The Nature Conservancy in Oregon

Our Portland, Oregon office unveils its new stormwater planter

After years of work, staff and volunteers at The Nature Conservancy’s Portland, Oregon office just completed its new stormwater planter. The planter will divert rain water from the sewer system, keeping rivers cleaner.

After testing, funding and permits, construction work began.

Native plants were locally donated and, above, Conservancy staff volunteers Di Miller and Dani O’Brien collect and prepare wetland species before planting.

After the hole was prepared, a frame was constructed for the concrete pour. The planter is bordered by four concrete walls and the bottom is open, to let water absorb into the ground.

Ken Popper, senior conservation planner at the Conservancy, explains the planting diagram to a group of volunteers.

More than 250 native plants were planted, with one per square foot. Seventeen types were used, including salmonberry, snowberry, Oregon grape, blue-eyed grass and a variety of sedges.

When it rains, water drains in from the parking lot and the pipe from the roof. Over several hours, the water seeps into the ground and disperses into the soil.

The plants that were used were carefully selected by Popper and colleagues Jason Dumont and Ed Alverson. The plants also help filter toxins out of the water, further purifying what absorbs into the soil.


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