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Community watershed projects receive grant funding

News Release

July 15, 2016

For information contact Linc Mann, 503-823-5328,

The Portland City Council has approved Community Watershed Stewardship Program (CWSP) grants totaling $100,000 to 13 community groups for projects to improve watershed health. CWSP provides groups with grants of up to $10,000 to engage volunteers in stormwater management and watershed restoration projects.

The program is a partnership between Environmental Services and Portland State University. Since 1995, CWSP has granted more than $1 million for watershed projects and helped organize more than 40,000 volunteers to work on community projects.

“Since 1995, this program has helped diverse groups of creative Portlanders who work together to design new watershed projects and forge new partnerships,” said City Commissioner Nick Fish. “These grants empower community leaders and volunteers in making Portland cleaner and greener.”

The program also helps the Bureau of Environmental Services comply with federal regulations. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issues permits that require cities to develop programs to reduce stormwater pollution. The EPA recognizes that those programs are more effective when community members and groups join in. Public information, public involvement and public participation are all stormwater permit requirements.

CWSP projects support Portland’s green infrastructure by providing rainwater infiltration, water quality improvement, stream restoration, pavement removal, watershed data collection and flood mitigation. CWSP grants will fund these 13 projects this year:

  1. Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership - Vernon Elementary Stormwater Project ($8,999) Remove 864 square feet of asphalt from the schoolyard and replace it with trees, permeable pavers, and seating
  2. Sabin Community Development - Youth Opportunities Program ($6,000) Provide youth from underrepresented communities with the job skills and an in-depth understanding of watershed function and their personal connection to it
  3. Depave - Greening Bridgeport United Church of Christ ($10,000) Depave 800 square feet of parking lot, add a rain garden and lawn area, install native plants and trees
  4. Bridger Parent Teacher Association - Bridger Rain Garden and Outdoor Classroom ($6,870) Improve existing rain garden and outdoor classroom with educational signage in English and Spanish, raised garden beds, and native plant habitat
  5. ROSE Community Development – Lents Youth Initiative Pollinator Habitat Enhancement ($7,100) Enhance and expand pollinator habitat and connectivity
  6. PSU Indigenous Nations Studies/NAYA - Kah San Chako Haws First Foods Garden ($10,000) A self-sustaining community garden with water-catching systems and native plants to help absorb rain
  7. Johnson Creek Watershed Council - Johnson Creek Cleanup 2016 ($5,500) Instream trash clean up event removing trash from the stream between SE 92nd and SE 17th
  8. National Indian Parent Information Center/Johnson Creek Watershed Council- Native American Youth for the Environment ($7,040) Three volunteer watershed restoration events for Native American youth with special needs
  9. Linnton Community Center - Shipping Container Ecoroof and Vertical Gardens ($5,715) Ecoroof and vertical gardens will provide insulation in summer and capture stormwater in winter, and teach children about environmental stewardship
  10. Linnton Neighborhood Association/Neighbors West-Northwest- Kingsley Community Garden ($7,000) Build a community garden
  11. Tryon Creek Watershed Council -Watershed Restoration Mentors ($10,000) Establish native canopy along streamside properties
  12. Mecha Statewide/Groundwork Portland - Latino Youth Stormwater Microfiltration Study ($6,856) Researching the ability of a species of fungi to remove pollutants from stormwater runoff
  13. City Repair - Pollinator Pathways ($7,000) Create pollinator native plant habitats at five locations along Sunday parkway routes

The Bureau of Environmental Services works with Portland residents and businesses to protect water quality, public health, and the environment through wastewater collection and treatment, sewer construction and maintenance, stormwater management, and stream and watershed restoration.