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Environmental Services

working for clean rivers

Phone: 503-823-7740

Fax: 503-823-6995

1120 SW 5th Avenue, Room 1000, Portland, OR 97204

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Field Trips

Field Trips (1.5-2.5 hours)

Investigating Your Urban Stream, Pond or Wetland

Grades 1 - college

Apply concepts and new skills gained in the classroom to a field study. Join us at a local stream, pond or wetland to investigate water and the nearby habitat. Field study activities may include: testing water quality, sampling for aquatic macroinvertebrates (water bugs) as biological indicators, exploring wildlife, and identifying native and non-native plants. Activities depend on the season, site features, and curriculum emphasis. Monitoring activities, research, and scientific inquiry goals may be included. A 6:1 student/adult ratio, not including the Clean Rivers Educator, is recommended. Transportation fund assistance may be available upon request. 

Our goal is to engage students in natural areas as close to their communities as possible. Talk to an educator about the best location for your field studies. 


  • Columbia Slough Watershed - Whitaker Ponds, Big Four Corners Natural Area, Columbia Boulevard Wastewater Treatment Plant Natural Area, Kelley Point Park
  • Fanno Creek Watershed - Gabriel Park, Woods Creek Park,April Hill Park
  • Johnson Creek Watershed - Tideman-Johnson Park, Johnson Creek Park, Brookside Wetlands, Schweitzer Greenspace, Zenger Wetlands, Crystal Springs
  • Tryon Creek Watershed -Tryon Creek State Natural Area, Foley-Balmer Greenspace
  • Willamette River Watershed -Forest Park, Water Pollution Control Laboratory, Willamette Park, Oaks Bottom, Sellwood Riverfront Park.

Natural Area Restoration Projects

Grades 4- 12 (Usually scheduled in late summer or early fall)

Consider a commitment to help restore a local natural area while also learning about field investigation techniques such as water quality testing, plant identification, wetlands, and wildlife study. Participate in stewardship activities such as invasive plant removal, planting, and maintenance. This is a special option involving partnerships with local agencies and organizations. Opportunities are limited. Plan for multiple field trips.

School Yard Science

Grades 3-12

Use your school’s naturescape or stormwater facility as a science laboratory. Learn native plant identification, perform math calculations such as area and percent cover, investigate soils, and more. Activities depend on grade level and site characteristics.

Sustainable Stormwater Tours

Grades 5 - college

Visit bioswales, ecoroofs, stormwater planters, green streets, rain gardens and creative downspout disconnections. Learn how these solutions allow stormwater to soak into the ground to reduce volume, while plants and soil filter pollutants and improve water quality. An educator will work with you to develop an itinerary based on your method of transportation and location.

Storm Drain Curb Marking: A Community Action Project

Grades 3 -adult (dry weather only)

Much of the stormwater in Portland goes directly into streams and rivers carrying oil, dirt, fertilizers, pesticides and other pollutants from our yards and streets. Installing permanent curb markers with the message “Dump No Waste” reminds people that storm drains are for rainwater only. A 4:1 student to adult ratio is required for traffic safety. Curb marker projects may be done independently by checking out equipment or with a Clean Rivers Educator. Dry weather is required before and after installation so the adhesive dries properly. Planning a rain date is helpful. Call 503-823-7185 for more information.

Columbia Boulevard Wastewater Treatment Plant

Grades 6 - college

What happens “after the flush?” Visit the City of Portland’s Columbia Boulevard Wastewater Treatment plant to find out where our wastewater goes. The thundering roar of wastewater and knowledgeable guides await you. Call 503-823-2400 to schedule your tour.