Category Archives: News

What does $1M buy today? 26 new Partners in Conservation projects

Supporting community efforts is the key to meeting our mission. At EMSWCD, we are investing in local efforts that underscore the importance of healthy rivers, outdoor and environmental education, local food production using sustainable practices, and resource access for underserved, lower-income, and/or Black, Indigenous and people of color. Many of these projects also further critical climate action. By providing $1,050,000 million in Partners in Conservation (PIC) grants to non-profits and community-based organizations, EMSWCD is empowering our local communities to self-organize for a brighter future.

In May our Board of Directors approved funding for 26 PIC grant proposals recommended by a community review committee. These grants further agricultural development, bridge economic disparities, provide youth and adult education, and restore our natural resources and environment. Organizations are addressing community disparities and advancing equity by creating benefits for underserved communities through project design, partnerships and organizational practices. See the full list of PIC 2024 grantees here.

This year’s PIC Grant Review Committee reviewed 48 grant applications requesting more than $2.3 million in funding. Outreach for our program is growing, with 12 first-time applicants receiving grants this year with an average grant of $40,000. Learn more about the committee members who helped review and recommend grants here.

Together we’ve invested more than $12 million in 175+ 2024 Partners in Conservation Grantsto organizations that help advance our mission. Find out if your organization might be eligible and find support for your community project. Learn more.

Garlic Mustard Dumpster

a field of invasive garlic mustard is flowering

EMSWCD is once again providing a dumpster for disposing of pulled and bagged garlic mustard. The dumpster is located on the Historic Highway, in front of the ball field across the street from the Corbett Water District.

The dumpster is marked clearly as GARLIC MUSTARD DUMPSTER. A tracking sheet is located below the dumpster – please fill out all of the information requested on the sheet so we can track how much time was spent pulling garlic mustard and where it came from. A dumpster will be provided each spring to help the community dispose of garlic mustard.

We are also allowing residents to dispose of tansy ragwort in this dumpster. Please only use this dumpster to dispose of garlic mustard and tansy!

Have any questions? Send an email to Chris    Learn more about pulling invasive garlic mustard


Remember: Re-visit pulled sites frequently to make sure no new garlic mustard plants grow and go to seed.

Upcoming EMSWCD Board and Committee Meetings

The East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District (EMSWCD), serving all of Multnomah County east of the Willamette River, has scheduled Board and Committee meetings for the months of May through July 2024.

Visit this page to see a calendar of upcoming meetings.

EMSWCD has a new Executive Director!

Photo headshot of Kelley Beamer

We are thrilled to announce the selection by the Board of Directors of our new Executive Director, Kelley Beamer!

Kelley Beamer served as the Executive Director at the Coalition of Oregon Land Trusts (COLT) for more than 10 years and will bring to East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District (EMSWCD) her experience in forging partnerships with diverse communities and advancing land conservation to protect farm and forest lands.

“We are excited to welcome Kelley as our new Executive Director,” says Jasmine Zimmer-Stucky, EMSWCD Board Chair. “Her passion for place-based conservation aligns beautifully with the Board’s recently adopted Strategic Plan. Kelley will bring experience, great communication skills, and time-tested partnerships to the organization. We feel very fortunate to have found a home-grown leader who has worked with urban and rural communities across the state and in our district.”

Kelley began her conservation work in Oregon in 2006 as the Conservation Organizer for Friends of Columbia Gorge, where she organized public support for securing land and protecting the unique values of the Gorge. Before joining COLT Kelley served as the Advocacy and Outreach Manager for the Cascadia Green Building Council, where she implemented state-wide public awareness and advocacy campaigns.

“It is an honor to step into the role of Executive Director for East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District,” said Kelley Beamer. “This District is leading the way in creating healthy habitats, supporting landowners in increasing soil health and opening access for our next generation of farmers. I’ve lived in East Multnomah County for 18 years and could not be more excited to join this talented team to advance its mission of helping people care for land and water.”

Kelley started work with EMSWCD on February 1st, 2024.

Please join us in welcoming Kelley to EMSWCD!

EMSWCD’s 2022-23 Annual Report is here!

screenshot of the EMSWCD FY22-23 Annual Report page, featuring a navigation page with several circular buttons

Our 2022-23 fiscal year Annual Report is here! This year we are again offering a self-guided presentation of our Annual Report with an interactive Prezi Story Map. It’s a great way to see what our talented team has accomplished this year all across our District. Visit this page to learn how to use the story map and to see how we work to meet our mission of helping people care for land and water.

View the FY 22-23
Annual Report

Watch our rain garden installation feature on “This Old House”!

EMSWCD partnered recently with This Old House for a feature demonstrating how to plan the site for a rain garden and install it! Watch below as our Urban Lands Program Supervisor Kathy Shearin meets with landscape contractor Jenn Nawada to help Aaron and Autumn install a rain garden in their front yard. The section on rain gardens is in the first nine minutes of the video.

Learn more about rain gardens here!

Visit the This Old House website here.

Weed Wrenches now available at local tool libraries!

Image of four local tool libraries, Green Lents, Souteast Portland, East Portland and Northeast Portland Recieving free Weed Wrench tools from East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District

It is a great time to start pulling invasive species like the Tree of Heaven. We just delivered Weed Wrenches to Northeast, Green Lents, Southeast, and East Portland Tool Libraries so you can stop by and borrow them for free! Check the tool libraries website for hours and more details.

See more about Tree of Heaven here:

EMSWCD Board statement regarding Portland Water Bureau filtration plant project siting

Multnomah County Hearings Officer
Multnomah County Community Services, Land Use Planning
1600 SE 190 Avenue
Portland, OR 97233

Re: case # T3-2022-16220 – Proposed Portland Water Bureau Filtration Plant Project

The East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District (EMSWCD) is a nonregulatory government agency representing residents of Multnomah County east of the Willamette River to the far end of the county. The mission of EMSWCD is to help people care for soil and water.

EMSWCD understands that Portland Water Bureau (PWB) is obligated by US Environmental Protection Agency regulations and the terms of a compliance order entered into between the PWB and Oregon Health Authority to have a system operational no later than 2027 that is capable of removing Cryptosporidium and other potential contaminants.

While EMSWCD supports the provision of clean, safe drinking water for all PWB customers, we are concerned about the proposed location of the water filtration facility. The proposed location for the facility is on land designated as a Rural Reserve. Consistent with its Rural Reserve designation, this location represents some of the very best farmland remaining in EMSWCD’s service area. It has prime agricultural soils, favorable topography, legal water rights, and is sizeable enough to support commercial farming operations. Siting this facility on Rural Reserve-designated land not only equates to farmland loss, but it also sets a negative precedent of constructing facilities intended to serve a primarily urban population on land that is protected for agriculture. Read more

1 2