THE SISKIYOU TRAIL:
A RIGHT TO RETURN

210505 Site Plan Venice March 28 2021 in

THE SISKIYOU TRAIL:
A RIGHT TO RETURN

Laila Seewang
Uri Wegman

Portland State University | EPFL

The Siskiyou trail was an Indigenous path that brought together Indigenous communities along the river, before it was called the Willamette, in the valley, before it became Portland. In 1962, the I-5 highway was built on top of it, displacing the only Black community in Portland. This project proposes to repair the historical, urban, civic disaster that is the I-5, by removing the freeway between the Willamette River to the Columbia River in Northeast Portland. In the void created, it proposes restoring the pre-colonial eco-system through a white oak woodland. The earth is reserved for roots, fungi, galls, and moles; the ground for white oaks, madrones, Willamette Valley ponderosa pines, poison oak, honeysuckle, wild currants, and snowberries; the canopy for blue jays, bees, and squirrels. People occupy the edges and cross above this repairing ground along the trellis, which ties the two sides of the city ripped apart by the highway back together again. At either end of the new forest are two memorials: the arboretum on Hayden Island where the white oaks begin their life looks to the future, and the Albina memorial, a space for remembering the roots that were severed in the Black Albina district, remembers the past.