New Cathedral Park dock grand opening celebration June 29

Cathedral Park swimming and fishing dock during construction
Cathedral Park swimming and fishing dock is under construction.
It will be completed by June 29.

Human Access Project (HAP), a Portland nonprofit group that advocates for recreational access to the Willamette, is planning a grand opening party for the new Cathedral Park Dock and renovated beach on June 29th from 2-8pm-ish. Cathedral Park Neighborhood Association is co-sponsoring the event. This party is an invitation to North Portland to celebrate the new dock and beach. Details are below.

Cathedral Park is the main access to the Willamette River for North Portlanders. HAP anticipates the park, in time, will turn into a river recreation playground—very possibly this summer. The grand opening party represents a milestone moment of change for St. John’s, North Portland and the city as a whole.

Human Access Project background

The group has been working on improving the recreational value of Cathedral Park Beach since 2021. In 2021, HAP recruited 100 volunteers to remove 25 tons of concrete and rubble from the beach north of the dock.

BEFORE—Cathedral Park beach north of the dock
Cathedral Park beach north of the dock—After
AFTER—Cathedral Park beach north of the dock

In 2022, HAP received a federal American Rescue Plan Act grant of $300,000 and successfully leveraged it to negotiate with Portland Parks to replace the Cathedral Park Dock. The new state of the art dock is now in the process of being installed. The total cost of the dock is $900,000. It will have swim ladders and will be elevated by pontoons to improve water circulation inside the shallow area.

In 2023 HAP recruited 150 volunteers and worked with partner organizations to remove 125 tons of concrete and rubble from the South side of the dock. Divers were brought in to look for trash underwater near the dock. The result of removing the concrete on the south side of the dock is that there is a new South Beach at the park where people can hang out and walk their dogs.

Before Cleanup—South beach
BEFORE—Cathedral Park beach south of the dock
After Cleanup—South beach
AFTER—Cathedral Park beach south of the dock

HAP is also actively working on getting permits to remove derelict pilings from the beach which they hope to do in September, 2024. The nonprofit foresees continuing involvement in upgrading and stewarding the river experience at Cathedral Park.

At the grand opening event, there will be a ribbon cutting led by the Park’s Department Director Adena Long.

Cathedral Park Dock Grand Opening Party Details

  • Date: Saturday, June 29, 2-8pm-ish. It could go later.
  • Music by Snack and Red Leathers (Funk / Soul) & other live bands
  • Community Booths will be invited
  • Free Swimming lessons from Black Swimming Initiative
  • Free kayak rentals from Mosquito Fleet
  • Food truck
  • Art by Ivan McLean of Portland Winter Light Festival

HAP and Cathedral Park NA would also greatly appreciate any help in getting the word out through email and social media. See the poster below:

New Cathedral Park dock grand opening poster 2024