The Centennial neighborhood and Powellhurst Gilbert Neighborhood are way out in outer SE Portland, still part of the city, in County, and cover the area south of Division and Stark, all the way to Lents and Powell Butte, and out to SE 175th and the border with Gresham.
The Centennial Neighborhood and Powellhurst Gilbert Neighborhood area are not as urban as the inner Portland neighborhoods, and most of the houses have a lot bigger yards. The Houses in Centennial neighborhood and Powellhurst Gilbert Neighborhood are also quite a bit more affordable out here, and there isn’t as much crime as in the closer SE neighborhoods like Lents or those bordering Burnside from 82nd all the way out to Gresham border. This area does have a little bit higher crime rate between SE Division and SE Powell from about 122nd on out to Gresham, although there are big pockets that don’t. It feels more like a suburb, unless you are in the inner sections of Powellhurst, There is lots of diversity in Centennial neighborhood and Powellhurst Gilbert Neighborhood , it has lots of young families as well as older retired people… and everything in between.The homes that are inside protected streets, without direct access to Division, Stark, 122nd or Powell, are protected, kind of like being in a cocoon, from the problems that surround the major streets. Houses are modest, not huge, so great for starter homes, for young families, for retirees, or for people who want a little space and big yard.
There are some cool natural areas within Centennial neighborhood and Powellhurst Gilbert Neighborhood. Powell Butte Nature Park and Kelly Butte Natural area, plus lots of smaller parks. See parks in section below. Portland Community College is on 82nd and Division, so right in the corner of this area, and has a 7 day a week library. A rich blend of culture is reflected in the community Southeast Campus serves, including a growing number of Vietnamese, Chinese, Korean, Latino, Russian and Ukrainian families.
There are quite a few parks in Centennial neighborhood and Powellhurst Gilbert Neighborhood, but none of them are worth writing too much about.
Parklane is 25 acres, with accessible play area, accessible restroom, basketball court, paths – unpaved, picnic tables, playground, soccer field, and softball field.
Earl Boyles is attached to the grade school, is 8 acres, accessible play area, horseshoe pit, paths – paved, paths – unpaved, picnic tables, playground, splash pad, and volleyball court. It also has a community garden that is .28 acres. It has an interesting history: Earl Boyles was a beloved janitor at the former Powellhurst Elementary School for 19 years in the 1930s and 40s. On rainy days he would allow cold, wet students to dry by the furnace. When a new elementary school was built in 1956, it was named after him. As of 2000, it remains the only school in Oregon named for a classified employee. When the land adjacent to the school was acquired for a park, there was no question that the park would be named after Earl Boyles as well.
Lynchwood park has a really good off leash dog area, fenced. It is almost 9 acres
Benedict park has a skate park. Here are some comments on the internet about it: Comments – Some of the most creative design features I ever seen in a street plaza before. With the “Tear-Drop” and “T” manual pads cut right out of the flat ground, then set right next to the hole to create a nice gap to manual. Love to see this progression in design, not to mention they put pool coping all over the mini-ramp section too!!!
Parks in Centennial,Powellhurst,Gilbert
Powell Butte is over 600 acres and has over 9 miles of trails, as shown on the map below. You can hike, bicycle or ride horses through the park, and there are picnic tables, restrooms, and parking lot. Powell Butte Nature Park is an extinct volcano and is Portland’s second-largest park after Forest Park. In 1925 the Portland Water Bureau bought the land to have options for future water reservoirs and leased part of it to Henry Anderegg, a dairy farmer, which was used for grazing until 1948, although cows did still graze on it to keep grass down. In 1981 a 50-million gallon underground reservoir was built to store water for the city of Portland, and another 50-million gallon reservoir was built in 2014. Altogether there are 3 reservoirs on Powell Butte!
On clear days, five mountains can be seen from the park and the park is home to many birds of prey with its open meadows, groves of wild hawthorn trees and forested slopes of Western red cedar, and wetlands near Johnson Creek. Also at home here are raccoons, gray foxes, skunks, bats, squirrels, chipmunks, coyotes, and black-tail mule deer. I learned all this on Friends of Powell Butte
Powell Butte is known for it’s butterfly population. There is a brochure you can check out that will show you what butterflies have been seen. Below is a guide to the trails, put out by Friends of Powell Butte, and below that is the history of Powell Butte.
Kelly Butte Natural area is 23 acre, named after Clinton Kelly who settled in the area using the Donation Land Act, in 1848. It is part of the Boring Lava Field that has 32 cinder cones. It has a sealed bunker underneath it, that homeless have been living in. It is wild without many trails, I cannot find much info on it. Not many people use it, which is maybe why the homeless have settled here.