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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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Mussels on the Move

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2,000 native creatures moved out of the Crystal Springs construction zone

volunteers wading in creekPortland is showing how community, science and infrastructure are all coming together in the restoration of Crystal Springs Creek

Earlier this month, 25 volunteers with the Crystal Springs Partnership, Johnson Creek Watershed Council and Xerces Society helped relocate native freshwater mussels to prepare for the new Environmental Services culvert replacement project along Crystal Springs Creek. 

2,000 mussels were moved upstream with help from the humans and some creative transportation containers.

Read more about the day and the humor of moving mussels on the Crystal Springs Partnership’s blog: Our Mussels Find New Digs

In 2013, volunteers also relocated mussels from the Westmoreland Park pond in preparation for construction there.  Find out more about that effort, and why mussels matter.  

volunteers salvaging mussels from creek freshwater mussels

Get Out and Explore Tryon Creek

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Activities with the Friends of Tryon Creek this summer

Tryon CreekTryon Creek is Oregon’s only urban state natural area, located on the border of SW Portland and Lake Oswego along Terwilliger Blvd.  The 650-acre park is home to many different species of native plants and wildlife, including owls, woodpecker, beaver, deer, coyote and many more. 

The Friends of Tryon Creek work with the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department to support education and stewardship programs in this unique forest.  Join them this summer for some of their activities and learn more about this amazing park and creek. 

“Friends” groups like this are important partners for cleaner rivers and streams in Portland and the region.

A few activities are highlighted below, but there are many upcoming activities for adults and children.  To learn more and stay up to date on what’s happening with the Friends, check out

Please Note: the Tryon Creek State Natural Area parking lot will be under construction through mid-August and parking will be very limited.  Please plan on carpooling or taking transit to events when possible.

pollinating insect on flowerForest Inhabitants Working Together: An Interpretive Nature Hike

Sunday, July 24 from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. – Tryon Creek State Natural Area – 11321 SW Terwilliger Blvd., Portland, OR 97219

The idea of reciprocity is familiar to most, and whether you call it karma, giving back, symbiosis, or paying it forward, we often look for ways to reciprocate services provided to us by others.  This evening walk in the park will look at how ecosystem services are reciprocated in the landscape and how we can actively involve ourselves in this process.

This is a free event for all ages; no registration is required.  We encourage lively discussion and brainstorming as we share our thoughts, experiences and ideas over light snacks, beverages and a short stroll through the park!

Tryon Creek Book Club

Start reading now for Saturday, August 6th from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. – Tryon Creek State Natural Area – 11321 SW Terwilliger Blvd., Portland, OR 97219

The Tryon Creek Book Club is excited to begin our second book, Gathering Moss: A Natural and Cultural History of Moss (2003), by Dr. Robin Kimmerer for next month's book club as a follow-up to our discussion of Dr. Kimmerer's second book, Braiding Sweetgrass, which we wrapped up this past weekend.

In this series of linked personal essays, Robin Wall Kimmerer leads general readers and scientists alike to an understanding of how mosses live and how their lives are intertwined with the lives of countless other beings. Kimmerer explains the biology of mosses clearly and artfully, while at the same time reflecting on what these fascinating organisms have to teach us. 

You can purchase the book at the Friends of Tryon Creek Bookstore or online from major retailers. Limited copies are also available through Multnomah County Library or libraries in Clackamas County.

Please send an email to to express your interest in Book Club so we can plan accordingly. Thank you, and happy reading!

native fernSpanish Language Interpretive Hike

Friday, July 29 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. – Tryon Creek State Natural Area – 11321 SW Terwilliger Blvd., Portland, OR 97219

Both Spanish and English speakers alike are invited to join us for a nature hike at Tryon Creek.

Tanto los hablantes de español e inglés están invitados a unirse a una caminata interpretativa en Tryon Creek State Natural Area .

This is a free event for all ages; no registration is required. 

Este es un evento gratuito para todas las edades, no se requiere ningún registro.

For more information about these or other events, contact Gabe Sheoships: or 503 636 4398 extension 108

Citizen science opportunity with the Johnson Creek Watershed Council


Volunteers needed to survey beaver activity

Volunteers are needed for a pilot beaver survey project as a part of Johnson Creek Watershed Council's growing Community Science program. No prior experience is required. 

tree chewed by beaverHelp document the distribution of beaver activity through Johnson Creek. Metro Ecologist Kate Holleran will teach volunteers about the role of beavers in watershed restoration.  Volunteers will also receive training in a cutting-edge beaver survey protocol. 

Volunteer orientation will be held on July 28th from 6pm-8pm.

Surveys will be held on three days in August and September. 

Please register and find more information about the dates and work requirements HERE

The Johnson Creek Watershed Council is a partner of Environmental Services on outreach and restoration efforts in Johnson Creek, including the new wetland project underway at Lower Errol Heights.  Beavers are also an important partner in our clean water and flood mitigation efforts (read more here).


"The Cultivated Facade" - Check out Architectural Record's recent green wall article

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The article features the Portland Expo Center Green Wall

Green walls are gaining in popularity across the globe.  In this article, journalist Peter Fairley explores different types of green walls and how architects are incorporating them into their designs.  Examples of green walls from Singapore, Malaysia, and London are discussed.

The article also features our own stormwater green wall at the Expo Center in North Portland. The Expo green wall is unique because it manages rain runoff from the roof of the adjacent building.  Next time you’re at Expo, check out the green wall, and in the meantime, read more about it here.

 Portland Expo Center Green Wall: with Environmental Services' Amy Chomowicz (above) and flow diagram (below).





Wetland Restoration at Lower Errol Heights

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Beginning this week, a tributary of Johnson Creek in Southeast Portland will be enhanced to reconnect valuable fish habitat

Environmental Services is gearing up for another stream restoration project, this time letting local beavers engineer and build it. The Lower Errol Heights Restoration Project is located at 4543 SE Harney Drive on Errol Creek, a tributary of Johnson Creek.

Errol Creek, a tributary of Johnson Creek in Southeast Portland.

Beginning July 15, Environmental Services and Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) will remove man-made structures that impede the natural movement of the creek and wetlands, allowing local beaver to settle in and restore the wetlands over time. After the structures are removed, PP&R partners and volunteer groups will help re-establish the wetlands by removing a pipe that directs hillside springs away from wetlands and into Errol Creek, and will remove invasive plants and establish natives throughout the site.

A major limiting factor for fish within the city is the lack of refuge habitat. The abundant, cold, high quality springs and location near Johnson Creek spawning habitat make Errol Creek ideal refuge and rearing habitat. In fact, juvenile rainbow/steelhead trout were observed in Errol Creek from 2011 to 2013 during fish surveys.

Weirs in the stream prevent fish passage to valuable refuge and rearing habitat.

The project is at the western end of Errol Heights Park, a unique 12-acre natural area. In the 1990s, Errol Heights was covered in invasive species and used as an illegal dump. Neighbors restored the open space through monthly work parties led by PP&R and non-profits.

In 2007 and 2009, the city completed restoration projects at Upper Errol Heights and at the confluence of Errol and Johnson creeks. Since then, beaver have established active populations at both sites, further expanding wetlands in these areas.

Read more here about how beavers help with water quality, restoration and flood mitigation, and see their work at other Johnson Creek projects.