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The City of Portland, Oregon

Environmental Services

working for clean rivers

Phone: 503-823-7740

Fax: 503-823-6995

1120 SW 5th Ave, Suite 613, Portland, OR 97204

More Contact Info

 


Green Street Stewards make a ton (literally) of difference

Corrected: Our sharp-eyed readers noticed that we left out our Most Valuable Partner Award winner. So we are honoring them twice - at the top of this page and as a finale: Thank you to the Portland chapter of Surfriders for helping us in "keeping it clean upstream.

(March 4, 2020) - Green streets do a lot of work for Portlanders, so it’s only fitting to recognize how much Portlanders are doing for the city’s green streets.Photo of green street stewards

Throughout Portland, more than 2,000 green streets - the rain gardens that are planted along curb sides - act as sponges. The plants and soils collect and filter stormwater, keeping pollutants out of our rivers and creeks, and adding green spaces and wildlife habitat to our neighborhoods.

Environmental Services' Green Street Steward program enrolls and supports volunteers to help maintain green streets in their neighborhoods.If you're not already, you can sign up to become a Green Street Steward at www.portlandoregon.gov/bes/greenstreetstewards.  In 2019, they (you!) made more than a ton of difference. Here are the numbers:

380 volunteer hours 

1552 gallons of trash collected

1969 gallons of debris collected

To thank the stewards who went above and beyond in a few categories (total hours, debris collected, trash collected, and most interesting find), we awarded these certificates:

Our 2019 trash champion is Kenny McCollum with 152 gallons of trash collected.


Our 2019 debris champions are Susan and Ben Donora with 395 gallons of debris collected.

 The resident who contributed the most time is Lyle Remington (not pictured) with 96 hours throughout last year.

Our business winners are:

 Our trash champion for 2019 is Pinehurst Management with 235 gallons of trash collected and the most dedicated with 49.75 hours.

  

Our debris champion this year is Archaeological Investigations Northwest, Inc. with 155 gallons of debris collected.

The business with the most interesting find is Environmental Science Association with a bike frame, headlamp, tent pole, large pile of foam batting, and half a cell phone.

One last category is the MVP (Most Valuable Partner). This year's MVP is the Portland chapter of the Surfrider Foundation. The MVP award is given to an organization that we believe has gone above and beyond in relation to the Green Streets Stewards Program.  This organization has contributed hours, resources, and volunteers to cleaning up green streets and surrounding areas around Portland. Congratulations and thank you, Surfriders for "keeping it clean upstream."

 

Thank you again to all award winners and to each of our stewards for the difference made for our program, your neighborhood, and our city. Find out more and sign up here: www.portlandoregon.gov/bes/greenstreetstewards or email us at greenstreetstewards@portlandoregon.gov

  

 

 

Sign up now for free naturescaping workshops

Do you want to build a rain garden? Add native plants to your yard? There's a workshop for that - and it's free.

Environmental Services and the East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District are hosting a series of naturescaping workshops this spring.  While the workshops are free, they do fill up fast. Here is the schedule now through June.

Volunteers adding naturescaping

Event name: Rain Garden 101 Workshop

Date: Sunday, March 15, 2020 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Location: Russellville Grange Hall – 12105 NE Prescott St.

Summary of event: Join Environmental Services and East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District for a free Rain Garden 101 Workshop

Details: Learn how to build your own rain garden! Environmental Services is partnering with East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District to put on a workshop to help you assess site conditions and choose appropriate plants for your own rain garden! This workshop will include an onsite tour of rain garden and bioswale projects at the Russellville Grange. Refreshments and light snacks will be provided. This workshop is ADA accessible.  Register here.

 

Event name: Naturescaping Basics Workshop

Date: April 4, 2020, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Location: SE Uplift – 3534 SE Main St.

Summary of event: Join Environmental Services and East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District for a free Naturescaping Basics Workshop

Details: Attend a workshop to learn how to naturescape on your own!  In this workshop you will learn the core concepts of natural landscaping, pollution prevention, watershed health connections, and beneficial native plants. Refreshments and light snacks will be provided. This workshop is ADA accessible.  Register here.

 

Event name: Naturescaping Basics Workshop

Date: May 9, 2020, 9  a.m. to 1 p.m.

Location: Social Justice Action Center – 400 SE 12th Ave.

Summary of event: Join Environmental Services and East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District for a free Naturescaping Basics Workshop

Details: Attend a workshop to learn how to naturescape on your own!  In this workshop you will learn the core concepts of natural landscaping, pollution prevention, watershed health connections, and beneficial native plants. Refreshments and light snacks will be provided. This workshop is ADA accessible.  Register here.

 

Event name: Native Plants Workshop

Date: June 13, 2020, 10: a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Location: Matt Dishman Community Center – 77 NE Knott St.

Summary of event: Join Environmental Services and East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District for a free Native Plants Workshop

Destails: Join East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District and Environmental Services to learn about the benefits of native plants!  In this workshop you will be introduced to common native plant communities in Portland and learn tips and techniques for helping them to thrive in your garden or yard.  Refreshments and light snacks will be provided. This workshop is ADA accessible.  Register here.

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 Find out more: Did you know that clean rivers start in your neighborhood? When we plant trees and native landscaping, those natural solutions not only provide beauty and habitat, they also absorb rain, and that helps keep our rivers clean. How does that work? Find out at our website: From your Neighborhood to the River. Or contact Jennifer Karps at 503-865-6060 ,or Jennifer.Karps@portlandoregon.gov

The Boise-Eliot Native Grove: A New Community Space for Watershed Health

(November 12, 2019) - With a little vision and a lot of help from community and City partners, Northeast Portland residents converted an underused patch of right-of-way into the Boise-Eliot Native Grove, a home for wildlife and a place to relax, learn, and play for people in the city.  Boise Eliot Native Grove

Many hands make light work! The Portland Bureau of Environmental Services provided native plants and educational art and signage. Portland Bureau of Transportation’s Spaces to Places Program provided the location for the grove on N Ivy St and N Gantenbein Ave.  East Multnomah Soil & Water Conservation District and the Boise Neighborhood Association contributed native plants and mulch. The Xerces Society, Friends of Trees, Boise-Eliot-Humboldt Elementary, The Ivy School, and the Rebuilding Center all brought additional materials and volunteer labor to the partnership.

The native grove features a variety of native plants and habitats for people and wildlife to enjoy.  Narrow pathways wind through the lush vegetation, revealing the grove’s treasures: a mason bee hotel, interpretive signage describing the benefits of native plants, a gazebo with a six-sided bench constructed by the community with salvaged materials, and a living dome of Sitka and Pacific willow trees that beckons children and adults to crawl inside and explore.

Community volunteers also maintain the plants throughout the year. They got a surprise this summer when a water line beneath the native grove burst, flooding the site and creating a sink hole in the middle of the willow dome.  Working quickly, Environmental Services and the Portland Water Bureau collaborated with the volunteers to repair the pipe and to salvage and rebuild the willow dome. In time, the fast-growing willows will achieve their former height, re-creating the tunnel of vegetation and restoring some of the grove’s mystery.

In the meantime, stop by the native grove to enjoy some time with nature in the city, and to cheer the newly re-planted willows on their way to recovery.

Visit: N Ivy St and N Gantenbein Ave.

Volunteer: Find out about tree plantings, and other community events as well as how we are improving watershed health from your neighborhood to the river.  Or visit the grove website at nativegrovepdx.org.

Environmental Services works with public, nonprofit, and community partners to protect public health and the environment by preserving and restoring the health of Portland’s watersheds.  Learn more about Environmental Services’ stormwater projects and community-focused programs.

Fall events 2019: Celebrate salmon, clean rivers and streams and more...

We will be at some of your favorite fall events - from the last Sunday Parkways of the season to a Fix-it-Fair in November. In between we will celebrate salmon with you, give out tips for watershed health and showcase how to get grants for your community projects and more. Find out where the Portland Bureau of Environmental Services will be this fall:

Park(ing) Day 
Friday, Sept. 20, 2019
Multiple locations

This is the day that parking spaces all over Portland turn into parks. The City of Portland free event includes multiple locations -  Environmental Services will be in front of KEEN at NW Glisan Street and NW 13th Avenue. See how we turn a parking space into a salmon-filled riverPhoto: girl with fish hat

In partnership with Friends of Trees, we will be talking about trees, native plants, the history of Tanner Creek, stormwater management and watershed health – with special appearance by Seymour the Salmon. Free and open to all.

SOLVE Beach and Riverside Cleanup
Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019
9 a.m. to noon.
Central Eastside location 
1010 SE Water Avenue 

Join SOLVE and thousands of volunteers on September 21st at multiple locations as we support the health of the Willamette River, public beaches, neighborhoods, and natural areas. Environmental Services will be at the Central Eastside site installing stormwater curb markers as well as picking up litter and other cleanup activities. Meet up at Fully on SE Water Ave. and have a cup of coffee provided by Water Avenue Coffee and breakfast bars from Kure Juice. After the cleanup volunteers will have lunch provided by Bunk Sandwiches & Boke Bowl.

Sunday Parkways  – get your fish hat! 
Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019
Northeast Portland

The last Sunday Parkways of the 2019 season. Walk, bike, or roll while you explore neighborhood greenways, listen to live music, and connect with your neighbors and favorite organizations, including Environmental Services. We will give out our popular free fish hats, so you can swim with the river of bikes. Free and open to all. 

Jim Pepper Native Arts Festival 
Saturday, Sept. 28, 2019
11 a.m.-dusk
Parkrose High School
12003 NE Shaver St. 

We will have a team at the Jim Pepper Native Arts Festival, which showcases Native American music, art, food, and performers.  Find out about fish in the Columbia Slough and how you can get grants from Environmental Services to fund your community projects. Environmental Services staff from the Columbia Watersheds Team, Neighborhood to the River, and the Community Watershed Stewardship Program will attend this free, all-ages, community-building event. See you there.

Salmon Celebration 
Oct. 6, 2019
11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Johnson Creek Park
SE 21st Avenue and Clatsop Street

Photo: salmon bake

Environmental Services is proud to join Portland Parks & Recreation in sponsoring the 6th Annual Salmon Celebration. This event celebrates the seasonal return of salmon to northwest rivers and streams and Portland’s commitment to bringing salmon back to the city through restoration of our local rivers and streams.

This free, family-friendly event will take place along the banks of the restored Crystal Springs, home to coho and Chinook salmon.  Activities include a Native American blessing, a salmon bake demonstration, Native American games, crafts, inter-tribal activities and outdoor skills by Trackers NW. All are welcome!

No Ivy Day
Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019
9 a.m. To noon
Multiple locations

Invasive plants are one of the biggest challenges to maintaining healthy natural areas - and ivy is one of the most challenging invasives in Portland. Luckily, ivy pulling is a great way to get out in nature, get exercise and see the immediate benefits of your work. Join hundreds of volunteers in the annual No Ivy Day, organized by our partners at Portland Parks & Recreation. 

Fix-it Fair
Nov. 23, 2019
Parkrose High School
12003 NE Shaver St.

Fix-it Fairs are free events hosted by the City of Portland Bureau of Planning & Sustainability where you can learn how to save money and get connected with resources.  Environmental Services staff will attend to share information about our incentive and grant programs.

In addition to these events, at any time of year you can find out more about Environmental Services’ stormwater projects and community-focused programs online.

Blog: Scenes from a Willamette River Summer

(August 30, 2019) - Each Friday during the summer, Environmental Services posts our Willamette River test results for bacteria and temperature at five popular recreation spots. Each week’s results this season were GOOD. And each week, you show what a river clean enough for swimming and playing means to you.

Here are scenes from a summer of play on the river - a river that is cleaner thanks in large part to your investment in the Big Pipe Project. 

PHoto - BES testing the water

What did our Willamette River test results show this season? All results were GOOD - showing bacteria levels well within state health guidelines. We sample at five locations each Wednesday and post results on Fridays.

Photos: willamette park

How do I find test results? Check the Rec at www.portlandoregon.gov/BES/ChecktheRec

Has the Willamette River always been clean enough to swim and play? No. Many longtime residents remember a polluted river but that’s changed. Thanks to the Clean Water Act, a variety of pollution prevention efforts and your investment in the Big Pipe Project, the river is cleaner than it’s been in decades. Your investment in the $1.4 billion Big Pipe project – the largest public works project in Portland history  – has eliminated almost all combined sewer overflows (CSOs) to the Willamette River and the resulting bacteria. Today, the river is almost always clean enough to swim and play.

 Photo: bike to the river

How can you continue to protect the river we all love?

* Get there by bike - bicycling, walking, rolling and taking TriMet  help prevent air and water pollution. Plus, biking is fun and bike parking is free.

* Please prevent dogs and pets from pooping near the river and clean up after your pet waste. Dog poop is raw sewage. Whether from people, pets or wildlife, bacteria from sewage can make people sick. 

* Pack up all your trash (we don’t have to say that, right?) See our other clean river tips

Photo: Big Float

For more photos, check out Flickr. For more info, Check the Rec for test results, safety tips and links to where to swim at www.portlandoregon.gov/bes/CheckTheRec. Enjoy your river! 

Contact info: Diane Dulken (503)457-7636 diane.dulken@portlandoregon.gov