Percent for Green Eligibility

The eligibility information covers who and what types of projects are eligible for Percent for Green 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, government agencies, 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.

Applicants must have the ability to make purchases up-front, with the understanding that reimbursement will come 30 days after the city receives an invoice.

Eligible Projects

Eligible projects must propose a green infrastructure or low-impact development method to manage stormwater. Projects that construct stormwater management facilities required per applicability criteria in the Stormwater Management Manual are not eligible.

Successful projects should also meet some or all of the criteria listed in the Selection Criteria. A few examples of eligible project types:

  • Stormwater management projects such as rain gardens, planters, or othergreen infrastructure solutions that collect rainwater from roofs and paved areas and allow it to soak into the ground.
  • Stormwater management projects on buildings, such as ecoroofs, that reduce runoff and add vegetation to the urban environment.
  • Depaving projects that remove pavement or other impervious surfaces and replace it with plants, gardens, or pervious pavement.
  • Green street projects that manage stormwater in the street or right-of-way.
  • Pervious paving projects that install pervious asphalt, concrete, or pavers to reduce stormwater runoff and allow the water to soak into the ground. This may be part of a pavement removal project or a standalone installation of pervious paving.
  • Drainage improvement projects such as installing or improving swales, ditches, and gutters to safely move rainwater to a rain garden, stormwater facility, or safe discharge location. This is usually part of a larger project and can include improving connectivity, capacity, and ecological function.
  • Drywellscan be used when they are part of a larger solution. For example, you can use a drywell as the overflow location for a rain garden or in connection with a depaving project. Projects proposing drywells must also include planting trees and/or other plants in order to provide the additional benefits of increasing community green space and reducing the urban heat-island effect.

Additionally, all projects must be:

  • Within the City of Portland service boundary.
  • Show a clear public benefit.
  • Be well conceived.
  • Meet environmental, zoning, permitting, and development regulatory guidelines.

Important Things to Consider

  • Private Property. Depending on the scope, projects on private property may be required to record an Operations and Maintenance Agreement on the property deed with the County. This agreement outlines regular maintenance that the property owner is responsible to complete each year.
  • Right-of-way. Green streets or other projects that manage stormwater in a street or right-of-way have special engineering, permitting, construction, and maintenance requirements. If you are considering a project in the right-of-way contact the Grant Coordinator to discuss your idea in more detail.

Eligible Expenses

The full application asks for a project budget with suggested line items. It can help you plan your project, budget, and schedule. The budget may be amended for your project, if needed.

Eligible expenses include but are not limited to:

  • Staff/Professional Services: Your budget may include staff and professional services such as engineers, landscape architects, professional surveyors, or project managers.
  • Volunteer Labor and Services: You may also indicate pro bono professional services and volunteer time whose labor helps deliver your project. Volunteer labor and service can be counted as 10 percent in-kind contributions.
  • Permit Fees: Your project may require a public works permit if it is in the right-of-way or a site development permit if it is on private property.
  • Construction Contractors: Many tasks are not appropriate for volunteer labor. A portion of your budget may include construction tasks performed by contractors including the use of equipment and purchase of materials. This includes tasks such as concrete structures and paving work, large excavation, hauling and disposal services, pipes, and professional traffic control.
  • Materials and Supplies: Project supplies such as tools, small equipment rentals or stakes, flagging, lumber, and items you might buy at the hardware store.
  • Plants and landscape materials: Includes plants, mulch, soil, compost, and gravel. Please note: Nuisance or invasive plants on the Portland Plant List are not eligible.
  • Refreshments: You can budget up to $500 dollars on snacks and drinks for volunteers and work crews.

Minimum wage is required for any paid time or labor. Grant recipients may be required to pay prevailing wages if the entire project cost is more than $50,000. If applicable, pay rates for the project must correspond to the rates in the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) publication titled “Prevailing Wage Rates for Public Works Contracts in Oregon.”

Ineligible Costs

Funds cannot be spent on:

  • Insecticides or herbicides (this may be allowed in limited cases with approval from Environmental Services)
  • Re-planting
  • Long-term monitoring or maintenance
  • Building construction
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Entertainment

Ineligible Projects

Projects located outside of Portland or related to required mitigation or penalty payments are not eligible for funding. Grant funds cannot be used to construct stormwater management facilities required per applicability criteria in the Stormwater Management Manual. However, projects managing stormwater on part of their property to comply with the manual may apply for funding to provide additional stormwater or watershed benefits.

Projects must be designed to show a clear improvement or solution to stormwater issues. Otherwise, the project is ineligible for this grant program. Examples of ineligible project types include community gardens, art, youth leadership and job skills training, cleanup, monitoring, and revegetation without depaving or collecting stormwater. Those items may be a portion of your proposal, but not a standalone proposal.


Percent for Green Grant Coordinator

Colleen Mitchell
phone number503-865-6589For questions about your project, the Percent for Green grant program, or the application process