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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

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Tryon Creek Watershed Event This Saturday

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trillium flowersJoin the Tryon Creek Watershed Council and partners this Saturday, April 27, to celebrate the sunny spring while lending a hand for the environment.  There are several volunteer projects throughout the Tryon Creek Watershed in Southwest Portland--maybe one is close to your home or business?

Find more about the event and links to sign up on the Tryon Creek Watershed Council website: 

Did we mention, there's free breakfast? Gather at the Riverdale High School Parking lot at 9727 SW Terwilliger Blvd from 8:30-9AM for breakfast.  Volunteers will then carpool or walk to the project sites and pull, plant, dig and discover until noon.

The trillium are out in Portland's natural areas! See some this weekend while volunteering.

Foster Floodplain Celebration Photos


Today's event marking the completion of the Foster Floodplain Natural Area brought the community outside on a beautiful day to celebrate the return of salmon in Johnson Creek and a better approach to managing flooding.  Thank you to Amy Fraenkel from the UN Environment Programme and Portland City Commissioner Nick Fish for joining us!

lupine in bloom and native american elders  native american youth dancing

Students and speakers  native american blessing

Photos: Native lupine in bloom at the restoration site; Native American youth dancing; Environmental Services Director Dean Marriott and students from Kelly Elementary School carrying world flags; Native American elders starting the event with a blessing.

David Douglas Students Plant Trees to Celebrate Environment and Diversity


Last week was jam-packed with great Earth Day and Arbor Month activities. On Thursday, April 25th, while the Lents community was celebrating the opening of Foster Floodplain Natural Area, a group of David Douglas High School students was digging in to plant 50 new trees about four miles to the north east.

students planting 

100 students from several classes at David Douglas (science, leadership, wrestling and Bill Naito Community Tree Award-winning ESL students) worked with Environmental Services, Friends of Trees, Verde and AmeriCorps to green up the school’s campus. The new trees were placed to provide native bird habitat for study by science students, to provide shade to south facing classrooms and sports fields, and of course to do the other things trees do: manage stormwater, soak up carbon, and cool the air. There was also a ring of international trees planted in front of the district offices to represent the huge diversity at David Douglas – roughly 60 nationalities are claimed by students who attend the school. These trees add to the thousands planted through the Grey to Green initiative, and will add some new canopy to East Portland, where large firs and other native trees once covered the land.  

In other tree news from last week, students from Hosford School and the Portland Timbers also got in on the Grey to Green tree action!  See the KGW video about the event here: 


Greening the Rooftops and Growing the Local Economy


Portland's Ecoroof Symposium is this Thursday, May 2nd.

Ecoroof The Portland skyline has always been pretty green, thanks to the city’s trees and the forests of Mt. Tabor and Forest Park.  Now, even the rooftops are getting greener!  Ecoroofs replace conventional roofing with a living, breathing vegetated roof system that provides many benefits to building owners, residents and the community.

Since 2008, the Portland Ecoroof Incentive has helped fund 154 ecoroofs, comprising over 9 acres of green roofs atop commercial, industrial, and residential buildings across Portland.  Close to $2 million has been invested in Portland’s green economy through the program.  Because of these ecoroofs, nine million gallons of stormwater annually are managed on private property and stay out of the sewer system. This funding has also enabled ecoroof contractors to expand their business, open new businesses, and strengthen the local and regional market--even during the recession. The Greenroof Information Think-tank, a now 400-member group of mostly local professionals, illustrates this growth. The group has met regularly since 2009 to advance policies and programs that support green roof business development.

Portland installed more ecoroof area in 2012 than in any year prior.  119,000 square feet, on 34 roof projects, barely edged out the previous record of 117,000 set back in 2008.  Key contributions came from Gray’s Landing in South Waterfront, which includes over 30,000 square feet of ecoroof beneath photovoltaic panels and above affordable housing, as well as University Pointe Housing at Portland State University, where over 24,000 square feet of ecoroof is installed over five levels.  ecoroof

There are now a total of 378 ecoroofs in Portland, and more innovative approaches are being developed. Projects are pairing ecoroofs with photovoltaic panels, being designed for bird and pollinator habitat, and prioritized in sensitive areas to maximize benefits on Portland’s rooftops.

Don’t miss the annual Portland Ecoroof Symposium this Thursday, May 2nd.  The Symposium is perfect for building owners and development industry professionals and will focus on how these innovations improve the return on investment for green roofs.


In celebration of UN World Environment Day 2013, the City of Portland and The Intertwine are featuring stories about Portland’s green infrastructure, sustainability and environmental innovations.

The Bureau of Environmental Services uses green infrastructure to keep stormwater out of the sewer system, filter pollutants and provide cool clean water to our rivers and streams, reduce flooding, and provide habitat for healthier watersheds. Portlanders’ stormwater fees are at work protecting water quality in our rivers and streams and increasing neighborhood green space.

 PHOTOS: Ramona Apartments Ecoroof, Pearl District (top). Thom Ross Residence ecoroof (bottom).

Once a Junkyard, Now a Park


New video highlights a gem in NE Portland

David McFarland, a Portland documentary filmmaker, recently produced this video about Whitaker Ponds.  David's son visited the ponds and shared his excitement and wonder with his father.  Maybe this preview of the Whitaker Ponds park in NE Portland's Columbia Slough Watershed will inspire you to get out and experience some nature in the city this sunny weekend! (Scroll down for a preview of the native camas you may see there.)

Environmental Services and Metro co-own the Whitaker Ponds Nature Park, which hosts thousands of students each year in Clean Rivers Education classes and events like Explorando, the multilingual family environmental festival (coming up this June 22).

Together with the Columbia Slough Watershed Council, Portland Parks and Recreation and other partners and students, more than 7,000 native trees and shrubs have been planted at Whitaker Ponds.  There is also a constructed wetland at the park to treat street runoff from Columbia Boulevard, helping keep pollutants out of the ponds and nearby slough. The city used an EPA grant to construct a shelter with an ecoroof and a biology site.

Speaking of the shelter, staff were out at Whitaker Ponds earlier this week and took these photos of the native camas in full bloom on the ecoroof:

 camas blooming on ecoroof  shelter with ecoroof