From the “City of Firsts” in Oregon City to “Stumptown” and “the Couve” in the north, the greater Portland region includes Clackamas, Columbia, Multnomah, Washington, and Yamhill Counties, as well as Clark and Skamania Counties in the state of Washington. The Oregon portion of the area is the largest urban center in the state with a population of approximately 2,478,810. Vancouver, Washington, is considered a “bedroom community” to Portland with many commuters crossing over the Columbia River to work. Metro, a regional government and planning organization which includes Multnomah, Washington, and Clackamas counties, is the only directly elected regional government of its kind in the country.
As a city, Portland is often known as the “City of Roses,” with the International Test Garden in Washington Park along with the Portland Rose Festival in June. “Bridgetown” is another nickname, due to the twelve bridges that cross the Willamette River linking the east side to the west side of the city. Portland has strong neighborhoods and wonderful parks, especially Forest Park, which stretches for eight miles and overlooks the Willamette River. It is one of the country’s largest urban forest reserves. In Forest Park, you’ll find about 70 miles of recreational trails.
Higher education has a strong presence in the region. Portland is the home of Portland State University, Reed College, Lewis & Clark College, Concordia University, the University of Portland, Oregon Health & Science University, and the campuses of Portland Community College. Elsewhere in the region are Linfield College in McMinnville, George Fox University in Newberg, and Pacific University in Forest Grove, along with community colleges and several small Christian colleges.
Tourism is important to the city and the region. In Portland’s Washington Park you’ll find the Japanese Garden, a haven of tranquil beauty and one of the most authentic outside Japan, the International Rose Test Garden, and the Oregon Zoo. In Chinatown is the Lan Su Chinese Garden, an authentically built Ming Dynasty style garden, and downtown on the Park Blocks is the Performing Arts Center, Portland Art Museum, and the Oregon Historical Society. Other special sites include the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI), Powell’s City of Books, one of the world’s greatest bookstores, and Portland Saturday Market, the nation’s largest open air arts and crafts market.
However, not all roads in the region lead to Portland. There are vibrant communities surrounding the city including Lake Oswego, Gresham, Oregon City, Milwaukie, Beaverton, and others, with their own special events, culture, and businesses. In Oregon City you’ll find the End of the Oregon Trail Museum. McMinnville hosts the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum. Throughout Portland as well as the greater Northwest you’ll find many quaint and quirky McMenamin’s restaurants, pubs, and lodges often in renovated schools, mortuaries, and even the old County Poor Farm in Troutdale.
Trinity Cathedral is our largest congregation and church building, built in 1906 and listed on the historic registry. There are an additional 29 parishes and missions in the Portland Metropolitan region.