Blog Beaverton Hidden Gem for Urban Birders in Cedar Hills

Hidden Gem for Urban Birders in Cedar Hills

By Jim Arnal, July 16, 2021

The Commonwealth Lake Park in the Cedar Hills neighborhood of Beaverton is a tranquil escape in an otherwise bustling suburban neighborhood. Just off of Highway 26, the park offers bird enthusiasts the opportunity to see some of Oregon’s most beautiful species. You might be lucky enough to spot a Great Blue Heron poised patiently at the shoreline. The Pied-Bill Grebe, a typically shy species, makes regular appearances at the park. There are plenty of domestic ducks and geese, mallards, wigeons, coots, and buffleheads to spot too.

Photo by William Foley on Unsplash
Photo by Ray Hennessy on Unsplash

While the bird watching is great, Commonwealth Lake Park has a lot more to offer! Amateur anglers can catch fish in the man-made pond, perfect for kids just learning to fish. There is a paved trail around the entire perimeter for leisurely strolls, and many grassy areas to have a picnic and do some old-fashioned people watching.

So while there are countless natural wonders and parks in Portland and the surrounding areas, I’m grateful to have a little urban park like Commonwealth when I need a quick escape.

Jim Arnal

Principal Broker | Earth Advantage

I grew up in a small college town in California where the backdrop was 1920’s bungalows, single level ranches and the San Gabriel Mountains. As a young boy I was an avid fort-builder and found myself drawn to architecture early. I can remember my mom dragging me through open houses in between soccer games on the weekend and watching my father tackle almost every home remodeling project under the sun. While I loved the surf, a love of the outdoors and 90’s grunge rock drew me north for college where I studied design and architecture. Summer and winter holiday trips back home to see my family gave me an excuse to stop in Portland where I would indulge in Montage mud pie and late night coffees at the Rimsky Korsakoffee House. Portland stuck with me and a couple years after college my wife Carrie and I moved here to start our family and my real estate career. Unlike many generational REALTORS®, I started from scratch in 2002. I would spend every day reading up on neighborhood histories, studying market trends and beefing up on my construction knowledge. A couple years prior, I had bought my first home and while my REALTOR® was friendly, I was surprised that their level of service had considerable room for improvement. From the beginning of my real estate career I have always been with my clients at every stage of the process with an unwavering attention to detail, deep rooted understanding of contract negotiations and Portland home construction. Soon my practice was almost exclusively referral based as the support of past clients helped me grow to be one of the top agents in my company. While accolades and awards have never served as motivation, I have always appreciated recognition by my peers and clients. Since 2005 I have been a Diamond-Platinum member of the Master’s Circle and in 2019 I was the Top Producer at Living Room Realty and one of less than 100 REALTORS® in the Portland metro awarded the Portland Monthly Five Star award for nine straight years. Accolades aside, my goal of improving my trade has never wavered. I received my developer’s license in 2013 and my contractor’s license three years later, not as capitalistic endeavors but with the goal of enriching the counsel I could give my clients. What was initially an academic endeavor to bolster my construction knowledge turned into a variety of projects for my clients ranging from the construction of new homes and ADUs, to the design of new kitchens and bathrooms and even the occasional restoration of a historic property. Today when I show my clients homes, I can point out the implications of 2x6 dimensional lumber in a third story attic, how to reconstruct a basement stairwell to be code compliant or why all parge coats aren’t created equal. When I am not picking a house apart for my clients, you can find me on the side of a soccer field cheering on one of my three children, with my wife in a ‘62 Grumman canoe on the Puget Sound or like my father, tackling remodeling projects at the hip roofed colonial I call home today.
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  • T: 503-351-3000
  • jim@pdxhomes.com

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