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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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Goodbye concrete pond, hello salmon

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A new film shows the past and future in Crystal Springs Creek.

Crystal Clear, a new short film by local company Straw Bale Films premiered at a recent Milwaukie Film Series event. 

Check out the salmon footage, historical photos and beautiful scenery around this little stream that flows to Johnson Creek and the Willamette River.  The film highlights the work by Environmental Services, Reed College, Johnson Creek Watershed Council, and many others in the Crystal Springs Partnership.

Seven culverts that block fish have been replaced, native plants are growing in, and more work is planned for this summer, including replacement of the last two culverts at SE Bybee St. and SE Glenwood Blvd. Learn more at

Stay tuned to for ways to get involved, or follow the news at

Bring your ideas to the Tryon-Stephens Headwaters Neighborhood Street Plan Open House

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The event takes place tonight, January 26th, from 5:30-7:30pm

If you live, work, go to school or play in the neighborhoods near Barbur Boulevard situated between Capitol Highway and Taylors Ferry Road then you are invited to attend the Tryon-Stephens Headwaters Neighborhood Street Plan Open House. Tell us where better local streets and pathways are needed and why. We want to hear what you would like to see improved and what should be preserved.

The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) and the Bureau of Environmental Services (BES) are working together on the Tryon-Stephens Headwaters Neighborhood Street Plan. The objective of the street plan is to establish a more connected local street and pathway network and to improve stormwater management systems within the area.

This area has steep slopes, soil that does a poor job of absorbing rain and sensitive natural resources. All these factors require an integrated approach to street and stormwater improvements. In addition to coordinating PBOT and BES investments in the project area and aligning transportation and stormwater system needs with community priorities, the Tryon-Stephens Headwater Neighborhood Street Plan will:

  • Create a strategy to improve local street connectivity and access to important neighborhood destinations, and
  • Define the primary walking and bicycle networks in the area

Read more on the project website here

Map of study area for Tryon-Stephens Headwaters Open House Invitation

Monday, January 26, 2015

Drop by anytime from 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM

Overview presentation at 6:00 PM

Stephens Creek Crossing Community Center

(Community Room) 6715 SW 26th Avenue

Use TriMet lines 1, 44, 45, and 64

(Transit stop IDs 965 and 966)

Parking available at Hillsdale Community Church,

6948 SW Capitol Hwy

Reminder: Community projects grant deadline approaching soon


Pre-applications for community stewardship grants due February 6.

Grant funds are available for community projects, and the deadline is coming up soon!

Short Pre-Applications are due February 6th for projects that meet community needs and improve watershed health.

The Community Watershed Stewardship Program (CWSP) is accepting pre-applications for Stewardship Grants. The deadline to submit pre-applications is 4:00 p.m. on Friday, February 6, 2015. A grant review committee will then invite selected applicants to submit full applications in April.

CWSP provides stewardship grants of up to $10,000 for projects that help Portlanders make improvements in their neighborhoods and communities, while improving watershed health.

Projects that can be funded include:

  • Neighborhood safety, health and livability
  • Youth leadership and skills development
  • Community gardens and green spaces
  • Art and education
  • Cleanup and restoration
  • Stormwater Management

person with grant applicationInterested?

CWSP encourages applications for projects that involve the leadership and meaningful participation of people of color, immigrants, elders, youth, those with disabilities, low-income residents, and other underrepresented groups.

For help developing project ideas and putting together an application, contact CWSP Coordinator Jessica Rojas at or 503-823-7917 or go to

Jessica says "It's only one page, you can do it!"

The Portland Brownfield Program’s Winter 2015 Newsletter is HERE!

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Read about how the Brownfield Program spends its grant funds and come explore the new Interactive Brownfields Map (shown below). Visit to read the latest brownfield news and sign up to receive the newsletter by email.

The Portland Brownfield Program is a resource for property owners, developers, community organizations, and neighbors who are interested in cleaning up brownfields, recovering neighborhood land. The program provides technical and financial support when contamination from past land use is a concern.

Rolling out new plants at Stephens Creek Confluence

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The newly-installed vegetation will help stabilize the creek's banks and protect valuable habitat for salmon

Recently, Environmental Services installed new plants in southwest Portland at the mouth of Stephens Creek and the Willamette River.  This is follow up work for the Stephens Creek Confluence Habitat Enhancement Project.

This revegetation work is unique because we’re using a product developed by a company in Idaho that is fairly new here in Portland - wetland sod mats.  The mats were delivered to the project site by boat, then were unrolled and staked down in place.

The woven coconut coir mesh mats have a variety of wetland plants incorporated into them, such as rice cutgrass, hard stem bulrush and Columbian sedge.  They are grown hydroponically during the spring and summer before they are planted at a project site in the fall.  The goal is to create wetland sod mats with strong root systems that can help prevent erosion and provide a diverse pallet of native vegetation. 

At places like the Stephens Creek Confluence, where a stream that is prone to high flows meets a dynamic river like the Willamette, strong currents can cause young plants to wash out of new restoration areas.  On the other hand, when native plants become well-established, restoration sites can become relatively self-sustaining and require little City maintenance in future years.  Environmental Services is using these innovative wetland mats to help stabilize the Stephens Creek Confluence site, and will be applying any lessons learned from this to future restoration projects.