Tryon Creek is a 4.85-mile (7.81 km) tributary of the Willamette River
in the U.S. state of Oregon. Part of the drainage basin of the Columbia
River, its watershed covers about 6.5 square miles (16.8 km2) in
Multnomah and Clackamas counties. The stream flows southeast from the
Tualatin Mountains (West Hills) through the Multnomah Village
neighborhood of Portland and the Tryon Creek State Natural Area to the
Willamette in the city of Lake Oswego. Parks and open spaces cover
about 21 percent of the watershed, while single-family homes dominate
most of the remainder. The largest of the parks is the state natural
area, which straddles the border between the two cities and counties.
The bedrock under the watershed includes part of the last exotic
terrane, a chain of seamounts, acquired by the North American Plate as
it moved west during the Eocene. Named for mid-19th century settler,
Socrates Hotchkiss Tryon, Sr., the creek ran through forests of cedar
and fir. Efforts to establish a large park in the watershed began in
the 1950s and succeeded in 1975 when the state park was formally
established. As of 2005, about 37 percent of the watershed was wooded
and supported more than 60 species of birds as well as small mammals,
amphibians, and fish.
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