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The City of Portland, Oregon

Nick Fish (In Memoriam)

City of Portland Commissioner

phone: 503-823-3589


1221 S.W. 4th, Room 240, Portland, OR 97204

Supporting Crystal Springs

April 28, 2015

The Spokane Street Neighbors, along with local volunteers, have been hard at work making Crystal Springs Creek more healthy and vibrant. 

Crystal Springs is major tributary of Johnson Creek in Southeast Portland. It’s an important habitat for salmon, birds, and other wildlife. 

With the support of a Bureau of Environmental Services (BES) Native Plant Mini Grant, volunteers planted 350 native plants and shrubs, as well as 12 native trees along Crystal Springs. 

Native Plant Mini Grants are part of the Community Watershed Stewardship Program. Mini grants provide a great way to help start or maintain projects in our local waterways.

Crystal Springs Creek has a new life, thanks to a major restoration project managed by BES and Portland Parks & Recreation – and supported by neighbors like the Spokane Street Neighbors! The project enhanced conditions of the creek to improve water quality. In addition to planting native trees and shrubs, crews also restored a wetland area, removed nine culverts, and added better walkways around the sensitive natural area.

Last week, staff from BES and Parks accepted the Sustainable Parks, Recreation and Open Space Project award from the American Planning Association for Crystal Springs’ transformation.

Thank you to the Spokane Street Neighbors and all the volunteers for looking after Crystal Springs! 

Check out BES’ website to learn more.

Arts Education & Access Fund Making a Difference

April 29, 2015

This afternoon, Commissioner Fish was pleased to welcome the Arts Oversight Committee (AOC) to present their 2015 report to City Council.

The AOC, Chaired by Stan Penkin, is a public citizen group which oversees the Arts Education & Access Fund income tax (the “Arts Tax”). The AOC Report analyzes how nearly $7 million has been invested in our public schools and local arts organizations.

Thanks to the tax, more than 30,000 children, ages Kindergarten to 5th grade, are enjoying better arts education in our schools. And more than 80 teachers in 6 public schools districts are helping make it happen.

Council members were surprised by a few special guests from Capitol Hill Elementary School, the Metropolitan Learning Center (MLC), the Access Academy, Peninsula Elementary, and Glencoe Elementary School today. Student artists presented each Council member with a one-of-a-kind piece of artwork!

Nick is proud to display “Seasons” by MLC students Esja Mirti and Millie Jarvis in his office.

In addition to arts in our schools, the Regional Arts & Culture Council has invested millions in operating support for a number of local arts organizations thanks to the Arts Tax funding. They have also awarded special grants to organizations focused on increasing access to the arts for all.

Special thanks to the AOC, students, teachers and school districts, RACC, the City’s Revenue Division, and our local arts organizations for helping make the arts the heart of our community.

Read the AOC's full report online, or view a summary here.

And look for Nick's piece, "Arts Education Matters," coming soon in the May/June issue of Artslandia magazine!