Portland Parks & Recreation remains Salmon-Safe for 15th straight year

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Lauded city parks system receives acclaimed environmental recognition
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(Portland, OR) – 

Portland Parks & Recreation has been recertified by Salmon-Safe, marking the 15th consecutive year that PP&R has been recognized for its commitment to conservation and environmentally-friendly land management in our parks and natural areas. 

  • Being Salmon-Safe means Portland Parks & Recreation’s ecological stewardship practices and environmental restoration work are recognized for excellence in protecting Portland’s water quality and habitat.
  • Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) was the first city parks system in the nation to receive the prestigious Salmon-Safe designation.
  • Salmon-Safe says PP&R is a model for park systems across the US.  

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Photo above: Westmoreland Park, the site of a beneficial restoration project. Attached photos show additional PP&R sites and projects that helped the Bureau earn recertification. 

“Salmon are found in nearly half of Portland’s 300 miles of streams and rivers. Our Salmon-Safe recertification shows Portland Parks & Recreation’s commitment to these threatened species and our local waterways,” says Portland Parks Commissioner Nick Fish. “From creating new habitat to our daily land management practices, we’re proud to be a national leader in the Salmon-Safe movement.” 

Salmon-Safe is a nationally-recognized, local non-profit that certifies organizations for their holistic efforts to protect salmon and promote watershed health. The organization has identified PP&R as an example of successful environmental restoration in city park system management. 

"Portland Parks & Recreation demonstrates exceptional environmental leadership in achieving recertification as a Salmon-Safe park system,” says Dan Kent, co-founder and Executive Director of Salmon-Safe. “As our science team evaluates recent PP&R stewardship actions, it is gratifying to see Portland’s parks system continue—and improve on—Salmon-Safe practices that help ensure a healthy urban Willamette River watershed.” 

PP&R was first certified as Salmon-Safe in 2004. In 2018, Salmon-Safe’s interdisciplinary Science Team assessed the Bureau’s natural areas management practices. The team was comprised of experts in salmon habitat and restoration, integrated pest management, and stormwater treatment. Salmon-Safe then unanimously agreed to recertify Portland Parks & Recreation. 

“We strive for ‘Healthy Parks, Healthy Portland,’ and that goal of health certainly extends to wildlife and nature as well as people,” says PP&R Interim Director Kia Selley. “Portland Parks & Recreation is proud to again be leading the way in effective, science-based ecological management and conservation.” 

In its report, Salmon-Safe mentioned an impressive cultural change towards even greater ecological stewardship in PP&R operations over the past 15 years. Portland Parks & Recreation has implemented high-level restoration efforts at each of its parks which border the Willamette River and Columbia Slough during this time. 

Just a few highlights in Salmon-Safe’s report include:

  • Portland Parks & Recreation’s continued system-wide progress in completing significant (and inspiring!) habitat restoration and enhancement projects over the past six years - projects at Luuwit View Park, Westmoreland Park, South Waterfront Greenway (habitat protection and preservation), Powers Marine Park, Willamette Park, and numerous additional projects along Crystal Springs and Johnson Creek. 
  • The updated PP&R Natural Areas Restoration Plan. 
  • Continued improvements in irrigation efficiency and water conservation.

Creation of PP&R’s Ecologically Sustainable Landscapes Initiative to enhance developed parks, and provide educational and stewardship opportunities. Ten such pilot projects are expected to be completed in the next five years.

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