Stormwater is a significant source of pollutants to the Columbia River and its tributaries. We work with schools and communities to reconfigure schoolyards, parking lots, streets, and other impermeable surfaces to allow stormwater to infiltrate into the ground, rather than running directly into our streams and rivers.
Below are several stormwater projects we have completed throughout the years.
ClackaCraft Drift Boats
ClackaCraft Drift Boats is located in a heavily developed area of Clackamas County. As a boat business, they wanted to make a change to help water quality for the nearby Clackamas River. In 2020, with the help of designer Juncus Studio and crews from Verde Builds, we completed a 480 square foot rain garden along ClackaCraft's parking lot.
This retrofit will infiltrate stormwater from their building and parking lot to reduce the polluted runoff entering the Clackamas. The project was possible thanks to funding from the Clackamas County RiverHealth Stewardship Program.
North Portland’s Sitton School had a lot of outside space, but they didn’t have a good place to teach their students about native plants, stormwater, and how it affects the nearby Willamette River. In 2019, we worked with the school and nonprofit Depave to remove around 3,000 square feet of asphalt from their schoolyard.
The area was later planted with native trees and other vegetation to provide shade, filter stormwater, and provide an area for students to learn about native habitats and green infrastructure on their school grounds.
The project was funded by the Portland Bureau of Environmental Services Community Watershed Stewardship Program. Other partners include Depave, Portland Public Schools, and the Sitton School community and PTA.
Boise-Eliot/Humboldt School in North Portland had a sizeable playground, but it also had a lot of asphalt and lacked large green spaces for active play. In 2018, the Estuary Partnership partnered with the school and Depave to remove 6,700 square feet of asphalt from their school grounds.
The space was replanted with play-friendly grass, trees, and a small stormwater retention garden. Classes from Boise-Eliot also got a series of stormwater lessons.
“Many of our students naturally gravitate to the little tree and grass space that we currently have both for imaginative play and for reduced temperatures on hot days. Increasing this space will increase possibilities for students to play and for teachers to utilize the space for outdoor learning activities,” said Kaveh Pakseresht, Boise-Eliot/Humboldt School Principal.
The project was funded by Evans Metal Fabricators through an Oregon DEQ Supplemental Environmental Project, Portland Bureau of Environmental Services, and East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District. Partners include Depave, Portland Parks and Recreation, and the Boise-Eliot/Humboldt School community.
At Vernon School in Northeast Portland, students had limited green space on their largely paved playground. In 2016, we worked with the school community and nonprofit Depave to remove around 1,008 square feet of asphalt from the schoolyard. Kindergarten and 1st grade students later got to plant large trees in the depaved squares to add shade to the playground and create new habitat areas for birds and other species.
The folks from Open Architecture PDX and Turner Construction helped design and build benches so teachers and students have a place to rest. In addition, 5th and 6th grade students got a series of lessons on stormwater and how their schoolyard is connected to the Columbia Slough from Estuary Partnership educators.
This project was funded by the City of Portland’s Bureau of Environmental Services. Partners include Depave, Portland Public Schools, Vernon School, Vernon School PTA, Open Architecture PDX, and Turner Construction.