The Columbia Slough Watershed Council (CSWC) is pleased to announce the winners of the 2007 Watershed Council Awards. The awards will be presented at the Council’s Ninth Annual Awards Celebration and Silent Auction on Friday, February 1, 2008 from 6:00 until 9:00 P.M. “These community leaders remind us how important the Columbia Slough Watershed is to our region and the health of our ecosystem,” said Jane Van Dyke, CSWC Executive Director. “It is important to take time to recognize their dedication and contribution to improving our community and watershed.”
2007 Leadership Award Winners
The Council’s Leadership Awards recognize “individuals who demonstrate an extraordinary and long-term commitment to the watershed”.
- Erwin Bergman – Council Member – Neighborhood Advocate
- Richard and Gyrid Towle – Columbia Children’s Arboretum Advocates
2007 Achievement Award Winners
The Council’s Achievement Awards recognize “extraordinary projects or project-related efforts”.
- City of Gresham – Keri Handaly and Kris Rein – Fairview Creek-Burnside to Stark Restoration Project
- Multnomah Youth Cooperative – Rose Sandy and Jeff Walker – Youth Watershed Restoration Crew
- Northwest Discoveries – Ken Barker and Jerry Lanz – Canoe Week and Explorando el Columbia Slough Paddle Guides
- New Columbia – Housing Authority of Portland, Steve Fancher and KPFF Consulting Engineers – Green Streets and Stormwater Facilities
This year’s celebration will be held at the Acadian Ballroom at 1829 NE Alberta Street in Portland. The celebration will include dinner, silent auction, entertainment, and presentation of the awards. Tickets are $35 per person and can be purchased online at www.columbiaslough.org or by calling 503.281.1132. Reservation deadline is January 25th at 4:00 P.M.
To learn more about the event, visit the Columbia Slough Watershed Council.
For more information contact:
Katie Meckes, 503.281.1132, firstname.lastname@example.org
Chuck Harrison, CSWC Chair, commenting on the award nominations said, “It is always a pleasure to take some time each year to honor those individuals and organizations who have given of their time and resources to the improvement of the Columbia Slough Watershed. The contributions of this year’s recipients have added key pieces to the overall goals of the Columbia Slough Watershed Council and have brought us closer to creating the watershed that so many people have worked so hard to achieve.”
Leadership Award Winners (Background)
Erwin Bergman – Columbia Slough Watershed Council Member and Neighborhood Advocate
Recognized for his outstanding commitment to the watershed and the council through his exceptional long-term work as a council member and his activities with the Cully Association of Neighbors. He regularly attends council meetings and events and takes an active interest in its work. Erwin has served on many committees and advisory groups related to the Portland Airport, including the Citizen’s Noise Advisory Committee and most recently the Airport Futures Public Advisory Committee for the joint planning process of the City of Portland and the Port of Portland. He is also an ongoing advocate for parks in the Cully neighborhood, one of the most park-deficient neighborhoods in Portland.
Richard and Gyrid Towle – Columbia Children’s Arboretum Advocates
Recognized for their exceptional commitment to the watershed through their work on behalf of the Columbia Children’s Arboretum. They served on the Arboretum Master Plan Committee and promoted the implementation of Master Plan projects. Richard and Gyrid were instrumental in a major improvement project that replaced a culvert with a bridge, created wetlands, used native plants and shrubs to create a riparian area, and constructed new trails at the Arboretum. They also worked to secure funding from the East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District and Metro’s Nature in Neighborhood program for these improvements.
Achievement Award Winners (Background)
City of Gresham – Keri Handaly and Kris Rein – Fairview Creek-Burnside to Stark Restoration Project
Fairview Creek is a typical urban creek: channelized in the 1970s, with little shade and high water that can come within 50 feet of nearby homes. This section of the creek is located in a diverse working class neighborhood. A key feature of this riparian restoration project was meeting with residents one-on-one to share educational materials about composting, proper disposal of chemicals, and reduction in the use of pesticides. Once some residents participated in the project, the next year more were interested in participating. Using a voluntary approach with the residents, the project resulted in the removal of over 35 cubic yards of invasive English Ivy and Himalayan blackberry and the planting of 825 trees and shrubs.
Multnomah Youth Cooperative – Rose Sandy and Jeff Walker – Youth Watershed Restoration Crew
The Multnomah Youth Cooperative (MYC) is a youth service-learning/conservation program housed in the Reynolds Learning Academy, a high school in the Reynolds School District. MYC students spend half of their time in the field enhancing our community through environmental restoration projects and half their time in the classroom integrating field experiences and meeting state standards in order to earn high school diplomas. The types of projects that MYC students participate in include watershed and wetlands restoration, native plantings, invasive species removal, urban tree canopy improvements, trail maintenance, and trail construction. They also lead younger students in native planting projects.
New Columbia – Housing Authority of Portland, Steve Fancher and KPFF Consulting Engineers – Green Streets and Stormwater Facility
The New Columbia development contains Portland’s largest collection of green streets and stormwater facilities. Stormwater management is a key element in improving water quality in the Columbia Slough and other nearby bodies of water. The New Columbia system uses low impact development strategies such as topography, vegetation, and soil features to naturally infiltrate rainwater into the ground. This project has 80% less underground stormwater piping than a comparable traditional development yet retains 98% of stormwater on the site.
Northwest Discoveries – Ken Barker and Jerry Lanz – Canoe Week and Explorando el Columbia Slough Paddle Guides
Ken Barker, owner of Northwest Discoveries, an outdoor adventure company, and skilled staffer Jerry Lanz bring the wonders of the Columbia Slough to people of all ages. For five years they have worked with Portland Environmental Services’ Clean Rivers Education Program, and the Columbia Slough Watershed Council’s Slough School, to lead canoe trips for more than 1,050 students, many of whom are in a small boat for the first time. Ken and Jerry not only help these students feel comfortable on the water, they make the slough come alive with their knowledge of native plants, animals, and birds. They also lead canoe trips for Explorando El Columbia Slough, the Council’s annual Spanish-English language environmental education event that celebrates the natural and cultural history of the Columbia Slough.
The Columbia Slough Watershed Council would like to thank the following sponsors for supporting this year’s Awards Celebration:
The Boeing Company
City of Gresham – Watershed Management Division
City of Portland – Bureau of Environmental Services