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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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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.

Green Innovations: A New Video Features Portland's Green Infrastructure

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Over 30 projects were completed with grant funding from the EPA's Innovative Wet Weather Program

A U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Innovative Wet Weather grant program has funded 37 public and private projects throughout Portland that demonstrate how different kinds of green infrastructure can effectively manage stormwater. Environmental Services has produced a video (http://vimeo/portlandbes/iwwp) that profiles some of the innovations the program funded.

Green infrastructure uses vegetation to slow, retain and filter stormwater. Between 2002 and 2014, $3.4 million in EPA grants funded projects that demonstrate sustainable, low-impact stormwater management solutions. The program funded a variety of green infrastructure projects including green street planters, rain gardens, vegetated swales, pervious pavement and ecoroofs.

Managing urban stormwater runoff with green infrastructure protects rivers and streams, replenishes groundwater, and contributes to healthy watersheds. Green infrastructure can also make sewer and stormwater pipe infrastructure work more efficiently and reduce the need for more expensive pipe solutions.

In addition to managing stormwater, the green infrastructure projects the EPA grants supported have many other benefits including calming traffic, providing bicycle parking space, and enhancing neighborhood livability.

Projects the Innovative Wet Weather Program grant supported include:

Mississippi Commons Stormwater Planter
The Mississippi Commons development installed a stormwater planter in 2004 when sustainable stormwater management and green infrastructure were new concepts for site development. The project introduced several innovative and artistic stormwater management approaches. The stormwater planter integrated into the design of the commercial space manages 340,000 gallons of roof runoff annually.

SE Clay Green Street – Route to the River
The city worked with the community on the SE Clay Green Street Project from the Willamette River to SE 12th Avenue. The project gives inner east side Portland residents improved and safer connections to the Willamette River and an urban greenway through the Central Eastside Industrial District. The green street planters remove about two million gallons of stormwater runoff annually from Portland's combined sewer system. The project also maintains freight and business activities, enhances pedestrian and bicycle access to the Willamette River, and improves watershed health.

Stormwater Education Plaza
Environmental Services worked with Portland Community College (PCC) to combine green stormwater management with an interpretive exhibit and public art in the Central Eastside Industrial District. The rain garden at PCC’s CLIMB Center for Advancement manages stormwater from the roof and adjacent street and a green roof on the interpretive kiosk absorbs rain to reduce runoff. This project manages over 120,000 gallons of stormwater annually.

Stormwater Bike Corral
Rain from this sculpture and covered bike corral at NE Dekum and Durham drains to a green street planter that manages 65,000 gallons of stormwater annually from streets and an adjacent building. Artists Peg Butler and Buster Simpson used oil industry imagery in the project design because the facility replaced vehicle parking with bike parking and vegetation. Ecoroof planters are halved oil barrels with iridescent surfaces that change hues much like oil sheens.

More information about the Innovative Wet Weather Program is available at

Rain garden and interpretive kiosk at Portland Community College CLIMB Center


Trees are infrastructure


Portland’s trees help provide clean water and other benefits

In case you missed it, there’s a great story in the Portland Tribune: Exploring societal benefits of healthy urban forests.

people on tour of trees and stormwater projects

Cynthia Orlando from the Oregon Department of Forestry recounts a recent Oregon Board of Forestry tour exploring the role of urban forests as “green infrastructure.”  Forests aren’t just for the mountains.  Urban trees help provide many services, including stormwater management for cleaner rivers and streams.

Environmental Services staff led portions of the tour to discuss trees and stormwater management at the City’s Water Pollution Control Laboratory, and the Holman Pocket Park.  


Find out more about the Holman Pocket Park project here.  Learn about Environmental Services’ Tree Program and how you can get involved.