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Environmental Services

working for clean rivers

Phone: 503-823-7740

Fax: 503-823-6995

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Johnson Creek Watershed Council’s 20th Annual Watershed Wide Volunteer Restoration Event

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The event will span ten locations and takes place Saturday, March 3rd, from 9 a.m. to Noon

Salmon inspired the Johnson Creek Watershed Wide event 20 years ago, and now you can be a part of this grassroots habitat restoration movement, too. Our partners need 200 more volunteers, so gather your group and join us!

Together volunteers will restore habitat and water quality at TEN work party events throughout Johnson Creek Watershed. Take part in the action to help build a healthier watershed for your human and animal neighbors by planting native trees, mulching and removing invasive species! And we’re doing all of this… wearing COSTUMES! That’s right – we’re going big this year and we can’t wait to see the crazy, wild outfits you’ll be wearing. So, here are the details…

What: Plant, dig, mulch, weed, and look fabulous

When: Saturday, March 3rd 2018, 8:45am -12pm

Where: 10 locations across the watershed

Why: To build a healthier watershed by planting native trees, fighting invasive species, and connecting people to their environment

This is a family-friendly event. Everyone and all experience levels are welcome. Bring a team of coworkers, friends, or family members. We will provide tools, snacks, and tons of FUN!

Thank you pizza parties and costume contests in 2 locations (12:30-1:30.)

Register HERE

**A big thanks to all the sponsors and partners who work with Johnson Creek Watershed Council to make this happen: The Mintkeski Family Fund of the Oregon Community Foundation, Clackamas County's Water Environment Services, Portland Parks and Recreation, City of Gresham, Friends of Trees, Crystal Springs Partnership, Friends of Tideman Johnson, Friends of Powell Butte, Freeway Lands, Overland Park Coalition.**

Questions? Call Volunteer Coordinator Courtney at 503-652-7477 ext 101

Be a Stormwater Star! Workshops Coming up in February, March, and April

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The annual Stormwater Stars workshop series offers free stormwater management instruction and resources to Portland-area residents

Learn to manage the rain that falls around your home, work with your fellow community members, and improve local water quality!

The annual Stormwater Stars workshop series offers free stormwater management instruction and resources to Portland-area residents, practicing skills such as native plant landscaping, erosion control, runoff water reduction, soil amendment/restoration, installation of permeable pathways, sod removal and more. 2018 workshop dates: Feb 24, March 10, March 18, April 8.

Sign up today at or contact Lorena O'Neill at for more information. 

Tryon Creek Watershed Wide Event: sign up now for Feb. 10

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Join the Tryon Creek Watershed Council on Saturday February 10th for their biggest volunteer day of the year.

Join the Tryon Creek Watershed Council and other partners for the biggest volunteer day in the Tryon Creek watershed!

This is going to be a fun and rewarding day of restoration work and celebration in the Tryon Creek Watershed on February 10th from 9:00 a.m. -1:00 p.m. Meet at Riverdale High School and then travel to one of the work sites.

Volunteers will work at various project sites throughout the watershed. Projects will include invasive species removal and some possible native plantings. Raffle prizes will be handed out before the work begins, so be sure to register to get your name entered. Registration here.

Please come dressed to work outside - wear closed-toe shoes, long pants, and weather-appropriate clothing and bring a water bottle (we will work rain or shine). Gloves, tools, and food will be provided. Each site will have a crew leader to help your group at your designated site.

Schedule for the Day

9:00 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.  Volunteer Check-In at Riverdale High School (Coffee & breakfast snacks provided) and Raffle!

9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. - Welcome & announcements, carpool/walk to project sites with group, work at designated project site

12:30 p.m. -1:00 p.m. - Cleanup, sendoffs, and goodbyes!

Questions? Please contact the Tryon Creek Watershed Council Volunteer Coordinator, Patrick at

Partners in this great community event include the Tryon Creek Watershed Council, the SW Watershed Resource Center, the West Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District, the Clackamas Soil and Water Conservation District, Friends of Tryon Creek State Park, Tryon Creek State Natural Area, Backyard Habitat and many committed community members. 

Register here, and see you on the 10th!

Free Grant Application Workshops for Community Watershed Stewardship Program

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Two upcoming workshops will take place January 7th and January 20th

Do you have an idea for a Community Watershed Stewardship Program (CWSP) grant project? Have you started the application paperwork, but don’t know what to write? Our friendly and helpful Student Coordinator is here to help you, and will be holding community workshops where you can get answers to your questions and information about how to make your grant as competitive as possible.

CWSP in action: volunteers from Depave remove pavement at St Mary's Ethiopian Orthodox Church to build a rain garden. Learn more here:

The deadline for submitting applications to the Community Watershed Stewardship (CWSP) grants is approaching fast. Pre-applications submitted by February 2nd will be reviewed and may be eligible for up to $10,000 to help Portlanders make improvements in their neighborhoods and communities, while also improving the health of our watersheds. You can learn all about CWSP here.

CWSP has two upcoming grant workshops that are fun, free and open to the public. Topics will include the grant selection process, criteria used for scoring applications and tips for giving your grant proposal its best chance at success. Successful grant proposals will promote equity and build community partnerships, and we can help you develop your ideas so they are reviewed competitively. Bring your friends, family, creativity, ideas and your love for our watersheds; we will provide everything else! Refreshments will be provided, free of charge.

The dates, times and locations for the two upcoming January workshops are: 

  • Sunday, January 7th from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. at the Woodstock Library, located at 6008 SE 49th Ave, Portland OR 97206
  • Saturday, January 20th from 12:45 to 1:45 pm at the Holgate Library, located at 7905 SE Holgate Blvd, Portland, OR 97206

Questions about CWSP and the grant writing workshops can be sent to CWSP Grants Coordinator, B Castra Nemici,  at or by phone at 503-823-7917.

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

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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.

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.

The primary obstacle to restoring salmon to the urban watershed is a 400-foot culvert underneath Highway 43 near the confluence with the Willamette River.  A conduit for water, it is a barrier for fish. Environmental Services, in concert with partners including the US Army Corps of Engineers have plans to remove that culvert and replace it with a wider, shallower passageway that will allow native and migratory fish like salmon and lamprey to reach the cool clean waters of Tryon Creek – and the high quality spawning and rearing habitat the creek offers.

Biologists use a seine net to survey fish below the Highway 43 culvert of Tryon Creek.

Now the new study adds to the body of knowledge showing just how healthy Tryon Creek habitat is for fish. Published in the journal Urban Ecosystems by Environmental Services scientist Melissa Brown and colleagues at the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the research compares the health of urban trout in Tryon Creek to non-urban populations elsewhere in the region. The findings show that the health of coastal cutthroat trout in this urban waterway is comparable to that of cutthroat trout in 35 more pristine rivers and streams throughout the Columbia River basin and northern California. That research tells us that there is carrying capacity in the stream for migratory salmon, such as chinook, coho and steelhead trout, says Brown.

A cutthroat trout is measured to help biologists assess the fish population's health.

As for plans to remove the Highway 43 culvert and replace it with a better passageway: Congress authorized funding for it and additional Healthy Willamette River projects last session as part of a package sponsored by the US Army Corps of Engineers. Next steps, which are underway, call for Congress to allocate the dollars that would allow the package of restoration projects to be realized.

Environmental Services is looking forward to working with the US Fish and Wildlife Services again to assess population dynamics in the future after native, migratory fish start returning to historic habitat once a new Highway 43 passage is built.

P.S. The Tryon Creek watershed is closed to fishing.