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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

More Contact Info


Green Infrastructure and Public Health


newly restored natural area at Crystal SpringsThis upcoming event delves into the latest research on the health benefits of green infrastructure, including the trees and rain gardens that manage stormwater and the natural area restoration in Portland's neighborhoods (like Crystal Springs, to the right!).

Health Benefits of Nearby Nature

Dr. Roger Ulrich and Dr. Geoffrey Donovan present on the relationship between trees, gardens, nature and public health: Trees and well-designed nature settings are part of our public health infrastructure!

Thursday, September 12, 2013, 6:00-9:00 p.m. at Portland State University’s Hoffmann Hall

1833 SW Eleventh Avenue, Portland, Oregon 97201.

For more information and to register, visit the Legacy Health events webpage

Sponsored by: Friends of Trees, J. Frank Schmidt Family Charitable Foundation, Lewis & Clark Graduate School of Counseling, Legacy Health, PSU Institute for Sustainable Solutions, TKF Foundation and ZGF Architects LLP.

A "Quiet Revolution": Solving our urban problems with nature


native plants in the South WaterfrontLast week, our friends from Climate Solutions rolled out their new report, Natural Infrastructure: A Climate-Smart Solution. The event included a tour of some of Portland's green infrastructure in the South Waterfront. 

Sustainable Business Oregon just posted some follow up from the event . Many of the highlights in the tour are things Portland has done to protect our rivers and streams by managing stormwater naturally.  Runoff from streets and other hard surfaces can carry pollutants into our water, but Environmental Services continues to invest in a cleaner Willamette River and local streams by maintaining our aging sewer infrastructure and adding new natural features, like green streets

Climate Solutions points out that when we use natural solutions, we get extra benefits, like reducing carbon pollution in the atmosphere.  For example, all of the ecoroofs that Portland is building through the Ecoroof Program will soon be managing about nine million gallons of stormwater annually.  They'll also be capturing more than five tons of CO2 every year. 

We particularly liked this thought from Rhys Roth, the outgoing Director of Strategic Innovation and Climate Solutions:

"A quiet revolution is taking shape, with the Northwest one of the leaders, which uses natural elements—plants, trees, soils—to complement our ‘hard’ infrastructure in order to save money, with rich assortments of co-benefits in tow. Among the co-benefits: less carbon pollution in the air and greater resilience to changing climate..."

Find more info about the event on the Climate Solutions website: 

Read the original press release from the event here.


The SE Umatilla Street Culvert Now


We thought we'd finish out the week with a quick before and after photo set of the SE Umatilla Street culvert project.  This is part of Environmental Service's Crystal Springs restoration effort. The old culvert under Umatilla Street was replaced with this better-designed bridge last summer, and staff checking on the project the other day captured a lovely view from a nearby back yard.

Old SE Umatilla Culvert   New Umatilla St. Culvert

April 2012                                                                                                    August 2013

Before: the old culvert was too small for the creek to flow through naturally                                      

After: this modern design is better for the creek and its salmon, and will last a lot longer than the old one (approximately 100 years!)

Canvassing for Clean Rivers


Have you seen these people in your neighborhood?

We're in the full swing of summer, and that means full swing for Environmental Services' outreach team for trees.

tree canvassers at doorrecording tree planting spaces

You may have seen the team in action around your area.  Dressed in orange vests and carrying clipboards, team members like Tom, Amber and Pat canvass Portland neighborhoods to find available spots for street trees.  Then they work with residents to get trees planted through our partner, Friends of Trees, or other programs.  There are more than 130,000 available planting spaces for street trees in the neighborhoods they've canvassed so far.  That is a lot of opportunity to build Portland's green infrastructure for the next generation.

Thanks to great community partners and volunteers, Environmental Services has helped get more than 32,000 new trees planted since 2008.  When mature, these trees will be capturing an estimated 18 million gallons of rain before it turns into stormwater runoff.  That's good for our rivers, and we get lots of other benefits.

There are still plenty of open spots for street trees, so we need your help!  Our effort this summer is focused on areas with low tree canopy, particularly in East Portland, and offers subsidized trees to residents. Think you might have room for a street tree?  Give us a call at 503-823-TREE or call Friends of Trees directly at 503-282-8846.


Join the Johnson Creek Clean-up this Saturday



Here’s a chance to spend your Saturday cooling off, getting dirty and cleaning up all at the same time! Join the Johnson Creek Watershed Council to help clean up Johnson Creek this Saturday, August 24th. Environmental Services and many partners are investing to restore the creek, improve the water quality, reduce flooding and protect salmon habitat with projects like the Foster Floodplain Natural Area.  Community volunteers like you help make even more of a difference-- and there's a barbecue lunch to reward your hard work!

WHEN: Saturday, August 24

          9am-12pm – Creek Clean Up

         12pm-2pm – BBQ

          2pm-5pm – Trash disposal

WHERE: Volunteers meet at Mill Park in Milwaukie

         (south of Johnson Creek Blvd. at SE Linwood Avenue and Overland Street)

FOR MORE INFORMATION AND TO RSVP: Contact Amy at the Johnson Creek Watershed Council,

          or call 503-652-7477

volunteers in creekVolunteers will walk in Johnson Creek to help clean up designated stream segments. Each stream segment will have a Team Captain who will guide the activities. Participants should bring a water bottle and sunscreen, and wear shoes and clothes they don’t mind getting wet and dirty. Some teams will stay dry while removing litter from various park grounds nearby.

Following the event, all volunteers are invited to a BBQ hosted by the Overland Park Coalition. After the BBQ, additional volunteers will help dispose of materials taken out of the creek in the morning.

The event is sponsored by Clackamas Water Environment Services, Overland Park Coalition, Green Lents, REI, Recology, and the Johnson Creek Watershed Council