Page:Olmsted report on Portland, Oregon parks, 1903.djvu/36

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48
REPORT OF THE PARK BOARD

tunity for golf links so that considerable numbers of people could play at once, it seems another good reason for securing lt.

ROSS ISLAND PARK.

Another landscape feature of considerable importance to the city, the value of which in this respect is realized by but few people, is Ross Island and adjoining islands. If these islands can be obtained at a reasonable price by the city, their acquisition will unquestionably prove in the long run a very profitable investment. Although these islands are almost wholly covered by the annual floods, they are not injured by this to any appreciable extent, and during the summer, when people most resort to pleasure grounds of this character, the ground will be in fit condition to use for field sports and other recreation, and the groves of trees on this island will be a source of pleasure to all who live, or have to pass, within sight of it on both sides of the river. No doubt, in time, the island could be made accessible from both sides of the river by one or more bridges, but meanwhile it would cost but little to maintain a ferry. There is a margin around the island between the land which is sufficiently elevated to be permanently covered with good grass and the low water shore line of summer that is more or less bare or weedy. This objectionable condition can be remedied (when it becomes feasible to go to the expense) by deepening the water along the shore and using the material to raise the banks. Long stretches can be left steep and be covered with willow bushes and other plants which will endure flooding; in some places they may be covered with rip-rap, and in other places it may be desirable to use bulkheads or walls. The people, however, will derive a vast deal of enjoyment from the use of this island as a summer pleasure ground for a good many years without any such improvements.

SWAN ISLAND PARK.

Swan Island is less desirable as a pleasure ground than Ross Island, because further from the center of population and more often and more completely flooded, but it is equally valuable as a beauty spot in the landscape from considerable portions of the city. If this island can be purchased at a moderate expense, it should be secured. It would undoubtedly prove a very valuable asset to the city hereafter. It is to be hoped that it may become profitable eventually to run a line of pleasure steamers at a very low rate of fare up and down the river, and these steamers would make it very easy for a great many people to reach these islands in summer time even without ferries or bridges maintained by the city.