Frequently Asked Questions
Where are you located? How do I get there? How much does it cost to visit?
Jackson Bottom Wetlands Preserve is located at 2600 SW Hillsboro Hwy. in Hillsboro, Oregon. There is no admission charge; a donation of $2.00 is suggested. You can find directions on our website.
What can I see and do?
Jackson Bottom has four miles of walking trails. The large covered deck is a great place to relax and watch birds. Our exhibit hall features hands-on exhibits and, to our knowledge, the only authentic bald eagle nest recovered from the wild. The Nature Store carries an extensive selection of nature books and gift items. Watch our Events Calendar for listings of programs available to the community.
Can I bring my dog? Can I ride my bike?
Dogs and bicycles are prohibited at all times.
I want to bring my class out for a field trip.
Contact Sarah Pinnock at 503-681-6278. Descriptions of field programs can be found on our Programs page.
My child would like to attend your summer camp.
Registration for summer camps is through Hillsboro Parks & Recreation, 503-681-5397. Camps are listed in the summer activities guide and on-line at the Hillsboro Parks and Recreation website.
I want to help out, how do I volunteer?
Thank you for wanting to get involved! Please call Volunteer Coordinator, Jan Curry, at 503-681-6283. She’ll want to know more about you and what kind of a project you’re looking for. She will match your skills and interests with our needs.
How long has Jackson Bottom been in existence?
In the 1970s, dedicated individuals began the process of improving the wetlands to increase wildlife habitat. That modest beginning has spawned a lengthy chronicle of caring people working hard to restore the Preserve to an area of growing beauty and productivity. Jackson Bottom Wetlands Preserve was incorporated as a non-profit organization in 1998. The Education Center opened in September of 2003.
Who was Jackson Bottom named after?
Jackson Bottom is named after Hyer Jackson, who moved to Oregon in 1854. Click here to read more about Hyer and Jackson Bottom history.
What animals will I see in the Preserve?
To get an idea of the kinds of animals that call Jackson Bottom home, see the Flora and Fauna found at Jackson Bottom.
I found a baby bird / injured raccoon / lost turtle / etc. Can I bring it to you?
We do not have a wildlife care facility; please contact the Audubon Care Center at 503-292-0304.
Why are there ducks nesting by my swimming pool? What should I do?
Please call the Audubon Society for more advice, 503-292-0304.
Can I get to Jackson Bottom on TriMet or by bike?
We don’t recommend it. We are located over a mile from the nearest TriMet stop, and Highway 219 is not safe for pedestrian traffic. Only the most experienced and confident bike rider would likely be comfortable biking on 219, as well.
Can I collect animals or plants, such as for a school project?
Jackson Bottom is a habitat for many amazing plants and animals. As a wildlife preserve, our primary mission is to preserve that habitat and promote the well being of all of the organisms that call this place home. Because of this, we do not permit any collecting of animals or plants, no matter how tiny.
My class raised tadpoles (or butterflies, etc) and now they’re ready to be released. Can we release them at Jackson Bottom?
Every ecosystem is a delicate balance, and introducing new organisms can offset that balance easily. Many of the organisms used for classroom study (notably bullfrog tadpoles) are not native to our area, and in fact can cause serious damage when introduced. Organisms can also introduce diseases into a population. If you know where your animals were originally collected, release them back there. Otherwise, the best choice for the environment is to keep the adults as pets. For more suggestions, please call the Audubon Society at 503-292-0304.
Are there any dangerous or poisonous animals that I should be aware of?
The most dangerous animals we have here are probably the yellow jackets in late summer. We do not have any carnivores larger than coyotes.
Are there other hazards I should worry about?
We are located along the Tualatin River, so please be aware while hiking on the riparian trail. We have some poison oak (although it is not common) and there is a great deal of poison hemlock growing in the uplands – the poison hemlock is a large part of why we ask all visitors to not pick any plants while here, it is extremely toxic and the ingestion of even very small amounts can cause illness or even death.
What was that weird animal I saw that looked like a beaver but had a rat tail?
It was most likely a nutria, Myocastor coypu, an invasive aquatic mammal originally from South America.
Is the Bald Eagle nest real?
Yes! As far as we have been able to ascertain, it is the only authentic Bald Eagle nest on display in the US.
Is the eagle nest from Jackson Bottom?
No, it is from Fern Hill Wetlands. While the nest was unoccupied, branches and portions of the trunk began to fall from the tree. Knowing that the remaining trunk was destined to fall, permission was obtained from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to salvage the nest.
Are there Bald Eagles at Jackson Bottom?
Yes, we have a pair of Bald Eagles that nest at the Preserve. Their nest is located in a large Black Cottonwood tree at the northeast corner of the Preserve.
What rules apply to the bald eagle’s nest?
The federal Eagle Protection Act makes it “illegal to take, possess, sell, purchase, barter, offer for sale, transport, export, or import a Bald or Golden eagle, alive or dead, (including products made from them) or any part, nests, or eggs thereof without a valid permit to do so.” There are legal requirements concerning the scientific and exhibition purposes of this nest. Jackson Bottom Wetlands Preserve was issued a permit from the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service for “public wildlife conservation education and scientific research.”
How was the nest removed?
The nest was about 95-feet up in the tree, situated in the crotch of three large limbs. The nest is an enormous, complicated structure of thousands of large sticks, eight feet deep by six feet wide. It took tall and powerful equipment and highly skilled operators to bring the nest and its section of the tree safely to the ground. Fortunately, PGE was willing to send a crew and one of its tallest boom trucks to do the job.
The PGE linemen started by trimming back the tree with chainsaws, gradually paring it down to the section holding the nest. Then they rigged a network of straps and cables to hold together the 12-foot section of tree that holds the nest. Finally, one sawyer made the last cut and the boom operator gently lowered the 1500-pound tree and nest to the ground below.
Who owns the nest?
The Federal Government owns the nest, and it is on loan to Jackson Bottom Wetlands Preserve for “public wildlife conservation education and scientific research.”
Who has been involved in this project?
Clean Water Services, Portland General Electric, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Jackson Bottom Wetlands Preserve, Grant McOmie of KATU-TV, City of Forest Grove, and numerous contractors, engineers, and community partners.
Did you kill the animals in your specimen collection?
No. Our specimens come from a variety of sources. Many were donated by institutions that were clearing out old collections. Others have come from Goodwill; when Goodwill receives a donation of an animal specimen, they are generally not permitted to resell it and it is either re-donated or, if that’s not possible, it is destroyed. Still more specimens are from animals that have died on or near the Preserve either from natural or human-related causes (such as being hit by a car).
Can I bring in an animal specimen (or a recently deceased animal) to add to your collection?
Please call Sarah Pinnock, who manages our collection, at 503-681-6278 and she can determine if what you have is something that we can use.
I am a leader of a local scout troop, can we come out and work with your staff to earn our badge?
Potentially! We enjoy working with scouts and are usually able to accommodate these kinds of requests. However, our schedule is extremely tight in the spring and fall, so please call Sarah Pinnock at 503-681-6278 and she will determine if our availability meets your needs. Generally, we do charge a small fee for these programs. Again, please contact Sarah for more information.
I am an Eagle Scout who would like to do a project at the Wetlands.
Great! Please contact our Natural Resources Manager, Ed Becker, at 503-681-6424 to talk more about what you have in mind and what our needs are.