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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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Get a little dirty for a cleaner Johnson Creek


Epic environmental restoration day needs your help!

volunteer digging Looking for a way to get outside and get dirty for a good cause? Join the hundreds of volunteers who are coming out for the Johnson Creek Watershed Council’s Watershed Wide Event on Saturday, March 7 from 9 a.m. – 12 noon.

This is the 17th year in a row for this epic feat of environmental restoration. This grassroots effort will take place at ten locations across the Johnson Creek Watershed, from southeast Portland to Damascus and Boring. Volunteers will work with the Council and its partners to plant native trees and shrubs, and learn about how invasive plants like ivy and blackberry can affect water quality.

“The Council enjoys planning this event every year and we work hard to ensure that community members that have a blast learning about Johnson Creek while also giving back. It’s a great event for the whole family – with free lunch to boot,” says Volunteer and Outreach Coordinator Amy Lodholz.

To sign up, please call 503-652-7477, or go to Johnson Creek Watershed Council website.

Special thanks to event supporters: City of GreshamClackamas County Water Environment Services, Crystal Springs Partnership, East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District, Friends of Tideman Johnson Park, Friends of Trees, Portland Parks & Recreation, and Portland Bureau of Environmental Services.

Five Years of Revegetation at Mt Tabor Park

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Since 2011, program partners have planted more than 2,500 native trees and 30,000 native shrubs in the historic park

This February marks the fifth season of native plantings at Mt. Tabor for the Environmental Services Watershed Revegetation Program. Since 2011, program partners have planted more than 2,500 native trees and 30,000 native shrubs in the historic park. This month, they’re planting 500 more trees and 2,800 more shrubs. These efforts are part of a wider multi-bureau and community effort to remove invasive species and restore the native trees, shrubs, and grasses that help control erosion in Mt. Tabor Park.

There are also lots of opportunities for you to contribute. Do you like to get your hands dirty? Love native plants? Become a Weed Warrior with Friends of Mt. Tabor Park and you can join in native plantings and invasive species removal. For more information, visit

Now is the perfect time to plant natives on your property. Environmental Services provides resources on native plant species, soil types, retail nursery locations, seed companies, workshops, and relevant guidebooks for all skill levels. Take a look at our Native Plants poster for more on natives, nurseries and other resources.​

February open house reveals new concepts and plans for the future of the Central Eastside

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The FREE event takes place at the Oregon Rail Heritage Center on Thursday, February 19th, from 4-7 p.m.

Join the SE Quadrant planning team at the Oregon Rail Heritage Center (ORHC) on February 19 to learn about the future of the Central Eastside. View maps, images and diagrams, and read and comment on the goals, policies and actions that have been developed over the last year and a half. Input from the open house, the Stakeholder Advisory Committee and other Central Eastside stakeholders will help shape the SE Quadrant Draft Plan to be released in March.

You’ll be able to learn more and share your ideas about how the plan will:

  • Provide greater flexibility for new industrial uses, activate MAX light rail station areas, and enhance and connect areas of the district.
  • Address parking needs and improve key freight, bicycle and pedestrian corridors.
  • Continue to develop the riverfront as a destination and enhance river habitat.
  • Provide park-like spaces and green infrastructure.

Environmental Services completed the SE Clay Green Street project last year and is part of the planning team for the Southeast Quad working to identify opportunities for improvements, including green infrastructure. The open house will include areas identified as priorities for green roofs, green streets, and trees to help manage stormwater runoff in the area.

Photo: Stormwater plaza at PCC CLIMB Center, SE Clay and Water Ave in the Central Eastside.

Attendees are invited to explore the exhibits of historic train engines, and Rail Heritage Center staff will be on hand to answer questions. Snacks and refreshments will be provided.

SE Quadrant Open House
Thursday, Feb. 19, 2015, 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Oregon Rail Heritage Center, 2250 SE Water Ave
Parking: There is a parking lot available west of SE Water Ave on SE Caruthers Street.

Frog eggs for Valentine’s Day?

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Nothing says “love” to scientists like amphibian eggs in Portland’s waterways

frog egg mass in Johnson Creek  tree frog eggs closeup 

rough skinned newt under water

Nothing says “love” to scientists like amphibian eggs in Portland’s waterways. 

These pictures show egg masses for red-legged frogs (left) and Pacific tree frog (right), as well as a rough-skinned newt underwater.

Environmental Services scientists found these while monitoring for amphibian populations at Johnson Creek restoration sites

We monitor amphibians, like native salamanders, newts and frogs, to track the success of restoration projects and overall conditions in local streams.  Amphibians are an indicator of water quality conditions – they are very sensitive to pollution. 


Planting Trees by Bike!

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Sunnyside neighborhood draws nearly 100 volunteers for Friends of Trees planting event

Many Portlanders are familiar with local non-profit Friends of Trees (FOT) and their prodigious planting programs. Since 1989, FOT has planted more than 500,000 trees in the Portland-Vancouver and Eugene-Springfield metro areas. Over the last several years, FOT has partnered with the Bureau of Environmental Services Tree Program and the Tabor to the River Program to help extend the benefits of the urban forest to even more Portlanders.

Just a few years ago, FOT devised an even greener and more fun way to plant:  by bike!  Aside from reducing carbon emissions, the joy of riding bikes with your neighbors adds to the planting experience. Volunteers at neighborhood planting events get to spend time with their neighbors enjoying breakfast and getting their hands dirty—all while contributing to a vibrant urban forest that will provide benefits for decades to come. 

This year’s Sunnyside planting, located in the Tabor to the River program area, was an impressive affair. On January 24th, as many as 100 people gathered to participate, and after a few announcements and thank yous, the bike trailers packed with trees took off from Sunnyside School Park and Sunnyside United Methodist Church. Trailers carried trees destined to find homes in a yard or planting strip nearby. In typical Friends of Trees style, gratified volunteers from several neighborhoods—cyclists, walkers and automobile drivers alike—returned to a potluck of delicious homemade food.

In addition to Sunnyside, FOT staff and volunteers helped to plant trees in Laurelhurst, Kerns, North Tabor, Centennial, Mill Park, Hazelwood, and Glenfair neighborhoods that morning. In all, volunteers planted over 200 trees, and at least half of them by bike! 

If you’d like to volunteer for a Friends of Trees planting this year, visit  While many plantings are closed to new volunteers, there are still several opportunities to get involved.