Neighborhood to the River Grant Eligibility

The eligibility information covers who and what types of projects are eligible for Neighborhood to the River grants. This section also outlines eligible and ineligible project expenses.
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Eligible Applicants

Community groups, businesses, non-profits, student groups, schools, faith organizations, neighborhood or business associations, and service groups within the City of Portland are eligible to apply. If you are not the property owner, you will need permission from the property owner to build the project.

Eligible Projects

Neighborhood to the River grants support watershed enhancement and education work within eligible project areas in the City of Portland.

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Since Portland sanitary sewer and stormwater ratepayers fund the grant program, all grant projects must be accessible or visible to the public and show a clear public benefit. Projects should also be consistent with the City Core Values of antiracism, equity, transparency, communication, collaboration, and fiscal responsibility.

Eligible projects include, but are not limited to:

  • Pavement Removal and Urban Restoration - Projects that remove pavement or other impervious surfaces and replace them with living green infrastructure like trees, shrubs, native plants, and gardens.
  • Nuisance Plants Removal and Restoration - Projects that remove nuisance plant species and replace them with native plants. 
  • Rain Gardens and Stormwater Management - Projects such as ecoroofs, rain gardens, or swales that collect rainwater from roofs and paved areas and let it soak into the ground. 
  • Community and Native Gathering Gardens - Gardens can contribute to watershed health, especially when they contain native plants that support native pollinators.
  • Youth leadership and job skills programs - Projects that provide valuable leadership and career development opportunities for young people while improving stormwater management and watershed health. 
  • Environmental Education and Art - Projects that offer innovative workshops, curricula, creative writing, art, special events, or interpretive signs. Topics can include pollution prevention, native plant ecology, and local water resources.

Eligible Costs

Eligible costs include but are not limited to:

  • Materials and Supplies: This includes plants, mulch, soil, compost, tools, small equipment rentals, and gravel. Nuisance Plants on the Portland Plant List are not eligible.
  • Refreshments: Up to $500 can be spent on snacks and drinks for volunteers and work crews.
  • Staff/Professional Services: Up to 50% of your budget may be spent on staff and professional services. An additional 25% of your budget may be spent to compensate community members whose labor helps deliver your project.

Ineligible Projects and Costs

Projects outside the eligible project areas and/or are related to required mitigation, or penalty payments are not eligible for funding.

Funds cannot be spent on:

  • Insecticides or herbicides
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Entertainment