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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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Stormwater Plaza Partnership with Portland Community College

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Environmental Services and Portland Community College (PCC) have combined green stormwater management with an interpretive exhibit and public art in the Central Eastside Industrial District. A new rain garden at PCC’s CLIMB Center for Advancement at SE Water Avenue and SE Clay Street collects stormwater runoff from the center’s roof and the adjacent street. 

Roof runoff cascades over concrete and steel slabs into the rain garden and street runoff flows into the facility  under a steel sidewalk grate. An interpretive kiosk, covered by a green roof that absorbs rain, describes how the rain garden captures and filters stormwater to keep runoff out of the sewer system.


Benches near the kiosk are made from wood salvaged from several 100-year-old warehouses when a portion of the industrial district was redeveloped. The site features a six-foot steel sculpture by Portland artist Linda Wysong titled “Eye River” that was inspired by the six-inch steel spikes, known as log dogs, once used to build log rafts. 

The rain garden project is part of the SE Clay Green Street Project, which will extend for 12 blocks between SE Clay and SE Water Avenue and will link outlying neighborhoods to the Central Eastside Industrial District (CEID) and the Willamette River. 

Removal of fish passage barrier on Crystal Springs Creek began Aug. 3

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Union Pacific Railroad, City of Portland, Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Transit Project work together to improve habitat

Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR), the City of Portland and the Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Transit Project (PMLR) are working together to replace a Crystal Springs Creek culvert under the UPRR tracks just east of SE McLoughlin Boulevard. The new culvert will also be under the light rail extension.

The work is part of a Portland Bureau of Environmental Services project to replace eight culverts on Crystal Springs Creek that block fish access to salmon habitat. The culvert under the UPRR alignment was not accessible until light rail project construction provided the opportunity to replace it.

This culvert and the eight others on the 2.7-mile, spring-fed creek restrict fish passage, cause flooding and can lead to a rise in creek water temperatures that harm juvenile salmon. The new fish-friendly culverts will allow salmon to access habitat the length of the creek and will reduce potential flooding. The replacement of all nine culverts is scheduled to be complete in 2014. 

Find more project information on the Trimet website and more photos on the PMLR facebook page

 

Solar and Ecoroofs Make Friends in Portland

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Portland has been seeing a substantial increase in the number of ecoroofs integrating photovoltaic (PV) or solar water-heating panels directly above the vegetation.  The tenth such combo was recently completed, bringing the City to over 100,000 square feet (sf) of ecoroofs that integrate solar panels over parts of their design.  The Village at the Headwaters, a senior affordable housing community, was the first to combine the two, installing a small solar water heating system over a portion of their ecoroof in 2007.  85% of installations have occured since 2010, some of which cover nearly the entire vegetated roof. 

  

This combination appears beneficial to both systems: the dappled, shifting shade from the panels limits plant exposure on dry, hot days and curbs the need for irrigation systems.  The solar panels function more efficienctly in the cooler microclimate provided above the plants and soil. 

The projects have been a mix of new construction and retrofits on predominantly commercial buildings.  Portland State University and the City of Portland are currently researching this relationship between building energy and the other ecosystem services provided by ecoroofs.

Become a Green Street Steward!

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maintaining a green street

Portland is recognized internationally as a leader in sustainable stormwater management. Since 2003, Portland created more than 1,200 Green Streets throughout the city to manage stormwater at the source, where the rain falls. Green streets are small rain gardens that reduce the volume of stormwater and its associated pollutants, keeping it out of sewer pipes where it can end up in our rivers and streams or cause sewers to back up into homes and businesses. 

Through this effort, Portland treats stormwater as a resource, and adds green spaces to neighborhoods. Green Streets also help clean the air, enhance street safety, and protect sewer ratepayers’ investments in the piped collection system.

Community members have asked how they can participate in the care of Green Streets as a way to help the environment and build community. Now, through the Green Street Steward program, community members can adopt a Green Street and work with the city on green street care and maintenance.

The city is still responsible for looking after Green Streets and ensuring they work properly. Green Street Stewards simply volunteer to help pick up trash, remove leaves and debris, and occasionally weed and water green street facilities. Partnerships between the city and community members contribute to Portland’s beauty and enhance livability. Please consider becoming a Green Street Steward as a rewarding way to care for your community and keep Portland’s rivers clean.

To learn more about the program and upcoming training sessions, please visit  www.portlandonline.com/bes/GreenStreetSteward, email GreenStreetStewards@portlandoregon.gov or call 503-823-5623.  

 

11th Annual Build it Green Tour - Saturday, September 22nd

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Tour Preview


Tickets are on sale now for the 11th annual Build It Green! Home Tour and Information Fair— a self-guided tour of 20 green remodels and new homes around the Portland metropolitan area. Start and stop where and when you choose.

Chat with homeowners, designers, do-it-yourselfers and contractors about solar panels, ecoroofs (green roofs), rainwater harvesting, natural landscaping, affordable housing, water and energy conservation, natural building materials, alternative construction techniques and much more! Pick up some great ideas for YOUR current or future home.

Tour date: Saturday, September 22, 2012

Tour time: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

New Info Fair hours: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

  • $15 admission, on sale starting mid-August.

  • $10 honored citizens/students/alternative transportation.

  • Info Fair is FREE and open to everyone.

  • Children 13 years-old and under are FREE.

Build It Green! Info Fair at Green Depot, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., 819 SE Taylor, Portland, OR, 503-222-3881

The Info Fair is a prelude to the Tour with green vendors, demonstrations, food, drink and music.

  • Want a free Tour ticket? Volunteer for the Tour or Info Fair! 

Contact Valerie Garrett, tour coordinator greenhotline@portlandoregon.gov 503-823-5431 for more information.

Thank you to our 2012 Build It Green! Home Tour and Info Fair sponsors: Green Depot, Energy Trust of Oregon, Metro, Oregon Home Magazine, Solar Oregon, Portland Water Bureau, City of Portland Environmental Services and City of Portland Bureau of Development Services.