Slough News

Here’s what’s new in the Slough!

For more information about Council events and programs please contact our staff at 503-281-1132 or email


Explorando el Columbia Slough

Tuesday May 19, 1:33pm

Saturday June 13th, 2015 1:00pm - 5:00pm
Whitaker Ponds Nature Park, 7040 NE 47th Ave., Portland, OR 97218

¡Celébrase la naturaleza en la ciudad y el ambiente del Columbia Slough!  Este festival bilingüe de la familia y el medio ambiente ofrece actividades en español y ingles para todos las edades.  Explorando es gratis y incluye: viajes en canoas con una guía, música en vivo,  baile folklórico, cuentos e historias bilingües, artes, actividades y más!  El primer 300 personas les recibirán camisetas gratis del Explorando.

Celebrate nature in the city and the environment of the Columbia Slough! This bilingual family environmental festival offers activities in Spanish and English for all ages. Explorando is free, and includes: guided canoe trips, live music, folk dancing, storytelling, arts & crafts, workshops, and more!  The first 300 visitors receive a free Explorando t-shirt.

NOTE: No es necesario para registrarse.
No registration necessary.

VOLUNTEERS still needed for this event!  Interested? as Register here.

Ride Your Bike to the Event!

Arrive at Explorando in style by joining the community bike ride to the event. Bikes are available for loan (limited quantity) Explorando Bike Ride

Bike Ride Meeting Time: 12:00 PM
Location: 6706 NE Killingsworth Portland, OR 97218

Bike riders will enjoy the event for a couple hours and then return as a group to 6706 NE Killingsworth Portland, OR 97218

Questions? Contact: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or (503) 281-1132


Looking for photos or videos from Slough Celebration?

Wednesday February 11, 2:42pm

A selection of photos from the event are posted on our Facebook page.  All images are available on Flickr.

Each award winner was honored with a humorous video skit that highlights their work.  View this year’s award videos here.

Congratulations Slough Celebration Award Winners!

Wednesday February 11, 1:52pm

Congratulations to our 2014 Slough Celebration Award Winners!  We had a great time celebrating with you at Slough Celebration.

Leadership Award Winner

Randy Belston - City of Portland – Bureau of Environmental Services – Water Pollution Control Lab: Initiated partnership with Roosevelt High School to connect students with the lab to promote environmental awareness and environmental family wage career opportunities in their neighborhood.  Randy is passionate about protecting waterways and connecting students to meaningful work. 

Achievement Award Winners

Colwood Property Project: Don Goldberg - Trust for Public Land, with support from City of Portland Parks and Recreation, Warren Jimenez and Bureau of Environment Services, Shannah Anderson, and Trammell Crow Co., Steve Sieber.  Project that overcame difficult circumstances, differing objectives, and opposing parties to create an effective private-public solution.  The final result accommodated the desires of developers for industrial land and the community for a park and natural habitat areas. 

Mason Flats Stormwater-Wetland Restoration Project - Dave Helzer, Chris Lastomirsky, Sean Bistoff, Brad Huard, Lynn Barlow, Mart Hughes, Patty Nelson, Ryan Durocher, Ken Finney, and Susan Barthel, City of Portland: A flat reed canary grass dominated site transformed into a stormwater facility with open water, large snags, turtle nesting material, and tens of thousands of native plants creating a complex habitat supporting a diverse array of birds and wildlife.

Each award winner is honored with a humorous video skit that highlights their work.  View this year’s award videos here.

In addition to celebrating the award winners you helped us raise over $25,000; our greatest show of support at Slough Celebration to date.  All proceeds go to support the Council’s important work educating our community and improving the health of our watershed. Thank you!

A selection of photos from the event are posted on our Facebook page.  All images are available on Flickr.

Slough Stories

Tuesday February 10, 1:48pm

The Columbia Slough Watershed Council celebrates its 20th anniversary this year and there are a thousand stories to tell. This video is a compilation of a few of the stories told at the Slough Stories event in November 2014. This is part of an effort to document efforts large and small that have improved the Columbia Slough watershed and raised public awareness of the waterway and the region. Enjoy this trip down memory lane (or should we say a paddle down memory slough).

Aquifer Adventure -  a Piratey Sucess!

Monday September 22, 10:06am

On Saturday, September 13th over 500 pirates of all ages joined the Portland Water Bureau and the Columbia Slough Watershed Council for an event like no other, a pirate-themed groundwater education festival. Now in its twelfth year, Aquifer Adventure teaches families about our underground treasure - not gold, but groundwater, a precious resource that flows below our feet!

The event featured a groundwater obstacle course, water conservation activities, information on green household cleaners, edible aquifers made from ice cream, canoe rides on the Columbia Slough and more. Attendees also had the chance to explore a drinking water well site and learn how a real aquifer works from Portland Water Bureau experts.

What makes groundwater so important?  Groundwater from the Columbia South Shore Well Field is a secondary source of drinking water for Portland and is a critical component of the region’s drinking water system. Groundwater is used to help meet higher summer water demands and to provide water during emergencies or when Portland’s primary drinking water source, the Bull Run watershed, is not available. Having a back-up water supply source also helps the City avoid having to build and operate an expensive water filtration plant for the Bull Run source.

Aquifer Adventure is a part of the outreach efforts of the Portland Water Bureau’s Groundwater Protection Program. The Cities of Portland, Gresham and Fairview have implemented this program to protect the Columbia South Shore Well Field – a drinking water source for over 900,000 Oregonians. One of the main goals of the groundwater protection program is to educate people and businesses about how to prevent pollutants and chemical spills from seeping into the ground where they could impact our drinking water. The cooperation of everyone living and working in the protection area is crucial to keeping our drinking water safe. 

Over the past twelve years, over 4,000 attendees have learned about the importance of groundwater through this free event. The response from participants has been overwhelmingly positive. It’s exciting to see connections even a three year old can make about where their water comes from. And of course, it’s fun to dress up like a pirate. There’s nothing like putting on an eye patch and bandana to get you excited about groundwater!

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