Sunday, October 07, 2012

Paula Jean Powerline Park, Aloha

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Today's thrilling adventure takes us out to distant suburbia, to Aloha's Paula Jean Powerline Park. As the name suggests, it's a chunk of right-of-way under some Bonneville Power Administration transmission lines; the land wasn't buildable, so it became a long, skinny park instead. Years ago, before I started this humble blog, I used to live a few blocks away from this place. I drove past it all the time, but only walked through it once or twice. So I figured it might be interesting to revisit a place I ignored previously, take a few photos, and try to apply this humble blog's tired tried and true formula to it.

As for why I ignored the place, I absolutely don't buy into any of the various conspiracy theories about powerlines, but they do make a rather disconcerting humming noise if you're walking under them. That wasn't really my cup of tea, I have to say. I'm sure there are interesting things to take photos of, if you have time and are willing to stop and ignore the buzzing -- wildflowers, the few remnant orchard trees, moody shots of the powerlines, possibly -- but I wasn't really into photography back when I lived out there, so I didn't pick up on any of that at the time.

Paula Jean Powerline Park, Aloha

All of that said, the powerline right of way does create a long stretch of unbroken greenspace, so the city of Hillsboro's parks plan envisions a regional trail through here at some point. It may be some time before this happens, as the surrounding area hasn't even been officially annexed to Hillsboro yet; parks in the area previously belonged to the Tualatin Hills Parks & Recreation District but were handed over to Hillsboro in 2002 in anticipation of the city annexing the area in the near future. Ten years later that still hasn't happened, and I'm not sure why not. So right now this and several other nearby parks no longer appear on the THPRD website (understandably), but also aren't listed with the other city parks on the Hillsboro Parks website. So they're in a sort of internet limbo until the city limit issue gets sorted out.

On a related note, another proposed powerline trail a bit further east has run into some local opposition. The Bonneville Power Administration (an agency of the federal government) owns the land under the powerlines in question, but the association's been acting as if it owned the land for many years and has even posted "Private Property" signs on the land, warning all outsiders to keep away, or else. They probably don't have a leg to stand on, legally, considering that it's not their land. But as far as I know that's never stopped a homeowners' association before. Not even once, in the entire history of forever. So we'll see how that turns out, I guess.

Paula Jean Powerline Park, Aloha Paula Jean Powerline Park, Aloha Paula Jean Powerline Park, Aloha Paula Jean Powerline Park, Aloha

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