Parcel 3 Berm Construction Comes to a Close
Almost two years to the date since construction began, the Port of Vancouver USA’s Parcel 3 Berm project has entered its final phase. The 12-foot tall, approximately 3,500-foot long earthen berm was built by the port to support the efforts of Columbia River Alliance for Nurturing the Environment (CRANE) and Columbia Land Trust to preserve a neighboring property, known as Crane’s Landing.
Located south of the Vancouver Lake Flushing Channel, the berm acts a visual and sound buffer, providing a transition from the port’s adjacent industrial zoned property, Columbia Gateway. To the north of the Flushing Channel is Crane’s Landing, a 540-acre property donated by the port to Columbia Land Trust in 2016. Since then, Columbia Land Trust has managed the property as a vital feeding, foraging and resting site for sandhill cranes and other migratory species.
In order to minimize impacts to sensitive migratory wildlife, as well as take advantage of optimal weather conditions and planting windows, the port’s berm project was planned with a staggered timeline. Beginning in the summer of 2019, the first phase involved leveling and prepping the site for construction. Primarily composed of material from port stockpile locations and on-site grading, port crews built up the earthen, vegetative berm in 2020. Berm material was tested to ensure it was clean and suitable to support berm plantings prior to placement. This spring, over 26,000 native plants and trees were planted, increasing the quantity and diversity of native vegetation at the site.
“The Parcel 3 Berm is a unique project which demonstrates that environmental stewardship and economic development can co-exist,” said Patty Boyden, Director of Environmental Services for the Port of Vancouver. “Many thanks to our partners at Columbia River Alliance for Nurturing the Environment and Columbia Land Trust – by working together we found an innovative solution to help protect and nurture sandhill cranes and look forward to seeing their continued return to the area.”
Completion of the berm allows for the future development of 450 heavy-industrial acres at the Columbia Gateway property. Located next to the port’s rail-served Terminal 5 and the 43-foot-deep Columbia River shipping channel, Columbia Gateway offers many possibilities for growing local economic activity, including jobs and opportunities for current and prospective tenants.
Environmental stewardship isn’t just about big projects, but everyday efforts. Here at the Port of Vancouver USA, our organization strives to take a proactive, innovative and integrated approach to sustainability and natural habitat protection. Learn more about these efforts at https://www.portvanusa.com/environmental-services/.
To learn more about sandhill cranes and Columbia Land Trust, visit https://www.columbialandtrust.org/species-spotlight-sandhill-cranes/.