EPA Region 10 Administrator visits future green stormwater infrastructure

On January 29, 2024, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Portland Public Schools joined us to celebrate a landmark investment in green stormwater infrastructure coming to Portland Public Schools and other schools throughout the region thanks to a $4.2 million award we received from the EPA. 

EPA Region 10 Administrator Casey Sixkiller marked the occasion by visiting Rigler Elementary School in Northeast Portland. Rigler Elementary School is a Spanish-immersion and Title 1 elementary school. 

In the coming years, Rigler’s school yard and parking lot will be home to a 7,000 square foot green infrastructure project! This green infrastructure project will improve water quality, reduce the heat island effect at the school, shade classrooms, and add wonderful natural elements throughout the campus. It also supports Rigler Elementary’s efforts to fulfill its community developed Rigler Vision Plan.

Rigler Elementary School Principal Chris Silvas kicked off the celebration with EPA Regional Administrator Casey Sixkiller. Principal Silvas emphasized that the green infrastructure project is part of a plan developed by Rigler students, parents, and teachers.

Our Community Programs Director, Chris Hathaway, addressed the crowd as well. He shared details about how the EPA’s award will be translated into green stormwater infrastructure projects at roughly eight schools throughout the region. He also shared how our unique approach to these projects engages students. 

Using our Walkable Watershed Map, Chis described how environmental educators with the Estuary Partnership transform green stormwater infrastructure projects into hands-on science lessons. 

The Estuary Partnership’s School Stormwater Reduction Project award was funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and as part of the comprehensive Columbia River Basin Restoration Program.