Welcome to Village Happy Valley

Part of the Village Ventures network, Village Happy Valley is a website dedicated to providing neighborhood news and community engagement.

We’re here to bridge the gap between news & civic participation… and to encourage folks get involved with their community and support their neighbors. There are a million voices fighting for your attention, but we want to help you connect with your village, your neighborhood… where your power to connect and make change is the strongest.

Explore your Village with DuckDuckGo, the search company that respects your privacy (at the DuckDuckGo link, for repeated searches leave site:https://villagehappyvalley.com/ in the search box).

Sign up at the bottom of this page to get email notifications from Village Happy Valley. We publish a weekly news and events story to keep you up to date on what’s happening in the neighborhood.

Support us and help promote your business or organization to your neighbors by having us tell your story. Read about our citizen journalist training program there too.

Learn more about our mission at Village Ventures and visit our other Village Portland neighborhood sites here.

Once you begin focusing on your neighborhood— your immediate physical community— you realize that there’s so much work to be done and stories to be told. 

Andrew Wilkins 
Village Ventures 
Publisher / Editor 
andrewtaylorwilkins@gmail.com

Village Portland / Village Ventures update!

Hello everyone! It’s Andrew here, I just wanted to say hello and update you on what Village Portland has been up to.

We’ve added new neighborhoods, partnerships, and reporters— and we are stoked about some new moves in the works.

Cory Elia (Reflection: conducting the survey for the Portland Street Response) and Lesley McLam have been doing some awesome work around homelessness and homeless organizing, and are focusing in on more focused reporting on the areas of PSU and St Johns, respectively.

McLam has been reporting on Jason Barns Landing, a managed camp in North Portland that’s taking what I see as a civil disobedience approach to their camp. And their answering the question: what happens when homeless folk tire of being moved— tired of having their community scattered— keep coming back to the same place?

Both Elia and McLam are volunteers at community radio station KBOO, and use their equipment to publish a podcast called TRIP-P. Like KBOO, Open Signal, is a resource for community media creators that we’ve been collaborating with.

Another media non-profit that trains homeless youth in video storytelling we’re collaborating with, Outside the Frame, also uses Open Signal equipment.

Here’s the third episode of Village Portland Presents, a five-episode series we produced for Open Signal earlier this year. It’s a compilation of video stories, themed around community organizing and culture.

It’s been great to meet other organizations and folks passionate about independent media, and offering more folks a chance to tell their stories.

This weekend

SATURDAY, APRIL 27TH

Farmers market opens:

It’s that time of year again! Come join the opening weekend of the Sunnyside Farmers Market in Happy Valley. Lot’s of vendors, local businesses, outreach opportunities and live music right there at the market. Come get a glimpse of all that’s going to be offered this season!

12042 SE Sunnyside Rd. #384 * 9 am – 2 pm

82nd Ave Parade of Roses: 

The theme of this year’s parade is “Roses in the Heart of Portland”.

The parade begins at 9:30 am just north of Eastport Plaza Shopping Center, travel north on 82nd Ave, turn west on Yamhill St and finish at 78th Ave.

Here’s how it went last year:

After the parade, there’s New Year in the Park, a free event celebrating Cambodian, Lao, Thai and Burmese New Year at Glenhaven Park ( at SE 82nd Ave & Siskiyou from 9:30 am to 6 pm).

Eastport Plaza Shopping Center, 4000 SE 82nd Ave * 9:30 am

Wine tasting at New Seasons:

Willamette Valley’s own Campbell Lane Winery will be offering tastes of their wine today!

New Seasons Market, 15861 SE Happy Valley Town Ctr * 1 pm – 4 pm

SUNDAY, APRIL 28TH

Bluegrass jam (event):

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It’s time to tune up the six string and bust out those fiddles for the bi-monthly bluegrass jam at Happy Valley Library! Entry is free and runs from 2:15 pm – 5 pm. All ages welcome!

Happy Valley Library (Community Room) 13793 SE Sieben Park Way * 2:15 pm -6 pm

This weekend

It’s Easter weekend! There are a several fun events happening this weekend, in and out of Happy Valley.

For more family centered Easter-related events out in Portland, go here.

FRIDAY, MARCH 19TH

Easter egg hunt (event):

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Come join the fun this Friday for an Easter Egg hunt at My Gym in Happy Valley! Lots of games, songs, and other activities are scheduled. Sign up today because they go quick. Be sure to bring your basket!

My Gym Happy Valley, 6052 SE 82nd Dr * 4:15 pm – ages 6 months; 5:30 pm – ages 3-10 yrs

SATURDAY, APRIL 20TH

Tree planting (event):

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Friends of trees is at it again with another tree planting! This one is going to be at the Headwaters of Mt. Scott Creek and partnered with the Clackamas County Water Environment Services and Solve Oregon.

Sign up now because it’s almost full! Please contact Jenny, Pablo, and Carey at (503) 595-0213 to sign up and snag a spot.

11418 SE Norwood Loop, Happy Valley * 8:45 am – 1 pm

Beer tasting (event):

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Come to New Seasons Happy Valley for a tasting from pFriem Family Brewers! Try tasty local brew and enjoy the sun on this Earth Day weekend. Entry is free and parking it plentiful!

New Seasons Happy Valley, 15861 SE Happy Valley Town Ctr * 1 pm – 4 pm

SUNDAY, APRIL 21ST

Glenwood Park Easter egg hunt (events):

“It’s time for the Annual Glenwood Park Egg Hunt, Sunday April 21 at 1PM. We’ve had some difficulty with start times in the past so the hot tip this year is: arrive early. Meet at the city playground (not the Kelly school playground).

Bring plastic stuffed eggs to share. Before the hunt begins the organizers will collect the eggs from folks who bring them to share and lay those eggs out in two designated areas: one for very young kids (0 to 5 ys), and a different area for older kids (6 to 100 ys).”

Glenwood City Park, SE 87th Ave * 1 pm – 2 pm * free

Have a great weekend!

This weekend

By JOE LOEB

FRIDAY, MARCH 22ND

Community hike (event):

Happy Valley Hikers is doing a hike (moderate) to Hidden Falls Park. Only slight elevation changes and strollers and dogs are welcome!

16000 SE Misty Dr * noon – 2 pm

SATURDAY, MARCH 23RD

Wine tasting (event):

“Wines to Welcome Spring Tasting”

New Seasons Market, 15861 SE Happy Valley Town Ctr * 1 pm – 4 pm

Read more…

This weekend

By JOE LOEB

FRIDAY, MARCH 15TH

Irish beer tasting (event):

There’s an Irish beer tasting at the Happy Valley New Seasons! Stop on by to get some tastes of some tasty Irish brews to kick off your St. Paddy’s Day weekend!

Happy Valley New Seasons, 15861 SE Happy Valley Town Center Drive * 3 – 6 pm

SATURDAY, MARCH 16TH

Kids music (event):

Music with Olive & Dingo… “Rock out with the silliest duo around for a zany show.”
Happy Valley Library, 13793 SE Sieben Park Way *10:15 am

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Irish coffee tasting (event):

Come try the classic “Irish Coffee” in a dozen ways made by the 12 distilleries from the famous Distillery Row! One day only this St. Paddy’s Day weekend.

Distillery Row, 12000 SE 82nd Ave * noon – 6 pm

SUNDAY, MARCH 17TH

Creative Nonfiction Writing Group (event):

“Looking for advice, support, or encouragement with your writing project? This group of writers meets to exchange critique pages, receive feedback, and ask questions. There will also be opportunity to discuss goals and share insights into the writing process. Sign up at the reference desk.”

Happy Valley Library, 13793 SE Sieben Park Way * 3 pm – 4:30 pm

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Read more…

Happy trails through Happy Valley

by JOE LOEB

Sitting just outside Milwaukie and 20 minutes from Downtown Portland is a place of economic diversity known as Happy Valley.

Originally a sporadic-peopled farmland known as “Happy Hollow” (a better and cooler name if you ask me), Happy Valley has become a real estate and activity hotspot. It is growing more and more and new developments are on (almost) every corner going up Sunnyside Rd.

For some this is seen as an issue, as new developments can sometimes mean higher property value / rent increase. However, for a real estate investor or property / home owner, it’s a gold mine.

From the righteous events and summer concerts of Happy Valley Park to the nonstop entertainment of Clackamas Town Center, it has proven to be a place of growth and constant activity. 

This writer has a slight bias to the area, as I grew up here. I lived here during my teenage days (literally 13-19-years-old) and have seen it change throughout the years. I won’t lie, it can sometimes seem like the (not so) Happy Valley. There was a SWAT raid at my neighbors’ house and my fiancee heard her first drive-by shooting when we lived here. But, we don’t live in a house, we live in an apartment near a MAX line. So, it’s not exactly surprising— but convenience and connection to the city does have its drawbacks.

It’s not horrible where I live, but it’s not the suburbs either. One thing that comes from chaos though, is balance. And that’s exactly what makes Happy Valley so unique: its balance. But to truly learn this diverse area, you have to take a little drive. My area of coverage was from Clackamas Town Center to 82nd Ave and Sunnyside Rd to 157th Ave and Sunnyside Rd, over toward Happy Valley Park, then back to the town center. 

I began my journey at Clackamas Town Center (CTC). I knew I was going to need a little boost to begin so I stopped by and got a coffee at the Nordstrom Espresso Bar right by the entrance on the second floor. They seem to make stronger and better coffee there. I learned this when I was working as an employee there at the mall. During the holidays, these ladies and gents were mine and everybody’s best friend. Shout out to the Sean, John and the ladies at Nordstrom. 

CTC has changed drastically since the days Tanya Harding used to practice for the Olympics and ice skate on the first floor. Now it’s equipped with all sorts of random stores. Everything from a distillery tasting room, to an escape room (you read that right), to a virtual reality game center. In times of automation and retail establishment collapse, the mall is truly working to stay ahead of the game.

One of the places that stuck out the most to me was this old vintage candy shop called Lolli and Pops. This place is a diabetics’ worst nightmare. But, if you or your s/o need a sugar pick me up and you want to go beyond the Hershey bar or Reese’s, go to Lolli and Pops. You step in and immediately feel as if the worker is going to swing by on a ladder and offer you a regular Wonka Bar instead. There’s candy everywhere and from all over the world too. German chocolates, Mexican chili candies, Japanese fruit candies, and even chocolate covered fruit. They have it all. But the best part was when I looked in the cooler and then time traveled back to 1994.

After resisting the temptation to buy all the Jolt Cola and sell it on the street at a profit, I left the mall and decided to make my way to some grub. Right by the mall, there are all sorts of options. Dave and Busters, The Ram, California Pizza Kitchen, Olive Garden, Red Robin, it’s all there. I, myself, through was craving something more wholesome. So I made my way east on Sunnyside Rd. and cruised up to Happy Valley Station, the local food cart pod up near 145th Ave and Sunnyside Rd offering 18 great options from a variety of countries and cultures.

Happy Valley Station has some of the best food options in the area. It’s a great place to take the family as well because a lot of the vendors have kids menu options. There is a place on the inside where they have beers and ciders on tap, growler refills, as well as tables and a place for kids to play. I made the rounds and stumbled across this little gem:

Anybody that knows me, knows I like a good gyro. The lamb, tzaziki, tomato, onions, and feta? Fuhgettaboutit. So after much deliberation, for about 30 seconds, I came to a conclusion and ordered a regular lamb gyro and tore it up. I apologize I wasn’t able to snap a picture. Honestly when I saw it, I kind of forgot I had a phone. My hat’s off to the big homie up at Yaba Yabaa Lebanese Food at Happy Valley Station. I ate my gyro and made my way home with a tummy full of lamb and feta.

There are so many businesses around and places I could discuss, but I don’t think I would have enough hours in the day to cover them all. On Sunnyside there are tons of event centers, bars, churches, and the farmers market during the spring and summer (more on that in the future!). Then on the opposite side, you have the hill and all the houses therein. There is a plaza full of different establishments on 122nd Ave and Sunnyside Rd as well as some cafes and other retail spots. So, there is no shortage of things to do.

If you’re like me, then you like to get away from the city. The smell of the trees and fresh mountain air has amazing effects on your mood and well being. Right up off of Sunnyside road, only minutes from the Town Center, is Mt. Talbert Nature Park. Here, they have trails and small little treks that make you forget your only minutes away from the mall and 82nd Ave. If you’re feeling like going on a little jaunt and getting out of the regular environment for a while, this is a great place.

There are two trails you can do, one that loops the park and one that goes to the summit. Unfortunately this one isn’t pet friendly, and some spots are steep. So, it’s up to you if you would like to bring the kid or not. One cool thing about this place, though, is also the options to give back and volunteer at the park. You can find out how to get involved here.

There are plentiful resources in Happy Valley to give back to the community. Up at Happy Valley Park you can volunteer to help with events as well as cleanup and maintenance. There is an awesome initiative to preserve wildlife and vegetation up on Mt. Scott Creek at Happy Valley Park by planting trees and shrubs. This is a collaboration between an organization called Friends of Trees and the City of Happy Valley. There was an event on March 16th, and there will be more as the season progresses. For more information on volunteering for other plantings, visit the FoT website.

Within these little boundaries, all this wonder lies. With a ten-minute drive from one end to the other and you can be busy for weeks. Happy Valley is growing and growing and seems to be evolving into an amazing area.

Whether you’re looking for an awesome real estate opportunity, or just wanting sushi and a pedicure, I’m pretty sure Happy Valley’s got you covered.