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Foster Floodplain Natural Area: A Case Study for Restoration

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Foster Floodplain Natural Area  Floodplain restoration tour group 

This April, we celebrated the completion of the Foster Floodplain Natural Area.  Since then, it’s been getting a lot of attention.  On August 24, more than 20 local environmental professionals, college professors, students, and government agency staff joined the Bureau of Environmental Services, Portland Parks & Recreation, and Otak on a tour of the site.  The tour was hosted in partnership with the Northwest Chapter of the Society for Ecological Restoration as part of their Restoration Walk series, which aims to foster interdisciplinary discussion and information sharing among ecological restoration practitioners.

The 63-acre East Lents Floodplain Restoration project (now known as Foster Floodplain) reconnected Johnson Creek to its floodplain, created approximately 140 acre-feet of flood storage, removed three roads, three bridges, and Works Progress Administration-era streambank armoring, created extensive floodplain wetlands, improved in-stream fish habitat, removed invasive plant species, and established native plants.  This project was identified as a high priority in the Johnson Creek Restoration Plan and was partially funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Tour participants learned about this significant project and lessons that can be applied in other communities.  It’s a great example of using green infrastructure (our city’s streams, trees, wetlands, rain gardens and green streets) to solve a lot of problems at once.  The natural resources at Foster Floodplain work to reduce flooding on Foster Road, improve water quality, and provide wildlife habitat. 

View the tour brochure.

For more about the Restoration Walk series and upcoming events in the Northwest, visit: http://chapter.ser.org/northwest/events/restoration-walks/

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