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Wildlife at Foster Floodplain

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Birds, deer and other wildlife you can see along Johnson Creek.

Environmental Services completed restoration work at the Foster Floodplain Natural Area two years ago, and already the spot is a favorite for birds and wildlife.  The project’s main purpose is to reduce flooding in East Portland and improve water quality and salmon habitat in Johnson Creek

But, projects like this also provide other benefits to the community and environment.

Environmental Services staff checking up on the area this week spotted this native blacktail deer. deer in natural area

Also, a volunteer with Portland Parks & Recreation shared the list of bird species he’s observed at the site in recent months.  Check out the impressive list below.  Thanks Chris, for the citizen science you contribute! 

Anyone can see the nature at Foster Floodplain this summer. It’s easy to access off SE Foster Road or the Springwater Corridor Trail (see it on Google Maps).  There are walking trails and informational signs.   Please note: no dogs are allowed at the site, in order to protect water quality and the sensitive native plants and animals.

blackheaded grosbeak bird on tree


Black-headed grosbeaks, like this one, are birds that can be seen in Portland's natural areas.  (Photo by Greg Gillson)

List of Birds Spotted at Foster Floodplain:  

American crow


American goldfinch

Lesser goldfinch

American robin


Anna's hummingbird

Mourning dove

Bewicks wren

Northern flicker

Black-capped chickadee

Red breasted sapsucker

Black-headed grosbeak

Red-tailed hawk


Red-winged blackbird

Cackling goose

Ruby crowned kinglet

Canada goose

Scrub jay

Chestnut-backed chickadee

Sharp-shinned hawk

Downy woodpecker

Song sparrow

European starling

Stellar's jay

Golden-crowned sparrow

Towhee/Spotted towhee

Great blue heron

Tree swallow

Hairy woodpecker

Varied thrush

Hooded merganser

Violet green swallow

House finch

Yellow-rumped warbler


Watch Videos from the 2014 Ecoroof Symposium

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Presentations from the May 2014 event are now posted online


The 2014 Portland Ecoroof Symposium took place on Wednesday, May 21st. The event marked the 6th consecutive year for the Environmental Services Ecoroof Program’s major outreach event. This year’s event continued the ongoing dialogue between the City of Portland, municipal and non-profit partners, and the private sector, focusing on the business case for ecoroof development.

The program for this year’s event was developed to reach developers, construction firms, and building design professionals. Presentation topics focused on ecoroof design, cost benefit analysis, acoustical research, and case studies of premier Portland ecoroofs.

All presentations are now online and available for viewing. They can be accessed individually on the event web page or you can check out the entire program by accessing the event YouTube page. (You can find all the videos from our 2012 and 2013 events as well.)

Click below to see the Keynote Presentation by Anne Whiston Spirn of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Design+Science: Linking Green Roof Research to Practice, a presentation by Jason King of Herrera Environmental Consulting.

Multnomah Village Goes Green for Multnomah Days

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Join your neighbors and staff from Environmental Services at the 106th Multnomah Days Street Festival on Saturday, August 16 in Multnomah Village

Join your neighbors and staff from Environmental Services at the 106th Multnomah Days Street Festival on Saturday, August 16 in Multnomah Village.

The biggest little parade will march right past six green street facilities completed in 2013. These aren’t just ordinary landscaping. The facilities capture and treat stormwater runoff from 1.5 acres of pavement.

Capitol Highway in Multnomah Village is an important parking area and a major neighborhood thoroughfare. When it rains, oils, metals, brake dust and other pollutants from this high-use area wash into nearby Vermont Creek, which flows to Fanno Creek and the Tualatin River.

Trees absorb rain to reduce stormwater runoff, and the new green street facilities protect water quality and enhance the neighborhood. The green street project also widened sidewalks and reconfigured the parking layout in the village core to benefit pedestrians and cyclists.

Find out more about Fanno Creek and projects for healthier streams on the Fanno Creek Watershed page. Find out the details on Multnomah Days at


Celebrating Progress Towards a Healthier Columbia Slough


Slough Regatta flags   Mayor Hales speaking at Regatta

This year's Columbia Slough Regatta was a great success, with over 450 people coming out to paddle on the Slough for the 20th anniversary event on August 3.

Mayor Hales and city staff touring the SloughSpecial thanks to Mayor Charlie Hales and his wife Nancy for joining BES staff for a paddle tour of restoration project sites along the Slough.  

Efforts like the Combined Sewer Overflow Control Program, replanting trees and shrubs along the bank through Watershed Revegetation, and constructing wetlands to filter stormwater are bringing back healthier conditions in the Slough.

See an example of revegetation results along the Columbia Slough in this post: Before and After: Heron Lakes


Missed the Regatta? More opportunities to get out on the water with the Columbia Slough Watershed Council are coming up:

Ladies Lunchtime Paddle, August 19

Bring Your Own Boat Paddle, September 18


Before and After: The Tryon Creek Iron Mountain Project


Keeping sewage out of the water and improving stream habitat.

This summer marks five years since completing the Tryon Creek Iron Mountain Streambank Restoration and Sewer Maintenance Project in Southwest Portland. We are excited to share some photos showing the dramatic changes that have taken place along this part of Tryon Creek. 

The Iron Mountain Project is located just upstream of the Iron Mountain Bridge in Tryon Creek State Natural Area. In 2008 an exposed sanitary sewer line along Tryon Creek posed a threat of leaking sewage into the stream.

exposed sewer pipe and manhole in stream

project area at start of construction

The photos above show the exposed sewer infrastructure, eroding stream banks, and invasive plants contributing to problems there.

stream and bank after constructionEnvironmental Services’ project protected the sewer infrastructure, restored stream bank conditions, and enhanced 200 feet of stream and over three acres of habitat. The project enhanced stream and wetland functions to benefit threatened salmon and other native fish and wildlife.

The photo to the left shows the same spot, just after construction.  Look for the large fir tree trunk in the background of each photo for comparison.



mature plants at project siteNow, five years later, the stream bank is stable and native plants have filled in the area.  It may look like a jungle, but this is a healthier stream!


Learn more about Tryon Creek and other projects we’re doing to improve conditions in the watershed.

Check out activities, events, and ways to get involved with the Friends of Tryon Creek.