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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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Before and After: SW Huber Green Street

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The new green street facility in Southwest Portland will help reduce flooding and protect water quality

Environmental Services recently completed construction on a green street facility on SW Huber Street near Quail Post Road to reduce flooding problems and protect water quality in local streams. The storm drain was too small to handle heavy stormwater flow and clogged easily with leaves and other debris. This caused stormwater to pool, flow over the curb and cause flooding problems for downstream property owners. The fast-flowing stormwater also carried pollution from SW Huber Street to Quail and Tryon creeks.

The vegetated green street on SW Huber collects and slows stormwater runoff. Stormwater will flow into the green street and native plants will filter pollutants before it flows to Quail and Tryon creeks.

    

                                   before                                                                             after

The City of Portland is a recognized leader in green stormwater management. There are 1400-1500 individual green street facilities throughout Portland. Green infrastructure such as green streets keeps stormwater out of the sewer system, filters pollutants, provides habitat and increases neighborhood green space for healthier watersheds. To learn more about various approaches to Sustainable Stormwater Management visit our website.

The Westmoreland Park Grand Reopening and Salmon Celebration is this Saturday, October 25th

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Coho salmon are Spawning in Crystal Springs - and it's Time to Celebrate

The restoration of Crystal Springs Creek through Westmoreland Park and the long-awaited Nature Play Area, are now complete, and on October 25th these projects—and the return of salmon to the city—will be celebrated with a party in the park.

The Celebration will take place from 11a.m. to 4p.m. and will feature a salmon bake, lamprey tasters, tours, native games, a formal speaking program (from 11:30am-12:30), and a wide range of family-friendly activities – including Claudia Chinook, a 29-foot long, 14-foot tall, 2,800-pound educational salmon display.

And who knows, maybe you’ll even catch a glimpse of the two coho spotted in Crystal Springs just downstream of the Park this weekend!  See if you can find them in the attached photo…for more information, take a look at the link from the Johnson Creek Watershed Council here.

Celebrate the Completion of the Division Streetscape Project

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Open Fest! will take place from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, October 24th

Environmental Services and the Portland Bureau of Transportation started construction on the Division Streetscape Project in May 2013. The work is finished now and it’s time to celebrate.

The Division/Clinton Business Assocation is sponsoring OpenFest! on Friday, October 24. City Commissioners Nick Fish and Steve Novick will officially re-open SE Division in a ceremony at SE 31st and Division starting at 10 a.m. Following the grand re-opening, several Division merchants will offer in-store specials throughout the day. You can also enjoy food booths and live music until 9 p.m. Check www.divisionclinton.com/OpenFest for all the details.

There’s plenty to celebrate. From SE 11th Avenue to SE Cesar Chavez Boulevard, Division is now an attractive main street with increased access to transit, better pedestrian and bicycle facilities, and improved air and water quality.

The corridor has new curb extensions for bus landings, new crosswalks and street lights, improved signalization and new public art. Nearly 5,000 feet of new sewer pipes replaced old sewers in poor condition. New green street planters and street trees keep stormwater runoff out of the new sewers and green up the neighborhood. Come and see the improvements for yourself and enjoy OpenFest! from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, October 24.

 

 

Climate Change Preparation

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Building and protecting our infrastructure in a changing climate

Climate Change Preparation Strategy CoverLast week, Portland City Council adopted the Climate Change Preparation Strategy and the associated Risk and Vulnerabilities Assessment.  These documents identify how climate change will affect the Portland region and what actions are needed to protect our community.  

The strategy and background report explore the impacts of climate change on various sectors, including people, infrastructure, and natural systems likes rivers and wetlands.  The strategy identifies more than 80 actions to build climate resilience into City of Portland and Multnomah County policies, operations, services and infrastructure over the coming years.

Predictions for Portland’s climate future include warmer winters with heavier rainstorms and hotter, drier summers with more high-heat days.

Technical experts from Environmental Services worked on the Climate Change Preparation Strategy.  Environmental Services’ wastewater and stormwater infrastructure is valued at over $13.2 billion.  Those facilities help keep Portlanders safe and healthy, and protect our environment.

Changing climate conditions pose risks to our stormwater facilities and sewage treatment system.  They are also a threat to the health of our urban forests, streams and rivers – the natural infrastructure we rely on for clean water. 

Ecoroof in industrial areaThe bureau is already implementing solutions, and will continue to do so.  One solution is our use of green infrastructure, like green street planters, ecoroofs, trees and wetlands to manage stormwater.  That's part of our regular business, but green infrastructure also provides climate-related benefits, including:

  • Helping to cool and clean our rivers and streams, which are projected to get warmer with climate change.  
  • Soaking up water from more extreme rain events to help protect the capacity of our sewer pipes.  
  • Helping capture CO2 and move the city closer to the Climate Action Plan targets for carbon reduction. Check out this post about green infrastructure and carbon sequestration.   

Read more about the Climate Change Preparation Strategy in this news release from the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability.  Visit Portland’s Climate Preparation and Action website to learn more about the Climate Action Plan update project and other existing climate efforts.

Get Registered for Rain Gardens 101

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There are still a few spaces left for the FREE class for homeowners on Saturday, October 25th

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.

This year Environmental Services is hosting two of these workshops in areas where private property stormwater facilities would be most helpful to current sewer rehabilitation projects. The Naturescaping Basics class on Sunday, October 12th is FULL (you can still get on the wait list). Luckily, there are still a few spaces left for the Rain Gardens 101 class on Saturday, October 25th. If you're interested, see the details below and register now!

 

Rain Gardens 101

Date: Sat, Oct. 25 Time: 9:00 am - 1:00 pm Location: Southeast Uplift Address: 3534 SE Main, Portland, 97214

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!