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Environmental Services

working for clean rivers

Phone: 503-823-7740

Fax: 503-823-6995

1120 SW 5th Avenue, Room 1000, Portland, OR 97204

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Up to $10,000 available for community projects


Pre-application process and grant workshops starting in December


Short Pre-Applications due February 5th for projects that meet community needs and improve watershed health

The Community Watershed Stewardship Program (CWSP) is accepting pre-applications for Stewardship Grants. The deadline to submit pre-applications is 4:00 p.m. on Friday, February 5, 2016. A grant review committee will then invite selected applicants to submit full applications in April.

CWSP provides stewardship grants of up to $10,000 each for projects that help Portlanders make improvements in their neighborhoods and communities, while improving watershed health.

Community planting project

Projects that can be funded include:

  • Neighborhood safety, health and livability
  • Youth leadership and skills development
  • Community gardens and green spaces
  • Art and education
  • Cleanup and restoration
  • Stormwater Management


CWSP has scheduled three grant-writing workshops to answer your questions and help you write compelling applications. The workshops are free and open to everyone.

Tuesday, 12/29/ 15 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm Kenton Library 8226 N Denver Avenue Portland, OR 97217

Wednesday, 1/6/16 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm Midland Library 805 SE 122nd Avenue Portland, OR 97233

Thursday 1/14/16 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm Hollywood Library 4040 NE Tillamook Street Portland, OR 97212

Bring your ideas and your questions! Light refreshments provided.

CWSP encourages applications for projects that involve the leadership and meaningful participation of people of color, immigrants, elders, youth, those with disabilities, low-income residents, and other underrepresented groups.

For help developing project ideas and putting together an application, contact CWSP Coordinator Jessica Rojas at or 503-823-7917 or go to

To learn more about past CWSP projects, check out our case studies here

FREE Rain Garden Workshop on 12/5

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There's still space left for the last workshop of the season, this Saturday December 5th at the Hollywood Senior Center

Every year, the staff at East Multnomah County Soil and Water Conservation District (EMSWCD) provide FREE naturescaping and rain garden classes across Portland. From the EMSWCD website:

Perfect for all levels of do-it-yourselfers, our FREE workshops highlight landscaping with native plants, water conservation, creative stormwater solutions and chemical-free gardening techniques that are good for people, water and wildlife. Most include a field trip to a neighborhood project or garden to see these principals in action.

Environmental Services is hosting one more of these workshops—Rain Gardens 101—in areas where private property stormwater facilities would be most helpful to current sewer rehabilitation projects. The Rain Gardens 101 class will take place on Saturday, December 5th. If you're interested, see the details below and register now!

Rain Gardens 101

Date: Saturday, December 5th from 1pm-5pm

Location: Hollywood Senior Center, 1820 NE 40th Ave, Portland, 97212

Learn how to build your own rain garden! We’ll explore the critical role rain gardens can play in urban stream restoration, and how they add beautiful landscaping to your yard at the same time.

You will learn how to assess your site to determine the best location and size, calculate impervious surfaces, determine soil suitability, choose appropriate plants, and how to maintain your new rain garden. You will also receive a comprehensive manual that guides you through all the steps in constructing your rain garden. Where possible, workshop includes a short tour of a nearby rain garden.

RSVP for this event!


Take a Ride with the Stormwater Cycling Tour

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Interested riders should meet at Universal Cycles, SE Ankeny and 22nd Avenue, at 9:45 AM

This Saturday (tomorrow), join staff from Portland’s Bureau of Transportation and Bureau of Environmental Services for a tour of green streets and other innovative stormwater designs that help protect our watersheds and enhance the beauty and safety of our streets for folks on foot or bike.

Great for folks new to the bike or new to the area, the ride will be an easy-paced loop, with stops along the way and returning to the start location.  The route will occur on low-traffic streets and neighborhood greenways, with some off-street paths.  A few sections will be on streets with bike lanes.  The ride is free, but helmets are required.  Kids under 16 welcome if accompanied by an adult.

The ride is part of the Portland By Cycle series of rides and classes. Click here to see the full schedule. Find your way to the ride by bike or transit with Trimet's multi-modal trip planner.

Stormwater Cycling Tour

Saturday, November 21, 10:00 AM (meet at 9:45 AM)

Meeting location: Universal Cycles, SE Ankeny St & 22nd Ave

Over one-third of Portland’s 2,500 miles of sewer pipes are more than 80 years old.  Portland combines sewer improvements that replace or repair Portland’s aging sewer pipes with green streets, ecoroofs, trees and other green infrastructure to increase sewer system efficiency, and protect water quality, public health, and the environment.  Green infrastructure keeps stormwater out of the sewer system, filters pollutants, provides habitat and increases neighborhood green space for healthier watersheds.  

Saturday’s Rainstorm – Captured!


Terraced Rain Gardens do their job to protect Tryon Creek

native plants help soak up the rainPortland’s Halloween revelers may have gotten soaked in the heavy rainstorm that day, but there is good environmental news to report. 

In the past, a rainstorm like we had last Saturday would have brought large volumes of stormwater, oil, and grease from I-5 and other roads and washed it directly into Tryon Creek.  But this time, a large amount of runoff from the rainstorm was captured, slowed and filtered by the terraced raingarden project built by Environmental Services and the Oregon Department of Transportation. 

One of BES’s landscape architects who worked on the project bravely ventured out in Saturday’s rain to see how the facility was performing and shared these photos:

terraced rain gardens fill with water



Learn more about the project and see the construction photos in our Before and After blog post.


slowing stormwater to filter pollutants
Check out the Tryon Creek Watershed Report Card to learn more about water quality and stormwater issues in Tryon Creek. Watershed Report Cards icon



Spirit of Portland Recognizes the Community Watershed Stewardship Program

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Jennifer Devlin, coordinator of the program since 2002, will receive the Spirit of Portland's award for Equity in Practice

Congratulations to Jennifer Devlin, who has coordinated the bureau's Community Watershed Stewardship Program (CWSP) since 2002. The city announced last month that Jennifer is the winner of one of this year's Spirit of Portland Awards. She will receive an Equity in Practice award at a ceremony on Tuesday, November 17 in the City Council chamber from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

 ivy removal team
Jennifer Devlin (taking a knee) with other English ivy fighters

Members of the community nominate individuals and groups for Spirit of Portland Awards and a city selection committee chooses the winners. Representatives from the Commissioners’ offices, the Office of Neighborhood Involvement, neighborhood associations, and other community organizations make up the selection committee. The committee chooses award recipients based on what they have done to improve the community and whose work makes a lasting impact.

CWSP accepting award from President Carter 
Jennifer (on left) accepting the first Carter Foundation Award for campus-community collaboration

In 1994, Environmental Services began offering grants to community groups and individuals to support projects that promoted watershed health. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency requires cities to develop stormwater management plans that include public information, involvement and participation. Through CWSP, the city has invested more than $1 million dollars in stewardship grants and involved more than 40,000 community volunteers and students in projects to protect the environment and our natural resources.

The Spirit of Portland Award application says the Equity in Practice Award that Jennifer won "Recognizes groups or individuals demonstrating responsiveness, creativity and civic values while assisting in the implementation of exceptional projects focused on cross-cultural collaboration and the engagement of historically underrepresented communities." CWSP grants benefit watershed health, create community partnerships and advance Portland's equity goals by involving underrepresented communities.