Portland’s rainy season—while it might seem dreary to some—is an exciting time related to stormwater and watershed health. When the rain comes, it means:
It’s time to plant trees. There are several ways to get involved or get more information about planting trees. You can join community partner Friends of Trees in their 2012-13 planting season, or plant a tree on your own and get a Treebate credit on your stormwater bill. Environmental Services is also working closely with neighbors in Hazelwood, Glenfair, Mill Park, Centennial, Brentwood-Darlington and Cully neighborhoods to get more street trees planted in areas with undeveloped right-of-way, so keep an eye out for over 1,000 new trees there in the coming months.
Native plants can take root and thrive. Portland’s natural area parks love the rain. Managing invasive plant species and restoring healthy native plant communities in our natural areas ensures these areas continue their functions of filtering and soaking up rain, to keep our rivers and streams healthy. Check out before-and-after pictures from recent restoration work at the River View natural area on the Watershed Revegetation Program’s webpage. The Garden Smart guide is a great resource for native plants for your home or business landscaping, and watch out for native plant sales through the Backyard Habitat Program and local nurseries.
Portland’s green street facilities will be working to slow, filter and absorb stormwater running off the streets. Check out the new fact sheet we have developed for realtors and prospective homebuyers looking at homes near green streets. Become a Green Street Steward to help your neighborhood green street look beautiful and manage all that rain.
It’s a good time to plan for rain gardens, ecoroofs and other stormwater improvements you can make on your own property. Find out more about projects that can earn you a Stormwater Discount, and don’t forget about the Ecoroof Incentive - it's available year-round until June 2013 and you can get $5 per square foot for all eligible projects.
It’s time to check your downspouts and gutters. Clean your gutters and downspouts so that the rain can safely travel where it’s supposed to go.
And last but not least: think of that stormwater drain. If you have a stormwater drain or catch basin near your home or business, remember to help keep it clear of leaves and other debris and report any problems to 503-823-1700. What to do with all those leaves from your trees? If you’re in a leaf service zone, check out Bureau of Transportation’s website for more information. If you’re not, find out answers to any composting questions here.