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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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Tonight: Community Open House for Stephens Headwaters Projects

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Join BES and Parks staff for a community open house at the Multnomah Arts Center any time between 5:30 and 7:00 pm

Please join BES and Parks staff for a community open house to discuss three stormwater management projects at the Headwaters of Stephens Creek. The event is on Wednesday, November 30th at the Multnomah Arts Center, Room 7. Drop in any time between 5:30 and 7:00 p.m.

Stephens Creek begins near the Stephens Nature Park, and flows mostly above ground to the Willamette River near the Sellwood Bridge. The creek drains a 754-acre watershed and is one of the few remaining streams in Portland that flows mainly on the surface. BES is designing three projects – at the Texas Wetlands Expansion, the Stephens Nature Park and Custer Park – that will help to improve water quality and stream health throughout the Stephens Creek system through in-stream treatment and stormwater detention. Please see for maps and more information about the project. 

Over the years, BES has partnered with other bureaus, neighbors and community groups to improve stream health in Stephens Creek. Over time, the cumulative effect is that the stream provides better habitat for amphibians and insects, encourages native plants to thrive, and provides a cooler and cleaner source of water to the Willamette River system.

We hope you can join us at the Open House on November 30th to discuss the Stephens Headwaters projects, provide input and ask questions.

With questions or for more information, please contact Becky Tillson at 503-823-7097 or

SOLVE offers two great opportunities to volunteer with green streets this weekend

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Both opportunities happen Saturday November 5th and will focus on cleaning up green street planters

Have you ever wanted to get involved in sustainability issues, but just don’t know where to start? This weekend there are two great opportunities to get out and meet other folks interested in the same issues as you! 

The Green Street Stewards will be joining Love PDX, Keep it Green and Clean cleaning up green street planters as well as doing some general litter cleanup around Portland State University. On the other side of the river, the Central Eastside Industrial Council will be cleaning up their neighborhood green street planters.  

Register for either event at:

Downtown Clean-Up

Saturday, Nov. 5th, 10am-1pm OR 2pm-5pm

Meet In front of Portland Building

1120 SW 5th Ave

Portland, OR, 97204

Central Eastside Clean-Up

Saturday, Nov. 5th, 9am-1pm

Meet at SE MLK Bioswales

1000 SE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

Portland, OR, 97214

*street parking available

Don't Forget, Tomorrow is No Ivy Day

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The 13th Annual Event takes place Saturday at locations across Portland

Portland Parks & Recreation invites you to participate in their 13th annual No Ivy Day on Saturday, October 29. Join an ivy removal work party from 9 a.m. to noon, and celebrate your efforts afterwards with other volunteers from noon to 1:30 p.m.

No Ivy Day is an annual citywide effort to protect native plants and animals in Portland’s natural areas by working together to remove ivy and other invasive plants that threaten them. Visit to register for the event, learn about the various ways you can participate, see the list of work sites, and learn more about the No Ivy League.  

Be sure to dress appropriately for working outdoors in the weather. Event organizers will provide refreshments, tools and instructions. All volunteers who participate will receive a free native plant.

Environmental Services is now certified Salmon-Safe!

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Five city bureaus joined Portland Parks & Recreation making the City of Portland the nation’s first municipality to receive the designation.

Environmental Services worked cooperatively with the Salmon-Safe team over a two-year period to assess bureau facilities, operations and activities and determine the appropriate conditions that could be practically implemented to achieve Salmon-Safe desired environmental outcomes and improvements.

The Salmon-Safe report and recommendations commends our current efforts and identifies opportunities for improvement. 

Certification serves to raise awareness of how City operations contribute to salmon recovery throughout the entire Willamette River and Columbia River watersheds, as salmon pass through the City on their way up to headwater streams, as well as on their way downstream to the Columbia River and Pacific Ocean. 

We’re proud to receive this designation and recognition for Portland as an environmental leader that walks its talk, and sets an example for other cities.


Life in the Floodplain is coming up on October 8

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Take advantage of the FREE resource fair this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Anyone who has lived near an urban stream knows that it can be both a blessing and a curse. Walking in the cool shade of mature trees, and spotting birds, trout, beaver and deer just minutes from home is rejuvenating and good for our physical and mental health. Easy access to nature is one of the reasons that so many of us choose to live along rivers and streams.

Johnson Creek wintertime floodUnfortunately, the same creek that provides refuge in summer can also threaten our homes, businesses and roads with flooding in the winter. Come wintertime, thousands of people who live along Johnson Creek worry about flooding, sometimes checking stream levels multiple times per day. Many people also pay for flood insurance, which in some cases can cost as much as property taxes.

On Saturday, October 8, the City of Portland, in partnership with State Representative Jeff Reardon, local non-profit Green Lents, and many other organizations, are hosting an event called Life in the Floodplain for Portland residents who are grappling with the stress of flooding and flood insurance.

Groups including American Red Cross and the National Flood Insurance Program will provide information and tools to help you:

•             Understand flood insurance,

•             Reduce utility bill costs,

•             Learn about property improvements to reduce flood insurance costs,

•             Prepare for the next winter flood,

•             Learn about grants available to local businesses,

•             Get involved in local community projects,

•             Join the local Neighborhood Emergency Team,

•             And register for emergency alerts.

kids activitiesThere will be free food, raffle prizes, and fun arts and crafts and nature play for children. We hope you can join us!

Event: Life in the Floodplain

When: Saturday, October 8, at 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Where: Zenger Farm, 11741 SE Foster Road, Portland, OR 97266

More info: