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City Council approves $100,000 in Community Watershed Stewardship Program (CWSP) grants for eight community projects

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The Portland City Council today unanimously approved $100,000 for the Bureau of Environmental Services’ Community Watershed Stewardship Program (CWSP) program to provide grants to eight community projects that restore the natural environment, cultivate leadership in underserved communities, and create positive change in their neighborhoods.

Students in rain ponchos looking at the camera with trees in background
The CWSP program funds projects that improve watershed health and involve the community. Here are students with the Oregon Refugee Children’s Assistance Services (ORCAS) as part of a past project at Tryon Creek. Credit: Alexis Barton.

Now in its 26th year, the Community Watershed Stewardship Program is operated by the City of Portland’s Bureau of Environmental Services in partnership with Portland State University’s (PSU) Indigenous Nations Studies Department.


As Portlanders, we are united in our love of green spaces and sense of community,” said Commissioner Mingus Mapps. “The Community Watershed Stewardship Program celebrates these values through partnerships that cultivate leadership and stewardship in underserved communities and that advance watershed health for all Portlanders.”

In total, Environmental Services has supported over 320 community projects that build rain gardens, turn paved areas into natural spaces, and restore green spaces while providing education and professional development opportunities for participants. Each year, these partnerships produce an outpouring of energy from volunteers who dig in to support these community led projects. 

Commissioner Mapps congratulates this year’s grant recipients:

  • Wisdom of the Elders: The Great Spirit Urban Garden Project will establish a pollinator garden  through a 12-week internship with Indigenous educators and in partnership with another community organization, City Repair.
  • Friends of Pier Park: The Friends of Pier Park’s Understory Establishment Projectwill remove invasive plants and establish native plants that are selected with Indigenous partners and planting support from volunteers.  Participants include 10 neighborhood interns from the group Portland Tennis who will receive stipends, and students from Sitton Elementary School. 
  • Historic Parkrose: Parkrose’s Connecting Black & Brown Communities in Parkrose to the Columbia Slough Project will hold  youth workshops on the slough’s natural environment and benefits to the community.
  • NAYA Family Center: The organization’s Community First Foods and Healing Project will help develop rooftop water harvesting as a key step in establishing a garden that will cultivate first foods, which are plants that are traditional to the Indigenous community. 
  • Lloyd EcoDistrict: Lloyd EcoDistrict’s Peace Park Restoration brings Veterans for Peace and volunteers together to revitalize the inner Northeast green space to improve native vegetation, support pollinator habitat, and filter stormwater. The park is established as a space for teaching peace and justice through climate actions. 
  • Friends of Tryon Creek: Friends of Tryon Creek’s Healing Generations and Land Through Cultural Ecology builds authentic relationships between Indigenous communities, social service agencies, and conservation partners to develop culturally-inclusive environmental education programs, trauma-informed healing practices and Indigenous restoration practices.
  • Camp ELSO. The camp’s Wayfinder Program will offer a series of nature-based excursions that emphasize life science, ecology, community, and cultural history. Camp activities are co-led by high school and college-aged youth of color.
  • Tryon Creek Watershed Council’s Mobile Training Program: Tryon Creek Watershed Council’s Mobile Training Program will provide four-hour workshops combining restoration instruction with on-the-ground restoration practice. The workshop includes an introduction to watershed science ad stewardship concepts serving westside immigrant communities.

Find out more about the Community Watershed Stewardship Program, including a map of CWSP-funded projects at  https://www.portlandoregon.gov/bes/CWSP.

The City of Portland Bureau of Environmental Services - your sewer and stormwater utility – provides Portlanders with programs to protect water quality and public health. Services include wastewater collection, treatment, and resource recovery; sewer, stormwater, and green infrastructure construction and maintenance; and stream and watershed restoration. Find out more at www.portland.gov/BES