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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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Depaving at Saints Peter and Paul Church


Volunteers start a project to add more green space along 82nd Avenue

On a recent sunny Saturday, Environmental Services staff joined other volunteers with Depave and Saints Peter and Paul Episcopal Church to bust up and remove part of the church parking lot to make space for a rain garden. The group also removed invasive English ivy to clear the way for trees and native landscaping. The volunteer turnout was great – a young boy even helped with a mini wheelbarrow.

volunteers removing pavement

BES Watershed Manager Paul Ketcham works with other volunteers to expose soil for future planting.

volunteers removing pavement

BES Stormwater Specialist Danny Kapsch provides technical assistance to groups for rainwater retrofits like this during his regular job. He rolled up his sleeves on the weekend to wrangle no-longer-needed asphalt that other volunteers hauled to a dumpster.


Community actions like this help reduce pollution to the Willamette River and allow rain to soak into the ground, rather than flowing into sewers. They also add benefits to the neighborhood like shade and cooling in hot weather, and habitat for native birds and pollinators. Learn more about this project at


There will be a planting party on October 24 to create the rain garden and native plant areas. Come on out, and invite your friends! Find more details and sign up for that event here.

This project is funded by a Community Watershed Stewardship Program (CWSP) Grant.

Check out more photos from the depaving event on Depave’s Google+ album.

Help name a new natural area along Johnson Creek


The Johnson Creek Watershed Council is holding a naming contest for a new public natural area along Johnson Creek and the Springwater Corridor Trail. Do you have a winning name idea?

Luther Road restoration area

In 2014, Environmental Services completed the Luther Road Sewer and Habitat Restoration Project. The project repaired and protected a six-foot diameter sewer pipe that crosses under Johnson Creek on this 10-acre site. The project also improved habitat for salmon and trout listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. Learn more on our Luther Road project webpage.

Now the area needs a new name! 

The natural area is accessible by a short trail off the Springwater Trail, and in the future, North Clackamas Parks & Recreation District will convert a portion of the site to a developed park. 

We encourage you to visit to see the newly planted native plants, and watch for birds, salmon and other wildlife. Check out a map of the site here.

Click here to submit your idea for the new natural area name. Watershed Council judges will choose the top three entries. If your idea is one of the top three, you’ll receive a framed Johnson Creek nature photograph. The deadline to enter is Tuesday, October 13 at 5:00 PM.

Help spot salmon along Johnson Creek


Volunteer to survey the creek for endangered native fish

You can help the Johnson Creek Watershed Council document the distribution of salmon species through Johnson Creek. 

No experience is necessary! Training is provided at the orientation session:

Coho salmon in Crystal Springs creekSalmon Surveyor Orientation

Thursday, October 15th, 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

(see more details and a flyer here)

Biologists from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and watershed council staff will provide training and answer questions. Light refreshments provided.

How the surveys work: Volunteers will walk selected sections of Johnson Creek in pairs a minimum of one weekend between October 17th and December 12th, searching for salmon and evidence of spawning. Waders and necessary equipment are provided. Allow 2-3 hours per survey.

Volunteer surveyors will walk directly in the stream during winter flows, which can be difficult. Volunteers must be sure-footed, and have full mobility to participate in this activity.

RSVP required for training. Contact Danielle at or call 503-652-7477. Please indicate if you are signing up with your own survey partner.

Imagine a Day Without Water


Thinking about the infrastructure we often take for granted

How often do you stop to think about the value of our water, or imagine a day without water?

wetland in southeast Portland  green street on a rainy day  scientists monitoring stream conditions 

That’s not just a question about drinking water, but also water in our rivers and streams for fish, wildlife, irrigation, recreation, energy production and many other uses. 


Imagine a Day Without Water graphic

This week, utility agencies and other organizations across the country are asking people to imagine a day without water.  Then, think about how much you value our water infrastructure – for both our drinking water (from the great team at the Portland Water Bureau) and our wastewater and stormwater.  Different systems manage these waters, but ultimately, it’s all part of the same water cycle. 


Environmental Services’ Jane Bacchieri and the Willamette Partnership’s Carrie Sanneman reflected on water of all types, and why we should care even here in rainy Portland, on the Willamette Partnership blog:

canoeing on the Columbia Slough  culvert on the Columbia Slough  inspecting a sewer outfall pipe

Fall activities on the Columbia Slough


Join the Columbia Slough Watershed Council to learn more about our local water resources

bike riders on the Columbia Slough trailTwo events coming up with the Columbia Slough Watershed Council are great opportunities to learn more about Portland’s unique water resources.  Sign up soon — space is limited in these popular annual events!

Bike the Levees

Date: Sunday, October 11th

Time: 10:00 AM -1:00 PM

Bring your bike and your friends for a tour of Portland’s levee system. The Multnomah County Drainage Districts and the Columbia Slough Watershed Council will lead this 15-mile trip on easy terrain. Learn about functionality and history of Portland’s levee system which protects people and properties from flooding the work being done to ensure that the levee system meets modern standards for public safety. Riders will explore how the levees are managed for the balance of safety, recreation, and restoration. Helmets required; recommended for ages 12+. FREE.

Pre-registration is required. Click here to sign up!

Full details at:


water dropsGroundwater 101

Date: Saturday, November 14th

Time: 9:00 AM -1:00 PM (Optional groundwater facility tour from 1-1:30 PM)

Join the Portland Water Bureau and the Columbia Slough Watershed Council for Groundwater 101 – a FREE educational workshop that teaches groundwater basics including local geology and hydrology, what role groundwater plays in our drinking water system, and what we can do to protect this important resource. This interactive workshop is presented with a mix of hands-on and classroom-style teaching and is appropriate for adults and high school students aged 14 and up. Light refreshments will be provided.

Pre-registration is required. Click here to sign up!

Full details at:

Photo credit: Columbia Slough Watershed Council