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Environmental Services

working for clean rivers

Phone: 503-823-7740

Fax: 503-823-6995

MAILING ADDRESS: 1120 SW 5th Ave, Room 1000, Portland, OR 97204

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Tabor to the River Program

  • Urban trees manage stormwater

  • Old brick pipe found during SE Division St. construction

  • Residential Rain Garden

  • Residential Rain Garden

  • Tabor to the River Program Area

  • Community-built rain garden

The Tabor to the River Program area covers about 2.3 square miles from Mt. Tabor to the Willamette River between SE Hawthorne and SE Powell boulevards, covering the Richmond, Hosford-Abernathy, Brooklyn and Mt. Tabor neighborhoods. The combined sewer system in the program area mixes sanitary sewage with stormwater runoff from streets in the same pipes. Because of increases in pavement and other impervious surfaces and decreases in tree canopy, the volume of stormwater going into the pipes is much greater than the system was designed to manage 100 years ago. Very heavy rains can cause sewers to back up into basements, flood streets, and overflow to the Willamette River. 

Tabor to the River combines innovative stormwater management techniques with sewer repairs and improvements to solve a variety of urban challenges. The work will stop basement flooding, manage stormwater more naturally, and begin to restore the health of our watersheds.This is more than a City of Portland program. It's a partnership between the city and the community to create sustainable solutions to our urban watershed problems. The result will be a sound, dependable sewer and stormwater infrastructure which will give us healthier urban watersheds, more livable neighborhoods, and cleaner rivers and streams.

Check out the latest Tabor to the River annual newsletter here. We are celebrating the sixth anniversary of the program! The newsletter contains information on current and completed projects and details on upcoming events and opportunities to get involved with improving our watershed health.

Tabor to the River Program Goals

The Tabor to the River Program is: 

  • Planting 3,500 trees

  • Adding 500 green streets

  • Building 100 private stormwater projects

  • Repairing or replacing 81,000 feet of sewer pipe

  • Removing invasive plants from parks and natural areas

  • Improving wildlife habitat, cleaning the air and making neighborhoods healthier

Program Costs

Resolving the sewer system problems in the Tabor to the River Program area with only pipe solutions would have cost an estimated $144 million. Adding green infrastructure projects reduces the estimated cost to $81 million and multiplies the benefits. 

City Green Blog View all »

  1. Dec 14

    Nature in the city: Can trout and salmon thrive in Tryon Creek? New study is encouraging.

    Tryon Creek is one of the major remaining free-flowing tributaries of the Lower Willamette River. New research shows just how healthy it is for cutthroat trout, and that’s important for the future of trout as well as for prospects to restore salmon to Tryon Creek.

  2. Dec 13

    The Art of Stormwater is up in North Portland

    The collection features the beauty of green infrastructure and is showing at St Johns Community Center and Charles Jordan Community Center

  3. Dec 12

    Become a Green Street Steward and Plant in Your Neighborhood Green Street

    A new policy expands how volunteers can engage with their neighborhood green streets

  4. Dec 6

    This Saturday December 9th, join the Johnson Creek Watershed Council for a restoration planting at Johnson Creek Park!

    Team up with the Council and Portland Parks to plant native shrubs and trees along the banks of Crystal Springs before winter arrives

  5. Nov 7

    Free Grant Writing Workshops for the Community Watershed Stewardship Program (CWSP)

    Staff from Environmental Services will be available to help interested community members develop competitive proposals.