EMSWCD invests $1 million in new Partners in Conservation grants

EMSWCD staff Monica (left) standing with several participants at a Voz event, all pausing for a picture. Most are wearing masks and some of the participants are holding up pumpkins

Grants supporting local efforts help us meet our mission and tackle some of today’s most pressing challenges. We’re investing $1,050,000 million into efforts led by non-profits and community-based organizations addressing key issues such as access to land, warming waterways, and the lack of trees in low-income and historically red-lined neighborhoods.

See the list of PIC 2023 grantees here.

In May our Board of Directors approved funding for 24 grant proposals recommended by our 13-member Grant Review Committee for sustainable agriculture and community gardens, habitat restoration, water quality improvements, and job opportunities for youth in the green workforce. Organizations are addressing community disparities and advancing equity by creating benefits for underserved communities through project design, partnerships, and organizational practices.

This year’s committee reviewed 42 grant applications requesting nearly $1.9 million in funding. Learn more about the committee members here.

Since 2007 we’ve invested more than $11 million in 150+ Partners in Conservation grants to organizations that help advance our mission.

Visit this page for the full list of 2023 Partners in Conservation Grant projects.

Our website is now translated!

We are pleased to announce that our website can now be viewed in twelve other languages! All of the text content, buttons and menus on the site are automatically translated into the language of your choosing. To view the site in another language, please find the dropdown menu at the top of the page and select a language.

Please note: as the content is automatically translated, you may encounter some translation errors. If you notice an error, please feel free to reach out to us and report it. Please also note that although the text is translated, most brochures and other files linked on our site are not. If you would like to request a translation of any materials, or assistance in another language, please contact us.

Available translations currently include:

We hope you will explore the translated versions of our site and that you find them useful! For any questions or concerns, please contact us.

One year update: solar power at Headwaters Farm

aerial angled view of two structures at Headwaters Farm, including a barn in the foreground and a storage shed in the background, with solar-panel-covered roofs visible on both structures

Thanks to a 2019 Renewable Development Fund grant (RDF) from Portland General Electric, EMSWCD was able to purchase and install a 70kW photovoltaic system at Headwaters Farm. The solar panels were installed on two structures on the farm and began feeding electricity into the grid in April of 2020. In its first year of solar production, the renewable energy system generated 84 megawatt-hours, or enough to offset around 90% of the farm’s annual electricity consumption! This equated to a savings on the farm’s electricity bills of just under $10,000 for the year.

The Headwaters solar project was made possible with support from the PGE Renewable Development Fund, which contributed $55,566 towards the $155,374 total project cost. The Energy Trust of Oregon also contributed $23,715. Together over 50% of the project’s cost was covered by the Energy Trust and PGE’s RDF funds, with the balance coming from EMSWCD.

Nancy Hamilton, EMSWCD’s Executive Director, said of the project: “We are excited to be generating electricity at the farm and reducing our carbon footprint. And we are very grateful to PGE and their Green Future customers, as well as the Energy Trust of Oregon, for helping to make this solar project happen. The Headwaters Farm solar installation is an important demonstration opportunity for our farmers and visitors to Headwaters Farm, and the wider community we serve. The project also made a lot of sense for us financially.” Read more

Our StreamCare program has planted half a million plants!

staff and contractors staking native plants at a site along Johnson Creek

On February 9th, EMSWCD planted its 500,000th native plant through its StreamCare program, marking twelve years of planting native trees and shrubs to improve stream health and help salmon throughout eastern Multnomah County!

StreamCare has been plugging away planting native trees and shrubs along streams in Gresham, Corbett and Troutdale since 2009, working together with more than 200 landowners that have voluntarily enrolled in the program. Our Executive Director Nancy Hamilton says of the program: “Our crews are able to transform stream fronts from blackberry brambles to thriving native forests that attract wildlife, protect water quality, and build more resilient communities.” Watch our brand new video below highlighting the milestone planting!

The main goal of StreamCare is creating shade. As the trees mature, they cast their shadows over the stream, lowering the temperature of the water. “It’s mostly to benefit salmon,” says Lucas Nipp, our StreamCare program manager. “Salmon need cool water. Most of the streams in our area are far too warm for healthy salmon.” Read more

New activity book – The Great Gorge Adventure

Rana, Lars and Max, the three characters from The Great Gorge Adventure activity book

Help Rana the Frog, Lars the Salamander, and Max the Slug get back to their home at the base of Larch Mountain!

Download and print this free educational activity book for the kids in your life to enjoy. Available in four languages: English, Spanish (español), Russian (русский), and Vietnamese (Tiếng Việt).

Read The Great Gorge Adventure here!

Illustrated by Jon Wagner, EMSWCD Illustrator and Conservation Specialist.

StreamCare enrollment now open in new watersheds – Buck Creek and Bonnie Brook

Since 2009, the StreamCare Program has worked with over 200 landowners to remove weeds and plant native trees and shrubs along their streams for free. Over that time, StreamCare has been available in four priority watersheds in eastern Multnomah County. We are now offering this program in two new watersheds: Buck Creek and Bonnie Brook.

Flyers were recently mailed to eligible landowners in the new watersheds. To learn more, contact Julie DiLeone at (503) 539-5764 or julie@emswcd.org. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, we are not able to conduct site visits at this time, but are encouraging folks to call, email, or text now to get on the list so we can get the process started and make sure your space is reserved. Find out more about the StreamCare Program here.

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