Skip to Main Content View Text-Only

The City of Portland, Oregon

Environmental Services

working for clean rivers

Phone: 503-823-7740

Fax: 503-823-6995

MAILING ADDRESS: 1120 SW 5th Ave, Room 1000, Portland, OR 97204

More Contact Info


The Boise-Eliot Native Grove: A New Community Space for Watershed Health

(November 12, 2019) - With a little vision and a lot of help from community and City partners, Northeast Portland residents converted an underused patch of right-of-way into the Boise-Eliot Native Grove, a home for wildlife and a place to relax, learn, and play for people in the city.  Boise Eliot Native Grove

Many hands make light work! The Portland Bureau of Environmental Services provided native plants and educational art and signage. Portland Bureau of Transportation’s Spaces to Places Program provided the location for the grove on N Ivy St and N Gantenbein Ave.  East Multnomah Soil & Water Conservation District and the Boise Neighborhood Association contributed native plants and mulch. The Xerces Society, Friends of Trees, Boise-Eliot-Humboldt Elementary, The Ivy School, and the Rebuilding Center all brought additional materials and volunteer labor to the partnership.

The native grove features a variety of native plants and habitats for people and wildlife to enjoy.  Narrow pathways wind through the lush vegetation, revealing the grove’s treasures: a mason bee hotel, interpretive signage describing the benefits of native plants, a gazebo with a six-sided bench constructed by the community with salvaged materials, and a living dome of Sitka and Pacific willow trees that beckons children and adults to crawl inside and explore.

Community volunteers also maintain the plants throughout the year. They got a surprise this summer when a water line beneath the native grove burst, flooding the site and creating a sink hole in the middle of the willow dome.  Working quickly, Environmental Services and the Portland Water Bureau collaborated with the volunteers to repair the pipe and to salvage and rebuild the willow dome. In time, the fast-growing willows will achieve their former height, re-creating the tunnel of vegetation and restoring some of the grove’s mystery.

In the meantime, stop by the native grove to enjoy some time with nature in the city, and to cheer the newly re-planted willows on their way to recovery.

Visit: N Ivy St and N Gantenbein Ave.

Volunteer: Find out about tree plantings, and other community events as well as how we are improving watershed health from your neighborhood to the river.  Or visit the grove website at

Environmental Services works with public, nonprofit, and community partners to protect public health and the environment by preserving and restoring the health of Portland’s watersheds.  Learn more about Environmental Services’ stormwater projects and community-focused programs.

Fall events 2019: Celebrate salmon, clean rivers and streams and more...

We will be at some of your favorite fall events - from the last Sunday Parkways of the season to a Fix-it-Fair in November. In between we will celebrate salmon with you, give out tips for watershed health and showcase how to get grants for your community projects and more. Find out where the Portland Bureau of Environmental Services will be this fall:

Park(ing) Day 
Friday, Sept. 20, 2019
Multiple locations

This is the day that parking spaces all over Portland turn into parks. The City of Portland free event includes multiple locations -  Environmental Services will be in front of KEEN at NW Glisan Street and NW 13th Avenue. See how we turn a parking space into a salmon-filled riverPhoto: girl with fish hat

In partnership with Friends of Trees, we will be talking about trees, native plants, the history of Tanner Creek, stormwater management and watershed health – with special appearance by Seymour the Salmon. Free and open to all.

SOLVE Beach and Riverside Cleanup
Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019
9 a.m. to noon.
Central Eastside location 
1010 SE Water Avenue 

Join SOLVE and thousands of volunteers on September 21st at multiple locations as we support the health of the Willamette River, public beaches, neighborhoods, and natural areas. Environmental Services will be at the Central Eastside site installing stormwater curb markers as well as picking up litter and other cleanup activities. Meet up at Fully on SE Water Ave. and have a cup of coffee provided by Water Avenue Coffee and breakfast bars from Kure Juice. After the cleanup volunteers will have lunch provided by Bunk Sandwiches & Boke Bowl.

Sunday Parkways  – get your fish hat! 
Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019
Northeast Portland

The last Sunday Parkways of the 2019 season. Walk, bike, or roll while you explore neighborhood greenways, listen to live music, and connect with your neighbors and favorite organizations, including Environmental Services. We will give out our popular free fish hats, so you can swim with the river of bikes. Free and open to all. 

Jim Pepper Native Arts Festival 
Saturday, Sept. 28, 2019
11 a.m.-dusk
Parkrose High School
12003 NE Shaver St. 

We will have a team at the Jim Pepper Native Arts Festival, which showcases Native American music, art, food, and performers.  Find out about fish in the Columbia Slough and how you can get grants from Environmental Services to fund your community projects. Environmental Services staff from the Columbia Watersheds Team, Neighborhood to the River, and the Community Watershed Stewardship Program will attend this free, all-ages, community-building event. See you there.

Salmon Celebration 
Oct. 6, 2019
11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Johnson Creek Park
SE 21st Avenue and Clatsop Street

Photo: salmon bake

Environmental Services is proud to join Portland Parks & Recreation in sponsoring the 6th Annual Salmon Celebration. This event celebrates the seasonal return of salmon to northwest rivers and streams and Portland’s commitment to bringing salmon back to the city through restoration of our local rivers and streams.

This free, family-friendly event will take place along the banks of the restored Crystal Springs, home to coho and Chinook salmon.  Activities include a Native American blessing, a salmon bake demonstration, Native American games, crafts, inter-tribal activities and outdoor skills by Trackers NW. All are welcome!

No Ivy Day
Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019
9 a.m. To noon
Multiple locations

Invasive plants are one of the biggest challenges to maintaining healthy natural areas - and ivy is one of the most challenging invasives in Portland. Luckily, ivy pulling is a great way to get out in nature, get exercise and see the immediate benefits of your work. Join hundreds of volunteers in the annual No Ivy Day, organized by our partners at Portland Parks & Recreation. 

Fix-it Fair
Nov. 23, 2019
Parkrose High School
12003 NE Shaver St.

Fix-it Fairs are free events hosted by the City of Portland Bureau of Planning & Sustainability where you can learn how to save money and get connected with resources.  Environmental Services staff will attend to share information about our incentive and grant programs.

In addition to these events, at any time of year you can find out more about Environmental Services’ stormwater projects and community-focused programs online.

Blog: Scenes from a Willamette River Summer

(August 30, 2019) - Each Friday during the summer, Environmental Services posts our Willamette River test results for bacteria and temperature at five popular recreation spots. Each week’s results this season were GOOD. And each week, you show what a river clean enough for swimming and playing means to you.

Here are scenes from a summer of play on the river - a river that is cleaner thanks in large part to your investment in the Big Pipe Project. 

PHoto - BES testing the water

What did our Willamette River test results show this season? All results were GOOD - showing bacteria levels well within state health guidelines. We sample at five locations each Wednesday and post results on Fridays.

Photos: willamette park

How do I find test results? Check the Rec at

Has the Willamette River always been clean enough to swim and play? No. Many longtime residents remember a polluted river but that’s changed. Thanks to the Clean Water Act, a variety of pollution prevention efforts and your investment in the Big Pipe Project, the river is cleaner than it’s been in decades. Your investment in the $1.4 billion Big Pipe project – the largest public works project in Portland history  – has eliminated almost all combined sewer overflows (CSOs) to the Willamette River and the resulting bacteria. Today, the river is almost always clean enough to swim and play.

 Photo: bike to the river

How can you continue to protect the river we all love?

* Get there by bike - bicycling, walking, rolling and taking TriMet  help prevent air and water pollution. Plus, biking is fun and bike parking is free.

* Please prevent dogs and pets from pooping near the river and clean up after your pet waste. Dog poop is raw sewage. Whether from people, pets or wildlife, bacteria from sewage can make people sick. 

* Pack up all your trash (we don’t have to say that, right?) See our other clean river tips

Photo: Big Float

For more photos, check out Flickr. For more info, Check the Rec for test results, safety tips and links to where to swim at Enjoy your river! 

Contact info: Diane Dulken (503)457-7636 

Summer Events 2019: Get your fish hats, clean river tips, and more

Environmental Services will be out and about this summer at some of your favorite community events.Image of BES staff in fish hat at community event

Get your fish hats and join the river of bicycles at this Sunday (June 30) Sunday Parkways. Plus, visit Environmental Services (BES) staff at other community events throughout Portland this summer.  Visit us and learn about current projects, green streets, and things that you can do to manage stormwater runoff more naturally. You’ll also learn how you can help protect our rivers and streams for wildlife, fish, and people.

You may even catch a glimpse of Seymour Salmon. Here is where we will be: 

2019 Sunday Parkways  – get your fish hat!
North: June 30,
Outer Northeast: July 21,
Downtown Green Loop: Aug. 25,
Northeast: Sept. 22.

At Sunday Parkways, you can get your fish hats and walk, bike, or roll while you explore neighborhood greenways, listen to live music, and connect with local service organizations like Environmental Services, Portland Fire & Rescue, the Portland Water Bureau, and more! 

Movies in the Park
Friday, July 26

Movies in the Park is featuring Spider-Man into the Spider-Verse (PG) at Unthank Park, 510 N Shaver Street. Pre-movie entertainment by Geno Michaels & Soulcity. This event is free and family friendly.

Division Clinton Street Fair & Parade
Saturday, July 27
The Division Clinton Street Fair and Parade includes live music, more than 100 vendors, food and family-friendly fun. 

Lents Fair
Sunday, August 11
The Lents Fair is a free and family friendly celebration of summer and community. The event aims to strengthen our community by coming together to celebrate, connect, and learn about one another.

Multnomah Days
Saturday, August 17
Multnomah Days is an old school street fair and parade featuring vendors and performers from across the city and beyond.

Jade International Night Market
Saturday, Aug. 24 and 31Photo of Seymour the Salmon
The Jade International Night Market events are free, family-friendly, and include retail and food vendors and live entertainment. The Market aims to create community on SE 82nd Avenue by bringing local business owners together and draws the larger Portland community to the multi-ethnic neighborhood.

Hawthorne Street Fair
Sunday, August 25
Join over 200 vendors and over 100 businesses at the free Hawthorne Street Fair event. Highlights include music, kids activities, beer gardens, and vendors.

Belmont Street Fair
Saturday, September 14
The Belmont Street Fair is the final street fair of the summer season.  The event includes shopping, music, food and fun.   


Hollywood Farmers Market
Saturday, September 21

The Hollywood Farmers Market hosts agricultural vendors and community events year-round each Saturday.

At any time of year you can find out more about our neighborhood projects online. 

Thank you Green Street Stewards - you've made 1600+ gallons of impact

The Green Street Steward program started with one person calling the City and expressing interest in helping keep green streets clean and functioning. Out of that one call, came a program that now involves almost 200 volunteers who help maintain Environmental Services' green street planters in their neighborhoods. Green streets filter and absorb stormwater, keeping pollutants out of creeks and rivers and adding green spaces and wildlife habitat to our neighborhoods.

We’ve asked volunteer stewards to report back, and the very impressive results are in for 2018:

514 hours volunteering

1297 gallons of trash collected

1631 gallons of debris (leaves, sticks, weeds, etc.) collected 

After tallying the accomplishments for 2018, the Green Street Steward Program awarded certificates and a prize to the following stewards for going above and beyond in the following categories. 

The Green Street Steward team is grateful for the work of community members to help maintain green streets, and we know there’s even more work happening that we don’t hear about! So volunteers: remember to tally your hours. And if you're not a volunteer yet, join us by visiting or emailing us at  

Our Business winners were:

Most trash collected Oregon’s Finest 75 gallons.

Oregons finest

Most debris collected Environmental Science Associates (ESA) 435 gallons.

 Award image

Most interesting find  PBS Environmental - they found a rug and utensils.


Most hours logged Henningson, Durham and Richardson, Inc (HDR) 38 hours.


Our individual winners were:

Most trash collected  William Scheuner with 58 gallons (no picture)

Most debris collected  Chris Prescott with 85 gallons

Chris Prescott

The most interesting find Jeff and Sarah Lyons  oyster shells

Most hours logged Lyle Remington 70 hours (no picture)

We also handed out an MVP (Most Valuable Partner) award to the Surfrider Foundation, Portland Chapter for organizing monthly and special holiday volunteer events to collect a total of 420 pounds of trash. (Photo credit: Chanel Hason)