2015 Partners in Conservation Grants Awarded

East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District awarded 2015 Partners in Conservation (PIC) grants totaling $739,322 to conservation and environmental education projects in the District’s boundaries. The PIC program funds projects that address soil and water quality issues in the District, such as habitat restoration, environmental education, sustainable agriculture, and stormwater management. 24 grants were awarded, including two multi-year PIC Plus grants. You can also download the full press release here.

Partners In Conservation Grants

Atkinson Elementary School, $5,700
Atkinson Natural Playscape Project

The community will be removing 1800 square feet of asphalt with the help of the Depave. Two new nature-based playscapes and community gathering spaces will be constructed and replanted with native plants.

Columbia Land Trust / Portland Audubon, $32,504
BYHCP: Portland Metropolitan Expansion

The Backyard Habitat Conservation Program will enroll about 275 new households in the upcoming year in East Multnomah County. The additional acres of Backyard Habitats will expand the number of yards where residents are removing invasive species, planting native vegetation, reducing pesticide use, installing features that help wildlife thrive, and improving on-site stormwater management with rain gardens, increased urban tree canopy and improved soil health.

Columbia Riverkeeper, $14,000
Columbia River Monitoring Project

Columbia Riverkeeper will implement a Volunteer River Monitoring Project and coordinate community river clean ups and restoration projects for East Multnomah County.

Depave, $60,000
Depave Season 2015-16

Depave will continue its highly successful depaving program that engages community members in improving neighborhoods through cutting-edge landscape intervention. Depaving projects remove impermeable surfaces, capture stormwater, reduce the urban heat island effect, add nature back to the urban fabric, and educate people about the effects of pavement and the benefits of removing it.

Ecology in Classrooms & Outdoors, $25,000
Ecology Education in Elementary Schools

Ecology in Classrooms & Outdoors (ECO) will present hands-on lessons in 48 elementary school classrooms in East Multnomah County in the 2015-16 school year. ECO’s Ecology Programs include a series of experiential lessons that occur in students’ classrooms, schoolyards and nearby natural areas.

Green Lents, $25,000
Green Ring Watershed Partnership

The Green Ring Watershed Partnership will establish the first elements of the Green Ring, a series of green infrastructure elements surrounding the Lents Town Center, and will spearhead the process of connecting neighbors to these projects and sowing the seeds for greater community involvement in the Green Ring in the future.

Grow Portland, $33,075
Floyd Light Community Garden- Urban Agriculture 2020

As part of its Urban Agriculture 2020 Initiative, Grow Portland will build a new large community garden in East Portland in partnership with the David Douglas School District. The project will engage a diverse, low-income school and neighborhood, with community gardening and conservation programs.

Growing Gardens, $30,909
Programma de Familias Saludables (Healthy Families Program)

Through its new Programma de Familias Saludables, Growing Gardens will increase Latino parental involvement in environmental education and school garden programs. This one-year pilot project will involve three SUN Community Schools, the Latino Network, The Oregon Food Bank and two of Growing Gardens’ successful programs – Youth Grow and Growing Huertos.

Janus Youth, $25,000
Growing Food Works

Food Works employs and empowers youth of diverse backgrounds from three major low-income housing communities in North Portland (St. John’s Woods, Tamarack and New Columbia). Approximately 30 youth per year are educated in sustainable agriculture techniques, land management, and environmental stewardship, by engaging in all aspects of planning, planting, harvesting and distribution of 10,000 pounds of produce from a 2.5 acre organic farm on Sauvie Island.

Morrison Child and Family Services, $9,982
Hand in Hand Therapeutic Garden

The Therapeutic Garden serves abused and traumatized youth through Horticultural Therapy, environmental education, organic produce, and hands-on stewardship activities. This project will include environmental education for underserved, marginalized youth, sustainable gardening activities and sustainable stormwater management through the use of a cistern and rain garden.

Mt. Hood Community College (Project YESS), $13,750
Bridging the Divide between Urban Agriculture and Conservation Practices

The project seeks to bridge the worlds of conservation and food production by exploring the need for an intentional integration of native plants into food producing spaces, and by completing hands-on projects for partner garden sites. Project YESS is designed to help youth establish career goals, develop job search skills and transition to college or advanced training opportunities.

Oregon Tradeswomen, $19,065
Building Girls Work Crew

The Building Girls Work Crew will provide young women from diverse backgrounds and low income areas with a solid grounding in environmental and conservation knowledge through hands-on work experiences that contribute to habitat restoration, soil health, water quality, watershed health, habitat restoration, environmental education, and soil erosion prevention/control.

Outgrowing Hunger, $43,000
Sustainable Gardening and Ecology Education

This project unites education and conservation through service learning, school programs, gardening mentoring, and restoration projects by delivering: 1) hands-on education in sustainable gardening and ecological literacy to students at low- and mixed- income schools, 2) habitat improvements at 2 schools and 6 community gardens, using volunteers and youth interns, and 3) mentoring/logistical support for low-income, refugee and immigrant community gardener families in the adoption of environmentally friendly gardening practices at 6 community gardens.

Portland Youth Builders, $9,022
Enhancing Sustainability for at-risk Youth

PYB will hire a Sustainability Education Coordinator to support program elements of a sustainability curriculum, addressing topics such as environmental science, sustainable agriculture, and green building. PYB also plans to construct an on-site stormwater management system as a means to offset their contribution to combined sewer overflow events.

Rose Community Development, $15,000
Lents Youth Initiative

The Lents Youth Initiative seeks to empower youth to build a connection to Lents through sustainability and equity values, with a focus on the “Lents Green Ring,” a concept that links the environmental assets in the Lents portion of the Johnson Creek watershed and improves safety, mobility and access to the Lents Town Center. A key feature of this project is engaging youth of color and youth from low-income families in environmental education and restoration.

Rosemary Anderson High School, $16,250
Rosemary Anderson High School and Friends of Trees Student Crew Leader Training Program

The Program is designed to enrich the lives of underserved members of the community through: 1) Increasing awareness of and skills in managing natural areas, and 2) Developing skills in community outreach and education. Along with Friends of Trees teams, students will recruit and train community volunteers for neighborhood tree plantings and engage in restoration efforts at the Columbia Children’s Arboretum.

Sabin PTA, $10,000
Sabin School Outdoor Education and Natural Play Area

Sabin School will build an inclusive outdoor education and natural play area on the northern portion of the school campus to support environmental education, increase native habitat and decrease stormwater runoff.

Sauvie Island Center, $19,900
Place Based Learning on the Farm with students from James John and other Roosevelt Cluster Schools

Through this project, the Center will serve more children in the Roosevelt cluster with repeat field trips of outdoor education. For third graders at James John, field trips will be accompanied by classroom lessons that deepen their exposure to the Center’s curriculum. Students will have access to a unique natural environment, learn about conservation principles and about vegetables as a component of a healthy diet, and gain a better understanding of the types of food that grow best in our climate.

Sellwood Moreland Improvement League, $7,230
Crystal Springs Corner

The purpose of this project is to improve a small, native streamside forest along Crystal Springs Creek, and to provide environmental education opportunities to neighbors and the public. The project will support restoration and educational signage.

SOLVE, $26,191
Fairview Creek Heron Pointe Wetland restoration

Four acres of Heron Pointe wetland on Fairview Creek will be enhanced through community restoration. Volunteers will remove the invasive reed canary grass that dominates the wetland and replant the area with native trees and shrubs. The SOLVE model is to engage and involve the community and volunteers in restoration efforts through effective partnerships and outreach.

Urban Nature Partners, $20,000
Expand Outdoor Opportunities for Youth through Mentoring

Urban Nature Partners PDX empowers youth from underserved areas of Portland by building long term, one-on-one mentoring relationships with caring adults, many of whom are environmental professionals. The mentors facilitate experiences in urban greenspaces, primarily in each young person’s neighborhood. The project will enable the amount of youth-mentor participation to double.

Wisdom of the Elders, $25,000
Discovering Yidong Xinag*

Wisdom of the Elders will strengthen its Native American environmental education initiative by providing increased training and hands-on service learning for Native youth and other youth of color in local natural areas. The program is expanding to provide training and paid work experience in environmental workforce development for Native adults, and to create a job pipeline plan.

Partners In Conservation Grants

Cascade Pacific RC&D, $175,989
Mirror Lake Floodplain Forest Restoration

The Mirror Lake Partnership has a shared vision of restoring historic vegetation and hydrologic function to the Mirror Lake floodplain. The 3-year restoration project encompasses 120 acres of converted and degraded floodplain forest and shrub scrub habitat. Elements include removal and control of noxious weeds by local farmers and skilled crews, and procuring and installing 73,200 site-adapted native trees and shrubs.

Portland Fruit Tree Project, $77,755
Community Orchards Program Expansion

This 3-year project involves site enhancements and educational programming at three existing community orchards and the establishment of a new orchard at the Parkrose Community United Church. The Portland Fruit Tree Project will establish water-conserving irrigation systems at each orchard. New interpretive signs and pathways for self-guided tours will be developed and installed at three of the orchards.