Workshop Descriptions

We’ve got a variety of workshops for you this fall! You can take them all or just one. The choice is yours – go at your own pace and enjoy the process! View the workshop descriptions below and then click here to view the fall schedule where you can register at your leisure.

NEW! Climate Resilience: In Your Yard and Beyond (1 hour)

Learn how climate change is impacting soil & water resources, and what that means for local plants, wildlife, and people. We’ll share how our choices and actions at home, in the yard, and in the community can increase our resilience to a changing climate. Tips range from building healthy soil, conserving water, and selecting the right plants to supporting local and statewide initiatives. You can be a part of the solution, starting right at home!

NEW! Outdoor Water Conservation (1 hour)

There are many simple and smart ways to use less water in your outdoor spaces. Discover how to reduce your water use, save money, and support a thriving landscape that benefits people, wildlife, and the planet!

NEW! Landscaping for Wildlife (1 hour)

When it comes to attracting beneficial wildlife to an outdoor space, it’s all about food, water, and shelter. This workshop will provide a broad and brief overview of Naturescaping concepts, and then dive into simple and creative ideas for making your space a place where birds, butterflies, bugs and more will want to come flocking. From plant shapes, colors, and bloom times to water features and tiny homes for bugs, you’ll find inventive ideas for attracting local wildlife to your space.

Creating an Edible Landscape (2.5 hours)

This workshop will give you insight and tools for incorporating edible plants into your landscape. From annual veggies and herbs to perennial berries and fruit trees, we’ll discuss design tips, ways to build fertile soil, and how to conserve water while producing a harvest. You will also learn about native plants that feature edible fruit and nuts, and how to invite beneficial insects to your garden. You’ll walk away ready to assess your site and make a plan for a beautiful (and delicious) landscape!

Native Plants (2.5 hours)

Red columbine (Aquilegia formosa)Find out about the many benefits of gardening with native plants! You’ll walk away with loads of information that will help you decide which native plants will work well in your yard. We will introduce you to common native plant communities in Portland, show examples of species that do well in similar growing conditions , share successful planting tips that will help them thrive and more! A native plant slideshow will highlight characteristics and desired growing conditions of many local favorite native groundcovers, shrubs and trees.

Naturescaping Basics (4 hours)

Yard Tour 2013 photoLearn how to design your landscape to reduce water use, decrease stormwater runoff and improve habitat for local birds, wildlife, and you! We will explore the core concepts of naturescaping, pollution prevention, and introduce attendees to watershed connections, native plant identification and site planning principals. Participants view before and after naturescaping examples, get native gardening and design tips, and see naturescaping principles in action. A comprehensive workbook is available for download to help you get started.

Rain Gardens 101 (4 hours)

rain gardenLearn to construct your own rain garden! You will learn how to assess your site to determine the best location and size, calculate impervious surfaces, determine soil suitability, choose appropriate plants, and how to build and maintain your new rain garden. A comprehensive rain garden manual is available for download to help you get started.

Urban Invasive Weeds (2.5 hours)

Weeds – we all have them! Come learn how to identify the most common garden and landscape weeds, along with some of the other more notorious plant invaders of the region. We will walk you through how some of these aggressive plants take over in your yard, and how you can get the upper hand.

Click here to view the fall schedule and register!
EMSWCD does not currently offer the following workshops or trainings

  • rainwater harvesting
  • graywater reuse
  • composting toilets

If you are interested in any of these topics, visit where you can find recordings from past webinars, videos, case studies, publications, and more! If you would like to be notified of upcoming related events, please contact Tiffany at