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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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Ecoroof Incentive, 2013 Symposium, and Rock on the Roof!

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Ecoroof news for December 2012

Ecoroof Incentive is now available year-round!

The ecoroof incentive is again open for applications, and we'll be accepting them on a rolling basis until June 2013. This means that you can apply anytime between now and June 1. The purpose of this is to expedite the application process for people interested in having an ecoroof on their project - applicants will find out within 30 days of submitting the application. The incentive pays $5 per square foot for new ecoroof projects in the city. Industrial, residential, commercial and mixed-use projects are eligible. Application materials and more information are available on our website. To receive an application form in the mail, send us an email or call 503-823-7914. Please note: funding is limited and be awarded to applications until they're gone. We've had several in the last month, so if you're planning to submit for a project, the earlier the better! 

2013 Ecoroof Symposium - Save the Date

The next Ecoroof Symposium will take place on Thursday, May 2nd. Please save the date - more details to come soon. Also, materials from the 2012 Ecoroof Symposium have been posted on our website, including links to videos and slides of each presentation. You can also find all of the videos on our YouTube page.

Gunderson Ecoroof in Local Band's Music Video

Green roofs are exciting just by themselves, but when you put an energetic rock band on a green roof, you can expect great things. That's exactly what happened when the Portland Oregon-based band Rags and Ribbons teamed up with Perceptions NW, Gunderson LLC's Dave Harvey, and Amy Chomowicz to create a music video featuring a green roof. The video's compelling story incorporates Gunderson's green roof to send a message about the positive impact green roofs have on the environment. According to the Portland Mercury, "this video should do for ecoroofs what 'Thriller' did for dancing zombies." Given that description, it's gotta be special. Check out the video here: 


Developing a Local Seed Source for Watershed Revegetation

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Trials are Underway for Propagation of Shade-tolerant Groundcover Plants

Trials are Underway for Propagation of Shade-tolerant Groundcover Plants

It’s that time of year again when the weather starts to cool and the rain is inescapable; and also the perfect time of year for land managers to sow native seeds at restoration sites. 

The Environmental Services Watershed Revegetation Program team works on natural area restoration projects with other City of Portland bureaus and many public and private groups. The restoration work improves water quality, controls erosion, reduces stormwater pollution, and enhances fish and wildlife habitat.

With hundreds of acres of English ivy and other invasive species removed, restoring native groundcovers can be a challenge.  Since most shade-tolerant, native groundcovers are not available commercially, the Watershed Revegetation Program has partnered with Metro and Clean Water Services to determine the best species and propagation techniques to create a region-wide seed source. They collected native seeds throughout the summer of 2012 at different sites around Portland, mostly in Forest Park.  Some of the species targeted were Pacific waterleaf (Hydrophyllum tenuipes), candy flower (Claytonia sibirica), fringecup (Tellima grandiflora), and largeleaf avens (Geum macrophyllum). 

In addition to sowing these seeds at restoration sites, seeds were sown in experimental plots this fall. Germination success will be measured for different methods and at different application rates, and data will be collected next summer. Results will be shared with Metro and Clean Water Services, who are conducting similar trials. Stay tuned for the results; we can’t wait to see what pops up in the spring!

Revegetation Work Continues on Mt Tabor

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The multi-partner Mt Tabor Invasive Plant Removal and Revegetation Project enters it's third year

The multi-partner Mt Tabor Invasive Plant Removal and Revegetation Project enters it's third year.

The Mt. Tabor Invasive Plant Removal and Revegetation Project is entering its third year. The first two years were largely focused on controlling invasive plants such as English ivy and Himalayan blackberry. To date, invasive plants have been controlled on over 66 acres of natural area by BES Watershed Revegetation Program staff and volunteers with both the Friends of Mt. Tabor Park (FMTP) Weed Warriors and Portland Parks & Recreation. You may recall the Weed Warriors received a Spirit of Portland Award last month for their leadership and hard work.  

Invasive plant removal continues to be a major part of the work, but there are two major planting events coming up at the beginning of 2013: volunteers will be planting native plants in January, and BES will be planting over 20,000 native trees and shrubs in February. 

For more information on recent and future work, see the November 2012 project update.


Before and After: Holman Park

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The redesign of the Northeast Portland park is an excellent example of collaboration and community involvement

Holman Park in Northeast Portland is an excellent example of how collaboration and community involvement can create a valuable neighborhood asset while meeting multiple city goals. To enhance the Holman Bike Boulevard, Portland Bureau of Transportation proposed a traffic diversion to improve bike access through the adjacent intersection. The proposed transportation enhancements created an opportunity to expand the landscaped area in the park, and Environmental Services had an interest in reducing impervious surfaces and improving stormwater management. In addition, the surrounding neighborhood had a longstanding interest in improving the condition of the park. The resulting collaborative project was a perfect candidate for funding through the EPA Innovative Wet Weather Program (IWWP) administered by Environmental Services.

Holman Park before redesign


Prior to the project, the park included an outdated play structure, two benches in disrepair, and one picnic table for seating. Woodlawn neighbors participated in the design process, expressing significant ownership in the project. The community's desire for the removal of the play structure and addition of more seating areas was incorporated into the design. The redesign of the park includes six stormwater facilities that manage over 16,000 ft² of concrete, a community bulletin board kiosk with a visible ecoroof, and a drinking fountain provided by the Portland Water Bureau, all of which are integrated into a more welcoming destination and meeting place.

Holman Park after redesign


Green infrastructure strategies not only help us manage stormwater runoff, protecting our streams and rivers and reducing stress on our pipe infrastructure, but they provide many other benefits to our city. The Holman Park redesign illustrates how integrating the strategies into community projects can meet multiple city goals while enhancing the health and livability of our neighborhoods.

The Holman Park project was made possible by a special collaboration between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Portland Bureau of Environmental Services, Portland Parks & Recreation, Portland Bureau of Transportation, Portland Water Bureau, and residents of the Woodlawn neighborhood.


Grand Opening of Gray's Landing

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South Waterfront's first affordable housing development boasts Portland's largest ecoroof

South Waterfront's first affordable housing development boasts a 30,000 ft² ecoroof

This Thursday, REACH CDC, the Portland Housing Bureau, and City Commissioner Nick Fish will celebrate the Grand Opening of Gray’s Landing, the first affordable housing development in Portland’s South Waterfront neighborhood. Gray’s Landing is providing vital new homes for Portland workers and veterans. The building features 209 units of affordable housing, with 42 designated for low income veterans.

With acres of ecoroofs in South Waterfront already, the Gray's Landing project is in good company. The building boasts one of the largest ecoroofs in the Portland metropolitan region, and is targeted to receive LEED Platinum certification.  In addition to stormwater management benefits, ecoroofs contribute to the overall health of the building and the area around it.  The building will also benefit from a roof with a longer life span, which will save money down the road. 

The City of Portland contributed $5 per square foot to this project as part of the Ecoroof Incentive. Applications for the incentive are being accepted now, and you can visit the website to learn more.  

Newly planted ecoroof at Gray's Landing