Portland is a city at the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia rivers in the U.S. state of Oregon. With a population of 562,690 it is Oregon's most populous city, and the third most populous city in the Pacific Northwest, after Seattle, Washington and Vancouver, British Columbia. Approximately two million people live in Portland metropolitan area (MSA), the 24th most populous in the United States as of July, 2005. Portland was incorporated in 1851 and is the seat of Multnomah County; it extends slightly into Washington and Clackamas Counties as well.
The city and region are noted for strong land-use planning and investment in public transit, supported by Metro, a distinctive regional-government scheme. Portland lies in the Marine West Coast climate region, which is marked by warm summers and rainy but temperate winters. This climate is ideal for growing roses, and for more than a century Portland has been known as "The City of Roses," and has many rose gardens – most prominently the International Rose Test Garden. Portland is also known for its large number of microbreweries, and as the home of the Trail Blazers NBA basketball team.
Parks & Attractions: Portland is proud of its parks and its legacy of preserving open spaces. Mt. Tabor Park was inadvertently built on one of Portland's; it is known for its scenic views and historic reservoirs. Forest Park is among the largest wilderness parks within city limits in the United States, covering over 5,000 acres (20 km²). Portland is also home to Mill Ends Park, the world's smallest park (a two-foot-diameter circle, the park's area is only about 0.3 square meters). Washington Park is just west of downtown, and is home to the Oregon Zoo, the Portland Japanese Garden, and the International Rose Test Garden. Tom McCall Waterfront Park runs along the west bank of the Willamette for the length of downtown.
Leach Botanical Garden is a 15.6 acre botanical garden in the Southeast section of the city, emphasizing plants of the Pacific Northwest. Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden is a 9.49 acre garden in the Southeast section of the city, adjoining Reed College, featuring more than 2,500 rhododendron, azalea, and companion plants.
Hoyt Arboretum is a much-beloved Portland open space, covering 185 ridge-top acres about two miles west of downtown. It is home to a collection of trees representing more than 1,100 species gathered from around the world.
Colleges & Universities: Portland State University, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland Community College, Cascade College, Concordia University, Lewis & Clark College, Reed College, and Warner Pacific College.
Art schools: These include the Art Institute of Portland, Pacific Northwest College of Art, Oregon College of Art and Craft, and Northwest Film Center.
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