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News Release: City Council Approves $126,000 in grants to community groups for watershed restoration

(June 27, 2018) – Today, the Portland City Council unanimously approved $126,930 in Community Watershed Stewardship Program (CWSP) grants to 14 community projects.

The Community Watershed Stewardship Program is a partnership between Portland’s Bureau of Environmental Services and Portland State University (PSU).

“Portland is proud to be a city where nature is celebrated and honored,” said Commissioner Nick Fish. “The Community Watershed Stewardship Program supports partnerships with community organizations who make sure everyone, regardless of where they live and work, has access to nature in their daily lives.”

This year’s grants include projects to help remove trash from houseless camps and minimize the impacts of camping in natural areas, to engage youth in restoring natural areas, and to convert paved areas into gardens.

Since its inception in 1995, the program has granted more than $1.4 million to 286 community projects. The grant funds were matched by $4.8 million in community support through donations of services, material and volunteer time. More than 51,000 people have donated over 369,000 volunteer hours to date.

This year’s grant recipients are:  

  • Neighbors Helping Neighbors PDX ($10,000) will collect trash from unhoused Portlanders and provide ecological education to minimize negative impacts of camping. This Kenton neighborhood project is led by Spirit of Portland award winner Terrance Moses and long-time neighborhood activist Patt Opdyke.  
  • Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership’s Vernon School ($10,000) project will remove asphalt and replace it with a rain garden.
  • Friends of Zenger Farm’s Farm School ($8,285) will deliver watershed and outdoor programs for children of East Portland.
  • Depave’s Project Enhancement & Education ($10,000) will engage new Green Thumb volunteers to maintain newly created natural areas that used to be parking lots and pavement.
  • Lent School PTA Garden Committee’s Lent School Watershed Studies ($7,400) sponsors projects along Johnson Creek to underserved students in East Portland.
  • Spring Mountain Christian Academy’s Springwater Corridor Bike and Clean Up ($1,000) will clean up Johnson Creek with East Portland youth, including many whose families have immigrated from Slavic nations.
  • Johnson Creek Watershed Council ($5,819) will help fund its 11th Annual Johnson Creek Clean-Up
  • Camp ELSO (Experience Life Science Outdoors) Adventurers Program- Summer 2018 ($10,000) will offer educational field opportunities to underrepresented youth to increase watershed engagement.
  • Wilshire NatureScape Group ($9,125) will create a native species ‘nature room’ in Wilshire Park in Northeast Portland and provide a valuable educational opportunity for local schools.
  • Friends of Tryon Creek’s Tryon Field Ecology Internship ($5,000) will help to reestablish   native species and enhance understory planting.
  • Portland State University’s Native American Student and Community Center ($10,000) to help restore its rooftop garden and provide access to culturally significant species.
  • Tryon Creek Watershed Council’s Watershed 101 Mobile Training Program ($8,400) will provide educational workshops and hands-on restoration opportunities.
  • Verde’s Cully Community Rain Gardens ($10,000) will help low-income residents in the Cully neighborhood to plan, install and maintain nine rain gardens.
  • Columbia Slough Watershed Council ($9,930) will restore the natural buffer along the Columbia Slough by removing invasive species and installing native plants.

 You can find more information at portlandoregon.gov/bes/CWSP.

 The Bureau of Environmental Services provides city residents with programs to protect water quality and public health, including wastewater collection and treatment, sewer construction and maintenance, stormwater management, and stream and watershed restoration. For news updates, follow @BESPortland on Twitter and visit www.portlandoregon.gov/bes/news.

Media Contact: Diane Dulken, (503)457-7636, diane.dulken@portlandoregon.gov