Clackamas Water Environment Services awards $300,000 in RiverHealth Stewardship Grants to protect watersheds

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Clackamas Water Environment Services (WES) is awarding $300,000 in grants through its RiverHealth Stewardship Program to 13 organizations dedicated to protecting local watersheds.

The grants support various activities that restore habitat, manage invasive plant species, organize community volunteer events, provide watershed science education, and remove trash from waterways while enhancing water quality.

Funding for RiverHealth Stewardship Grants comes from surface water revenue.

The following organizations will receive a combined total of $300,000 in grant funds:

Bob's Red Mill Natural Foods: $29,833 – Will restore 4.56 acre Mill's End Wetland located just south of 3-Creeks, by controlling invasive species and planting natives, to improve habitat and water quality. The project mitigates runoff from impervious areas by filtering stormwater for treatment.

Clackamas River Basin Council: $30,000 – Will steward three existing and two new RiverHealth-funded Shade Our Streams project sites totaling 9.25 acres of restoration area and 1,805 feet of river/stream length. This project will also support educational workshops, pub talks, and outreach.

Columbia Land Trust/Bird Alliance of Oregon: $20,000 – The Backyard Habitat Certification Program turns residents into restoration and clean river volunteers by providing in-person and follow-up education, resources, and recognition for them to manage stormwater on their properties, plant native plants, remove invasive weeds, reduce or eliminate use of pesticides, and steward wildlife.

Friends of Trees: $30,000 – Will host two volunteer planting and stewardship events, two education days for students at Oregon Trail Elementary, and support North Clackamas Watershed Council with their community workshop series.

Happy Valley Heights Homeowners Association: $27,815 – Five homeowner associations and two private landowners have partnered to develop a large-scale plan to restore natural areas in Happy Valley and Milwaukie. These HOAs will collaborate on riparian treatments in keeping with the Watershed Action Plans for Mt. Scott Creek and the Clackamas River.

Johnson Creek Watershed Council: $27,890 – Will engage volunteers and partners in stewardship or educational activities in WES' district, including the Johnson Creek Clean-Up, Watershed Wide planting event at the Luther Road site, and Science in the Park.

National Wildlife Foundation: $10,695 – Will improve watershed health with educational opportunities including engaging youth in outdoor education, preparing educators to integrate environmental education across subjects, and improving youth’s ability to problem solve and think critically about environmental issues. National Wildlife Foundation will partner with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife on the Fish Eggs to Fry program to achieve these goals.

North Clackamas Watersheds Council: $29,998 – Will expand riparian restoration in the Kellogg-Mt. Scott Watershed at Parmenter Ponds Target Area, identified based on temperature and salmonid use to be vital cold water refugia, and provide climate resilience that will become even more critical with the removal of Kellogg Dam in 2027-28. Will work to develop new sites on Dean Creek, also a cold-water refugia; expand resources for landowners to ensure they succeed at maintaining previously restored sites, setting the stage for expanded restoration in the watershed; and continue to engage community members in understanding and acting on their knowledge of watershed function in WES's district.

Northwest Youth Corps: $26,295 – Will complete four weeks of mulching, daylighting and watering recent native plantings; and hand removal of invasive species at four sites. Through activities with Friends of Trees, youth will earn money as they work to restore habitat, increase their understanding of nature through daily environmental lessons, and earn academic credit. Half of the proposed crews will consist of young women and non-binary individuals, including Girls Inc. participants; others will be recruited from a more general population, including low-income, BIPOC, and gender queer.

The Wetlands Conservancy: $29,664 – Will continue the progress of managing weeds and planting native vegetation in the Hearthwood Wetland for diverse habitat. Hire Native American crews from Wisdom of the Elders to mow and clear areas for native plant species to be planted by volunteers. Engage neighbors in Hearthwood Mobile Home Park by inviting them to volunteer and tour the wetlands.

Tualatin River Watershed Council: $27,810 – Will conduct streamside enhancements with eight riparian landowners on four tributaries: Fields, Wilson, Saum, and Rock Creeks.  Will add new work in Saum Creek, as well as adding a new landowner on Wilson Creek, and work in new riparian areas with the existing landowners.

World Salmon Council: $10,000 – Will provide environmental education that combines classroom and online curriculum, field learning, and community service, incorporating innovative learning activities designed to enhance students' critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Program enables students to explore their natural heritage and develop a sense of stewardship and future career exploration through learning about watershed health and the lifecycle and habitat needs of Northwest salmon.