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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

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A Neat Video about the Tabor Commons Rain Garden


Here's a great story about how managing stormwater with plants and soil contributed to the formation of treasured community space.

From the KPFF press release:

What do you get when volunteer local engineers and one of Portland’s venerable neighborhoods join forces to transform an urban blight into a green community oasis? The innovative and creative Tabor Commons, with sustainable stormwater facilities that filter 500,000 gallons per year—almost enough to fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool.
Tabor Commons is the subject of KPFF Consulting Engineers’ second Stormwater Cinema film short, “A Garden to Play In,” created by local filmmakers Jen Wechsler and Ian Probasco.
Join KPFF project manager Josh Lighthipe, Café au Play Executive Director Kristin Heying and SE Uplift Neighborhood Representative Paul Leistner for the inspiring story of this dynamic community spot that brings clean stormwater, coffee and families together.

Environmental Services contributed to this project in a few different ways. In 2010, Tabor Commons received funding from the 1% for Green Program and the Community Watershed Stewardship Program (CWSP) to enlarge a small rain garden and enable it to receive and treat the substantial volume of runoff from SE 57th Ave. In 2012, the group received a second CWSP grant to create a Sustainable Stormwater Display Shelter where cafe patrons can learn about stormwater from a vibrant display of educational signage.   Finally, the Ecoroof Incentive supported the installation of the ecoroof on the street side kiosk. During rain showers, people can still enjoy the enclosed space and even watch the water cycle in motion as runoff from the roof trickles through a custom-made rainwater sculpture. Congrats to KPFF, Southeast Uplift, and Cafe au Play for a truly inspiring project!


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