurer Robert Straub first proposed public ownership of lands along the Willamette in 1966, during his run for Governor of Oregon. U.S. Senator Maurine Neuberger sought federal funds to support the program. Straub was defeated in that race by Tom McCall, who supported the proposal.
In 1975, the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development included the Willamette River Greenway as one of nineteen standards for statewide planning, requiring that public access, native vegetation, and scenic views be considered when planning new developments.
- Land use in Oregon
- Tom McCall Waterfront Park: portion of the greenway in downtown Portland
- Vera Katz Eastbank Esplanade: more greenway near downtown Portland
- 40 Mile Loop: Willamette Greenway is one portion of extensive pathways throughout Portland
- Oregon Beach Bill: public access to ocean beaches was presumed early in Oregon's history, but asserted by law in 1966
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