Portland is the largest city in Oregon and is a major Pacific seaport located about sixty miles from the west coast of the United States, situated on both sides of the Willamette River, just south of its confluence with the Columbia River. The city of Portland has a population of over 500,000 while Metropolitan Portland, which covers Multnomah, Clackamas and Washington Counties, has over 2 million residents.
Portland is now often known by the nickname of "The City of Roses" but started as a spot known as "The Clearing" which was on the Willamette about halfway between Oregon City and Fort Vancouver. When it came time to name the town, two early city fathers Asa Lovejoy and Francis W. Pettygrove, each wanted to name it for his own hometown. They finally decided to settle the matter with a coin toss and the city was named for Pettygrove's home of Portland, Maine, beating out Boston, Massachusetts.
Today, Portland is well known for its comprehensive public transportation system. The major bus and rail system is named TriMet and Max, reflecting the three metropolitan counties it serves (Multnomah, Clackamas and Washington). Because of its location on two rivers, Portland is also home to many bridges. Portland prides itself on its parks and its legacy of preserving open spaces. In fact, it has one of the highest parks-per-capita ratios among cities in the United States and features Forest Park, one of the world's largest parks contained within a city (and definitely the United State's largest park contained within a city), covering about 5,000 acres.
Washington County is also the location for the corporate headquarters of Nike, the only corporation based in Oregon large enough to be included in the Fortune 500 list. It is also home to Intel, Techtronics, and many other high-tech firms. Multnomah County is home to Adidas and Columbia Sportswear. This means the economy of the area is booming and looks to be strong for a long time to come. This area of unincorporated Portland is served by the Beaverton School District, which is consistently among the best public school districts in Oregon. Most students continue to attain higher degrees at local universities or top-ranking schools all across the country.
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