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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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Celebrate the Completion of the Division Streetscape Project

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Open Fest! will take place from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, October 24th

Environmental Services and the Portland Bureau of Transportation started construction on the Division Streetscape Project in May 2013. The work is finished now and it’s time to celebrate.

The Division/Clinton Business Assocation is sponsoring OpenFest! on Friday, October 24. City Commissioners Nick Fish and Steve Novick will officially re-open SE Division in a ceremony at SE 31st and Division starting at 10 a.m. Following the grand re-opening, several Division merchants will offer in-store specials throughout the day. You can also enjoy food booths and live music until 9 p.m. Check for all the details.

There’s plenty to celebrate. From SE 11th Avenue to SE Cesar Chavez Boulevard, Division is now an attractive main street with increased access to transit, better pedestrian and bicycle facilities, and improved air and water quality.

The corridor has new curb extensions for bus landings, new crosswalks and street lights, improved signalization and new public art. Nearly 5,000 feet of new sewer pipes replaced old sewers in poor condition. New green street planters and street trees keep stormwater runoff out of the new sewers and green up the neighborhood. Come and see the improvements for yourself and enjoy OpenFest! from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, October 24.



Climate Change Preparation


Building and protecting our infrastructure in a changing climate

Climate Change Preparation Strategy CoverLast week, Portland City Council adopted the Climate Change Preparation Strategy and the associated Risk and Vulnerabilities Assessment.  These documents identify how climate change will affect the Portland region and what actions are needed to protect our community.  

The strategy and background report explore the impacts of climate change on various sectors, including people, infrastructure, and natural systems likes rivers and wetlands.  The strategy identifies more than 80 actions to build climate resilience into City of Portland and Multnomah County policies, operations, services and infrastructure over the coming years.

Predictions for Portland’s climate future include warmer winters with heavier rainstorms and hotter, drier summers with more high-heat days.

Technical experts from Environmental Services worked on the Climate Change Preparation Strategy.  Environmental Services’ wastewater and stormwater infrastructure is valued at over $13.2 billion.  Those facilities help keep Portlanders safe and healthy, and protect our environment.

Changing climate conditions pose risks to our stormwater facilities and sewage treatment system.  They are also a threat to the health of our urban forests, streams and rivers – the natural infrastructure we rely on for clean water. 

Ecoroof in industrial areaThe bureau is already implementing solutions, and will continue to do so.  One solution is our use of green infrastructure, like green street planters, ecoroofs, trees and wetlands to manage stormwater.  That's part of our regular business, but green infrastructure also provides climate-related benefits, including:

  • Helping to cool and clean our rivers and streams, which are projected to get warmer with climate change.  
  • Soaking up water from more extreme rain events to help protect the capacity of our sewer pipes.  
  • Helping capture CO2 and move the city closer to the Climate Action Plan targets for carbon reduction. Check out this post about green infrastructure and carbon sequestration.   

Read more about the Climate Change Preparation Strategy in this news release from the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability.  Visit Portland’s Climate Preparation and Action website to learn more about the Climate Action Plan update project and other existing climate efforts.

Get Registered for Rain Gardens 101

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There are still a few spaces left for the FREE class for homeowners on Saturday, October 25th

Every year, the staff at East Multnomah County Soil and Water Conservation District (EMSWCD) provide FREE naturescaping and rain garden classes across Portland. From the EMSWCD website:

Perfect for all levels of do-it-yourselfers, our FREE workshops highlight landscaping with native plants, water conservation, creative stormwater solutions and chemical-free gardening techniques that are good for people, water and wildlife. Most include a field trip to a neighborhood project or garden to see these principals in action.

This year Environmental Services is hosting two of these workshops in areas where private property stormwater facilities would be most helpful to current sewer rehabilitation projects. The Naturescaping Basics class on Sunday, October 12th is FULL (you can still get on the wait list). Luckily, there are still a few spaces left for the Rain Gardens 101 class on Saturday, October 25th. If you're interested, see the details below and register now!


Rain Gardens 101

Date: Sat, Oct. 25 Time: 9:00 am - 1:00 pm Location: Southeast Uplift Address: 3534 SE Main, Portland, 97214

Learn how to build your own rain garden! We’ll explore the critical role rain gardens can play in urban stream restoration, and how they add beautiful landscaping to your yard at the same time.

You will learn how to assess your site to determine the best location and size, calculate impervious surfaces, determine soil suitability, choose appropriate plants, and how to maintain your new rain garden. You will also receive a comprehensive manual that guides you through all the steps in constructing your rain garden. Where possible, workshop includes a short tour of a nearby rain garden. RSVP for this event!

Green Street Stewards profile: Russell Golsten

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Russell Golsten is one of the many Portland residents volunteering for clean rivers.

Russell Golsten is an automotive technician from Austin, Texas and also volunteers with Green Lents and Depave.

"I love my neighborhood and the outdoors. Volunteering as a Green Street Steward is a great way to play my part for the environment. Being a native Texan, I appreciate living in a place that is so environmentally conscious. I feel this is an excellent way to contribute." 

Thank you, Russell, for keeping your Green Street facilities looking nice and functioning for clean rivers!

Join Portland's growing community of Green Street Stewards. It's a great way to help your neighborhood and partner for watershed health. Green Streets capture and filter stormwater to protect our rivers and streams and increase the efficiency of the city’s traditional pipe system. Portland is a leader in Green Infrastructure development, and since 2003 the city has built more than 1,400 Green Street facilities to manage stormwater. The city keeps them working and welcomes your help in their care.

Are you interested in getting involved? Sign up or get more information at,

by emailing mailto:, or call 503-823-5623.

You can also participate in ongoing Green Street Steward activities. The Surfrider Foundation Portland Chapter holds green street cleanups every month in Northeast and Southeast Portland:

PDX Northside Green Streets/Stormdrain Marking

When: Tue, October 21, 6:00pm – 7:30pm

Where: Gregg’s, 4628 N Montana Ave, Apt A

PDX Eastside Greenstreets/Stormdrain Marking

When: Tue, October 28, 6:30pm – 8:30pm

Where: Blackberry Yogurt Lounge, 2137 E Burnside St (and 22nd)

**FREE yogurt afterwards!

Portland's First Stormwater Green Wall


Flipping a green roof on end is a new way to catch stormwater runoff.

This week, Metro dedicated a stormwater green wall at the Portland Expo Center.  Environmental Services, Metro, and Greenworks worked together to design and construct the green wall.rain drips through planters on green wall

Many green walls are for aesthetics or to help cool the air.  The Expo Center green wall is different because it manages rainwater that runs off the roof.  Runoff flows by gravity through the green wall system, where native plants help filter and soak up the water.

dedication of green wallDevelopers have asked us if green walls can help meet Portland’s stormwater management requirements.  We will monitor the performance of the new Expo Center green wall to help answer that question.  The bureau will also use monitoring information to design future projects.

The 60-foot by 30-foot green wall took two years to design and construct. A $100,000 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency grant and contributions from Metro and Environmental Services funded the project.

Check out the wall if you're at the Fall Home and Garden Show this weekend!

Read more about the new green wall in this article from the Daily Journal of Commerce and on Metro's website