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The City of Portland, Oregon

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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Building Rain Gardens

  • Private rain gardens keep rain out of the public sewer system Rain gardens on private property help keep stormwater from roofs, parking lots, and other paved areas out of the public sewer system.

  • School and community projects Environmental Services provides funding for school and community planting projects that help keep stormwater out of the sewer system.

  • Learn more about our free technical assistance Environmental Services provides free on-site technical assistance for property owners exploring rain gardens on their property.

Private rain gardens make a big difference

Environmental Services parrtners with property owners in selected areas of Portland to build rain gardens and other green infrastructure on their private property. We select properties based on the public sewer system needs. Green infrastructure on private property provides a public service: keeping stormwater out of the sewer system helps reduce the risk of sewer backups into streets, homes, and businesses. By removing stormwater from the sewer system during heavy rains, these rain gardens also help prevent sewage overflows into the Willamette River.

Environmental Services started this work in 2010 and has completed more than 250 private property projects around Portland. These projects have proven successful while saving ratepayers money, helping replenish groundwater, providing habitat for bees and other pollinators, and adding beauty to neighborhoods.

How to manage stormwater on your property

Environmental Services contacts property owners who are eligible for the program. If you have not been contacted to participate in the program, you can still find resources on how to design and build your own rain garden or stormwater management project at Clean River Rewards, Portland's stormwater discount program. Our technical assistance tools can help you make safe and effective stormwater management decisions.