The Columbia Slough Watershed Council’s Annual Slough celebration was a great party last week. We’re honored that the Council recognized several Bureau of Environmental Services (BES) staff for their outstanding contributions to the Columbia Slough.
Randy Belston, from the BES Water Pollution Control Lab received the Council’s 2014 Leadership Award for his extraordinary, long-term commitment to the Slough.
Randy was recognized for his development of an innovative and hands-on partnership with Roosevelt High School that connects students with the BES lab while promoting environmental awareness and family wage environmental career opportunities in their own neighborhood. Along with Mike Bauer and other science teachers at Roosevelt, Randy has led students through hands-on job based learning experiences. He also paved the way for a Roosevelt student to work as a summer lab intern. Randy’s multi-year commitment to protecting our waterways and connecting students to meaningful work epitomizes effective leadership.
The Mason Flats Project and Colwood Property Project received the night’s other two awards.
The team of Sean Bistoff, Chris Lastomirsky, Dave Helzer, Brad Huard, Patty Nelson, Ryan Durocher, Ken Finney, and Susan Barthel from BES, as well as Lynn Barlow and Mart Hughes from Portland Parks & Recreation were recognized for the innovative stormwater wetlands project at Mason Flats. Read more about that project in our previous posts here and here. In designing the project, the team planned for beavers to add their own dams and improve the flow of water naturally over time.
Don Goldberg from the Trust for Public Land was recognized as the driving force that stitched together the agreements that resulted in the Colwood Golf Course property coming into public ownership. The agreement stipulates that 1/3 of the site will be developed, 1/3 will be an active park site, and 1/3 will be preserved for natural area to improve water quality and drainage. BES’s staff and leadership, as well as staff from Portland Parks & Recreation played critical roles in the acquisition.
For more info and some humorous videos about the awardees, check out the Columbia Slough Watershed Council’s news story. We're looking forward to another year of great accomplishments with partners in the Slough.
Photos thanks to Kenny Macdonald of Recorded History.