Environmental Services and Portland Community College (PCC) have combined green stormwater management with an interpretive exhibit and public art in the Central Eastside Industrial District. A new rain garden at PCC’s CLIMB Center for Advancement at SE Water Avenue and SE Clay Street collects stormwater runoff from the center’s roof and the adjacent street.
Roof runoff cascades over concrete and steel slabs into the rain garden and street runoff flows into the facility under a steel sidewalk grate. An interpretive kiosk, covered by a green roof that absorbs rain, describes how the rain garden captures and filters stormwater to keep runoff out of the sewer system. PCC faculty members Scott Judy, Jim Jeffery and Geoff Snook and PCC welding student Christopher Debrand created the steel supports for the kiosk.
Benches near the kiosk are made from wood salvaged from several 100-year-old warehouses when a portion of the industrial district was redeveloped. TS Construction Management donated labor to build the kiosk, Beam Development donated the salvaged wood, and Teufel Landscape and Tremco Roofing donated the green roof materials. Part of the project funding came for a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Innovative Wet Weather Program grant.
The site features a six-foot steel sculpture by Portland artist Linda Wysong titled “Eye River” that was inspired by the six-inch steel spikes, known as log dogs, once used to build log rafts. In the early 20th century, one of Oregon’s largest sawmills operated near the rain garden and processed logs that arrived floating on the Willamette River tied together in huge rafts.
The rain garden project is part of the SE Clay Green Street Project, which will extend for 12 blocks between SE Clay and SE Water Avenue and will link outlying neighborhoods to the Central Eastside Industrial District (CEID) and the Willamette River. City engineers are working on the project design. Construction should begin next spring.
For more information contact Linc Mann, 503-823-5328.