Skip to Main Content View Text-Only

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


Surfrider Foundation Volunteers for Green Streets!

2 Comments | Add a Comment

Surfrider Volunteers

photo courtesy of Surfrider Foundation, Portland Chapter

The Surfrider Foundation has stepped up with the Green Street Stewards. We learned from the Surfrider website that nine volunteers turned out to help this week, collecting 3 buckets of debris from 15 bioswales in Northeast Portland. Folks interested in volunteering with next month's event can contact Surfrider Portland's Volunteer Coordinator Gregg by clicking here.

Since 2003, over 1,200 green street facilities have been constructed, and more are getting built every year. Green streets increase sewer system efficiency and protect water quality by keeping stormwater out of the sewer system, filtering pollutants, providing habitat and increasing neighborhood green space. The City is responsible for looking after green streets as they are an important part of the stormwater collection system. Some members of the community asked if they could get involved with the green streets, and since then nearly 70 volunteers and businesses have signed up to help with over 100 facilities in their neigborhoods.  For more information on the City of Portland’s Green Streets Program, click here.

The results are in: Christmas Bird Count Sets New Records

0 Comments | Add a Comment

Thirteen ravens, eleven meadowlarks, 16,172 cackling geese, one pacific loon, 464 Anna’s hummingbirds, one short-eared owl, and seven peregrine falcons

These are just some of the observations made by a virtual army of citizens scientists on the Audubon Society's January 5th Portland Christmas Bird Count.  Every winter season since 1926 volunteers have spent a full day identifying and counting birds within a 15-mile diameter circle in Portland.  The count is one of hundreds across the nation and an excellent way for citizens to contribute to long-term biological monitoring. You might have heard about this event on NPR a couple of weeks ago

With 128 avian species tallied this year, the teams set a new record for the Portland count. Portland also broke its own record for human counters with 230 volunteers.  In fact, Portland has the highest number of observers of any count in the nation. 

The high number of bird species found reflects the diversity of habitats found across Portland’s watersheds.  It is a good indicator of the success of Portland’s investments over the decades in protecting nature in the city, such as the recently-acquired Catkin Marsh natural area.   And, the new green infrastructure we’re building to manage stormwater in urbanized areas, such as ecoroofs near the Willamette River, also benefits birds and other wildlife.  The City’s Terrestrial Ecology Enhancement Strategy and the Portland Audubon Society website have more information about Portland’s wildlife.

 ovenbird photo (c) Owen Schmidt

The rarest bird by far in this year’s count was an ovenbird found in a Laurelhurst neighborhood backyard.  Ovenbirds rarely fly anywhere west of the Rockies, and this time of year they are all in Central America and the Caribbean like many related species of warblers.  A first occurrence for our area and quite a rare sight!



Ovenbird photo (c) Owen Schmidt

Celebrating Cully Park Community Garden

1 Comment | Add a Comment

Last fall, a multitude of partners celebrated the grand opening of the community garden at Cully Park in North Portland.  From the Let Us Build Cully Park! website:

The Thomas Cully Park project is located in NE Portland’s Cully Neighborhood, a neighborhood characterized by concentrated poverty, racial diversity, as well as by lack of access to nature and other environmental benefits. In response, Verde and partners have organized the Let Us Build Cully Park! coalition, a collaboration of 15 community-based organizations, including the Columbia Slough Watershed Council, the Cully Association of Neighbors, Hacienda CDC, Latino Network, Native American Youth & Family Center, Portland Community Reinvestment Initiatives, and Verde. Let Us Build Cully Park! is an opportunity to create access to nature, create healthy recreation opportunities, redress a long-standing absence of a park in Cully, educate youth, create economic opportunity for low-income people to participate in the green economy, and build environmental wealth.

The group produced this video of the grand opening to share the story:

The Portland Brownfields Program worked with Let Us Build Cully Park! and community members to examine and approve the environmental conditions at the garden site. The project's web page has a helpful health and safety page that describes how the site evolved into such an asset for the neighborhood and watershed.

Congratulations to the many involved in Let Us Build Cully Park! A truly inspiring story of collaboration and community involvement.

A Wild Idea: Depaving at Baltimore Woods

3 Comments | Add a Comment

We thought you might enjoy this video about the recent restoration efforts at Baltimore Woods in St. Johns.


The Baltimore Woods site was recently purchased by the City of Portland and Metro, and many partners are involved in the protection and restoration of this natural area corridor. Last July and September, over 200 volunteers teamed up with Depave to remove an old parking lot and restore it to a native grassland.

View of Baltimore Woods areaEnvironmental Services is involved in this project because restoring the natural area will increase its ability to filter stormwater runoff and prevent erosion to protect the river. Woodlands there contain native white oak trees—some of which are over 100 years old—that provide habitat for diverse wildlife such as the slender-billed nuthatch, Western wood-pewee and Western gray squirrel. The area acts as a buffer between the residential and industrial neighborhoods in North Portland along the Willamette River.  It is also a migration corridor for birds and insects along the North/South Pacific flyway that parallels the WillametteRiver.

Now that the property is de-paved, the City and partners will continue to plant native plants and move forward the North Portland Greenway Trail master planning. You can get involved in the project at SOLVE planting days on February 16th and 23rd.  This spring and summer, watch for the wildflowers in bloom!

Learn more about the project and future events on the Friends of Baltimore Woods, NP Greenway, Depave, and SOLVE websites.

Steelhead for lunch?

This river otter eating a steelhead was recently spotted in the middle of the Reed College campus at Reed Lake, which is the headwaters of Crystal Spring Creek.

 otter eating steelhead

Photo by Arthur Clausing, courtesy Reed College.

In 2010, Reed joined with Environmental Services to restore a section of Crystal Springs Creek, remove a culvert that blocked fish passage and install green street facilities along SE 28th Ave.  Since then, the restoration area is thriving and students and neighbors keep us posted on the sightings of birds and fish in Reed Canyon.

This was the first of the nine culverts that are slated to be removed or replaced along Crystal Springs Creek, reopening the entire stream for salmon, steelhead and other native fish. In August last year we shared the exciting photos of the UP Railroad culvert replacement. Look for construction this summer to replace the culvert at Tacoma Street, one in Eastmoreland Golf Course, and restoration of the stream through Westmoreland Park.  Keep up with this project on our website and through the Crystal Springs Community Partnership.