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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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Exciting news from Mt. Tabor Park Invasive Plant Control and Revegetation Project

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In late January and early February, as part of the Tabor to the River Program, Environmental Services' Watershed Revegetation Program and contract crews planted 17,000 native trees and shrubs on over 32 acres of Mt. Tabor Park’s natural areas. Many thanks to the East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District (EMSWCD) for making the planting possible through funding from their Partners in Conservation grant program. Some of the native trees planted were: Big-leaf Maple, Madrone, Douglas-fir, and Cascara. Some of the native shrubs planted were: Vine Maple, Indian-plum, Snowberry, Trailing Blackberry, Red and Blue Elderberry, and Thimbleberry. Learn more about the planting here.

Also, on January 26th, the Friends of Mt. Tabor Park (FMTP) Weed Warriors and Portland Parks and Recreation (PP&R) planted more than 850 native plants in the area. See photos from the planting here. Learn how you can get involved with the Weed Warriors at

Over time these native plants will mature and provide many benefits to the park, including:

  • Reduced stormwater runoff
  • Improved habitat for native wildlife, including birds
  • A sustainable, enduring community of native plants that will replace itself over the years
  • Reduced maintenance costs

Learn more about the Mt. Tabor Park Invasive Plant Control and Revegetation Project at

Environmental Services Using Innovative Ecoroof Designs on Facilities

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Environmental Services has released a new specification for the design, construction, and operations and maintenance of a simple ecoroof.  The specification was created for project managers within the City of Portland to have a quick and easy option for a self-sustaining, low-maintenance and low-cost ecoroof.

The design utilizes a minimalist approach, consisting of soil and sedum cuttings over a waterproof membrane.  A red cinder mulch is lightweight and, along with the remaining seedheads, helps to retain moisture and cooler temperatures within the soil.  The design has been implemented on both flat and pitched roofs, over EPDM, PVC and modified bitumen roofing membranes, and can boast surviving summer 2012, Portland’s dryest summer on record, without irrigation.   

Screenhouse Ecoroof, Columbia Wastewater Treatment Plant



 Sellwood Pump Station Ecoroof



Marine Drive Pump Station Ecoroof

Marine Drive Pump Station Ecoroof


There are hundreds of ecoroofs in the City of Portland, most of which are on privately-owned buildings. Thanks to the City's Green Building Policy, new or re-roofed city-owned buildings are required to include an ecoroof whenever practical. Environmental Services has taken the opportunities to innovate new ecoroof designs that cost less, weigh less, and manage stormwater effectively. These innovations can eventually create more opportunities to use ecoroofs city-wide to reduce stormwater runoff from rooftops.

More information about the Portland Ecoroof Program can be found here.


World Environment Day Comes to Portland

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You might have already heard the exciting news, but it’s worth repeating: The North American Regional Office of the United Nations Environment Programme has selected Portland as the 2013 North American host city for World Environment Day!  The announcement was made at Portland City Council yesterday.

What does this mean, you ask? Serving as the North American host for World Environment Day (WED) is a great opportunity for Portland’s many sustainability and environmental organizations, events, and accomplishments to be highlighted on the world stage.  It also gives us a little extra reason to celebrate locally.  You can read more about the background on World Environment Day on the City’s new WED website (, as well as on the UN’s site

How can you or your organization get involved? Environmental events already planned to fall between Earth Day (April 20) and June 5 (World Environment Day) can be added to the WED calendar, or you can come up with your own way to celebrate the day.  Stay tuned on the City Green blog or Facebook for occasional announcements and updates, and check out the WED Facebook page.  

Environmental Services is proud to be working with the Portland Mayor’s office and community partners to help plan and promote World Environment Day.  

Twenty-five Acres of Northeast Portland Wetlands are Sprouting this Spring

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Mason Flats Wetland Enhancement stormwater and wetland project is located within the Big Four Corners Natural Area  (NE 170th and Airport Way).  Farmed for many years, the site borders two waterways, cold water springs and historic wetlands. Environmental Services and Portland Parks & Recreation own the site.


New grading reduces stormwater pollutants from more than 600 acres of upland roads and development. Additional water flow and shallow channels connect the site to nearby cold springs and improves water quality. Increased tree canopy in the  summer will also help cool the slough. The project also increases off-channel floodplain and flood storage in the former floodplain of the Columbia River where more than 90% of wetlands have been filled or developed.

BES placed numerous standing logs, root wads, and rocks to increase habitat for sensitive wildlife species, especially redlegged frogs, native fishes, birds and turtles. More shrubs  will especially benefit willow flycatchers and yellow warblers. Several existing ponds and their unique aquatic vegetation remain untouched. Beavers are active on the site and beaver dam construction has been continuous in recent years. The effects of beaver dam building provide additional benefits in this wetland area.

Mason Flats is also providing new nesting habitat for turtles. Two long south-facing slopes and additional mounds of gravelly soil have been designed for turtle nesting. Western Painted turtles use ponds in the eastern portion of the site and the gravel and sun-warmed sites are preferred and necessary for egg incubation.

Mason Flats has been partially planted with grass, willow cuttings and shrubs. It already looks fabulous.  Multiple benefits from projects like these are called for under Portland’s Watershed Management Plan and the City’s Migratory Bird Act responsibilities.

Comprehensive Plan Update offers workshops in February and March

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From the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability e-newsletter:

Portland’s Comprehensive Plan has served the city well since 1980, but it’s time to give it a complete overhaul so that it reflects the Portland of the 21st century. The Bureau of Planning and Sustainability is taking the lead on this citywide effort to manage the location of population and job growth, as well as public investments in infrastructure (such as streets, sidewalks, parks and stormwater systems) over the next 20 years. The new Comprehensive Plan will set guidelines for community involvement and influence the direction of private development and public facilities — all to ensure that Portland is a more prosperous, healthy, educated, equitable and resilient city.

While the Portland Plan set goals and policies for economic development, housing, education, transportation and watershed health, the new Comprehensive Plan will help implement them through more specific city policies to help us make better on-the-ground decisions in our neighborhoods. With the Comprehensive Plan as the foundation, we can improve zoning and provide direction prosperous and sustainable development throughout the city. These ideas will then be represented through a set of maps and a list of capital projects.

The bureau recently published the Working Draft Part 1 of the Comprehensive Plan Update, which includes initial draft goals and policies for public discussion and review. The accompanying Companion Guide provides an introduction to the Working Draft Part 1 and highlights the document’s main ideas.

Collective Effort Requires Community Input

The Comprehensive Plan Update is being developed with the help of more than 160 community members, technical experts and City staff from a variety of bureaus who serve on eight different advisory committees called Policy Expert Groups (PEGs). Now it’s time for the entire city to have a say in how this long-range land use plan will evolve.

“We need your help to bring this document from a “60 percent draft” to 100 percent,” says Bureau Director Susan Anderson. “The draft Comprehensive Plan is a work in progress, which means there are still areas to be fleshed out and detail to be added. I encourage all Portlanders to join me at a workshop or give us your feedback in whatever way you can.”

Portlanders are invited to review and comment on the Working Draft Part 1, available on the Comprehensive Plan Update project website at Printed copies are also available at Multnomah County libraries throughout the city and at the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability.

The Working Draft Part 2, available this summer, will include draft maps and a draft list of capital projects.

Citywide Workshops Offer Chance to Learn and Comment

In February and March, City staff and partners will be sharing information and soliciting feedback through a series of community workshops in six different locations.

Workshop Dates and Times


West: Tuesday, February 19, 6 – 9 p.m.
Multnomah Arts Center
7688 SW Capitol Highway, Portland

North: Tuesday, February 26, 5:30 – 8:30 p.m.
De La Salle North Catholic High School
7528 N Fenwick Avenue, Portland

Southeast: Thursday, February 28, 5:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Franklin High School
5405 SE Woodward Street, Portland

East: Saturday, March 2, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
David Douglas High School
1001 SE 135th Avenue, Portland

Central: Tuesday, March 5, 5 – 8 p.m.
Smith Memorial Student Union, Portland State University
1825 SW Broadway, Portland

Northeast: Saturday, March 9, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Beaumont Middle School
4043 NE Fremont Street, Portland

Business: Thursday, March 14, 7:30 – 9:30 a.m.
Location to be announced

For more information about how to engage, visit the Get Involved section of the Comprehensive Plan Update website at