River Island

river-island-tour-11012016Mike Faha recently toured our project at River Island. Situated along the Clackamas River near Barton County Park, River Island is 240 acres of natural area that provides habitat for native species including endangered salmon and steelhead, native turtles and migratory birds. The main portion of the site in the middle of the river was a gravel mining operation until the 1996 flood, which greatly altered the natural area’s landscape by breaching man-made levees and shortened the main channel of the Clackamas River. GreenWorks and Inter-Fluve have been working with Metro to help create a vision and concepts for restoring natural channel processes and supporting multiple values including fish and wildlife habitat, riparian and upland forests, water quality and recreation. GreenWorks assisted with public outreach and prepared presentation materials to easily convey complex engineering concepts into understandable, photo realistic graphics that help the public and stakeholders understand the opportunities and what the site could look like once it is restored. Conceptual design alternatives were created for restoration of riparian-forested wetlands at the gravel mine site as well as design and restoration of Goose Creek, reconnecting it to the Clackamas River mainstem for cool water rearing habitat for juvenile salmonids. Inter-Fluve developed a site conservation plan and permit-level designs.  This project is one of the biggest restoration projects in the Pacific Northwest.


GreenWorks would like to acknowledge Metro Project Manager Brian Vaughn as well as project lead Inter-Fluve, and members of their team: Emily Alcott, Lon Mikkelsen, Mike McAllister, Mike Brunfelt, Caitlin Alcott, Matt Cox, Colin MacLaren, Rich Phaneuf, and Mackenzie Baxter.


What is a Log Dog?


We hear this a lot in reference to the art feature of the Clay Street Green Street project in Portland’s Central Eastside Industrial District (CEID). The Log Dog sculptures incorporated into the Clay Street swales reference and celebrate the district’s industrial past. In the 19th Century, the lumber industry used the Willamette River as a conduit for transporting logs to the lumber mills established along the banks of the river. Logs were tied together into rafts and piloted down the Willamette in massive convoys. These log rafts where chained together by cable that ran through attachments known as log dogs. The historic log dogs were like thick needles, driven into the floating logs before a cable was pulled through the eye and cinched to bundle them together, creating a raft.
GreenWorks designed the streetscape for a 12-block section of SE Clay Street. Working with KPFF and artist, Linda M. Wysong, the green street provides a pedestrian friendly corridor from the Ladd’s Addition neighborhood to the Eastbank Esplanade, strengthening connectivity and improving the pedestrian realm. The green street honors the industrial district’s history through the art installations and interpretive elements.
GreenWorks has contributed to the redevelopment of Portland’s Central Eastside Industrial District (CEID) over the last decade through improvements to the Clay Street Right of Way / RiverEast pedestrian plaza and most recently with Clay Street Green Street. The completed project provides sustainable environmental benefits, including vegetated stormwater management, pedestrian and bicycle passage, and strategies that maintain freight movement and business activities throughout the CEID.

The project’s artist describes the inspiration on the Clay Street Log Dog:
“The Wetlands were filled, the mill erected and a city built. The land is transformed as the water continues to flow. It may seep into the earth or be hidden by stone and concrete, but it continues to connect, sustain and give form to our lives. Honor and protect the river.”
Linda M. Wysong, artist


Zidell Yards Recognized at 2014 ASLA Annual Conference

Mike Faha of GreenWorks  and  former GreenWorker David Elkin attended the ASLA Annual Conference where they received the National Honor Award for the Zidell Green Infrastructure Scenarios project.


Dave Elkin (Left) and Mike Faha (right) prepare to accept the Honor Award at the ASLA Annual Conference.

The Zidell Yards Green Infrastructure Scenarios present a unique opportunity to develop on brownfield sites without causing harm to the environment. To read more about what is planned for this site, check out today’s story in the DJC here.

Mirror Pond, Celilo Falls and Centennial Mills in the news

Recently, a few of GreenWorks’ projects have been in the press.

In early November, The Bend Bulletin published the preferred graphics for Mirror Pond. Check out the article to see what GreenWorks and Inter-Fluve have planned for the iconic site in Bend, Oregon. You can also view the graphics below.

Mirror_Pond_Drake_Park_MP_Birdseye Mirror_Pond_Drake_Park_MP_Overview_PlanMirror_Pond_Drake_Park_MP_Plan_Enlargement

The DJC also published two articles regarding Celilo Falls and Centennial Mills, projects that GreenWorks has been working on for some time. You can read them here and here.

Pringle Creek is a “Diamond for Sustainability”

Check out this recent article by Margaret Buranen at Stormwater: The Journal for Surface Water Quality Professionals about green infrastructure in stormwater management, featuring a recent GreenWorks project in Salem, OR!

Pringle Creek Community is one of Oregon’s most low-impact residential developments, and as the first sustainable housing and mixed-use project spanning 32 acres of a total 250 scheduled for development, Pringle Creek is pioneering green initiatives in southeast Salem.

Pringle House Pringle Playground

Pringle Creek is, according to the Community’s general manager Jane Poznar, “a diamond for sustainability” with its 7,000 feet of green streets, 2,000 feet of green alleys, and a newly ‘salmon safe’ creek (from which the community gets its name). Regarding stormwater, Buranen notes that Pringle Creek Community is also home to “one of the largest pervious asphalt street systems in the United States,” handling 90% of runoff onsite.

Pringle Street Plan Pringle Street

GreenWorks was responsible for collaboration on the design of the Community’s green streets and rain gardens, pedestrian pathways and greenway enhancement, woonerfs and public recreational spaces, overall landscape treatment and the Village Green open space.

Village Green

The project was awarded the Land Development of the Year Award in 2007 from the National Home Builder’s Association.

GreenWorks teams up with the Trail Blazers!

Check out this article by Sustainable Business Oregon editor Andy Giegerich announcing upcoming updates to the Portland Trail Blazers’ Moda Center exterior, a project headed by GreenWorks!


We have been working with the Trail Blazers Senior Director of Sustainability, Justin Zeulner, to both beautify the Center’s landscaping with native and drought-resistant plants and replenish the grounds with healthier soils and stormwater facilities, which will “reduce the [site’s] landscaping water use by 20-30%” among other progressive initiatives. This work represents what Justin noted as “the first phase of sustainable projects around the arena,” and will further the Trail Blazers’ efforts for sustainability in keeping with their ideals.

Located in the Lloyd Center District, Portland’s first EcoDistrict, the Moda Center earned LEED Gold status in 2010 because of measures that reduced greenhouse gas emissions, energy usage, non-organic and non-local food sourcing, and landfill use, but they’re not stopping there.  As Justin suggests, “Every little bit helps.”


The new landscaping designs will become a reality after demolitions in the spring. Click here for more information on the Blazers’ conservation efforts.

Lake Oswego 2nd Street Project Completion

LO_2nd_Street_WelcomeOur 2nd Street project in the heart of downtown Lake Oswego has come to an end, and we wanted to show a few photos of the finished product.  With the slight narrowing of the curb to curb width of the street, the City transformed the street into a beautiful modern streetscape within the core of the downtown business district.  Widened sidewalks, street lights, benches, driveways, street trees, and unique stormwater planters were all delicately knitted together by the design team to deliver a streetscape project that will benefit the surrounding business community while protecting the urban watershed.

This project included a number of significant design elements such as:

  1. Lined stormwater planters and curb extensions that will manage approximately 1,000,000 gallons of urban runoff while protecting adjacent commercial basements
  2. Structural soil tree wells that extend under sidewalk to provide and additional 10 cubic yards of additional root space per tree.
  3. Efficient inlet design to ensure stormwater capture on a steep street
  4. Unique low fencing around facilities patterned after fencing at City’s Millennium Park Plaza

We were privileged to be part of an incredible team that included City of Lake Oswego staff, Kittelson and Associates, and 3J Consulting.



Metro Natural Areas Levy Passed!

On Tuesday, Metro region voters approved a property tax levy to pay for parks and natural areas funding. The tax will provide Metro with approximately $10 million a year for maintenance and restoration at its properties. Read the full article here.

GreenWorks is pleased that the region has spoken in favor of funding parks and natural areas. As landscape architects we support this movement to protect the area’s vibrant network of outdoor destinations and protected land. As volunteers and consultants we’ve collaborated with Metro for many years and look forward to working together on future projects that safeguard our parks and natural areas for future generations.

Birdseye Rendering of Graham Oaks Nature Park

Aerial Birdseye Rendering of Graham Oaks Nature Park in Wilsonville

Wilsonville SMART Operations Fleet Facility Construction Complete

Construction has been completed on the City of Wilsonville South Metro Area Regional Transit (SMART)  Operations Fleet Facility.  The project includes a 12,600 square foot Fleet and Administration Building located on an approximately 4.5 acre site.  Site improvements include employee and bus parking, fleet maintenance, and administrative services, and is located on SW Boberg Road adjacent to the Wilsonville Westside Express Service (WES) Station.

Design services provided by GreenWorks, include Conceptual Site Design and Grading Coordination, type ‘C’ Tree Preservation and Removal Plans, and Final Construction Documentation.  The design team developed a budget sensitive sustainable plan that embraces the natural characteristics of the site, and architectural design features.  Habitat and buffering improvements integrated adjacent to the Significant Resource Overlay Zone (SROZ), provide a transition and embraced the landscape strategy of incorporating native and drought tolerant plants, in combination with a temporary irrigation system.  Stormwater is managed through on site conveyance in channels and basins, and is celebrated through roof rainwater capture and outfall at architectural scuppers along the building entrance.

Building Entry

Entry Conveyance Swale

Mt. Scott Creek Restoration Nearing Completion

Featured in the the Clackamas Review the Mt. Scott Creek Restoration Project at North Clackamas Park is scheduled to be completed in the upcoming weeks. To read the article, click here.

Below are pictures of the construction of the confluence overlook.

Stay tuned for photos of the finished project and information about the grand opening!

Hard rail install

Stainless steel railing installation

In progress construction of deck overlooking the confluence of Camas and Mt. Scott Creeks

In progress construction of deck overlooking the confluence of  Mt. Scott Creek and Camas Creek

GreenWorks Awarded USFWS Flexible Services Contract

GreenWorks is excited about the new opportunities to be presented by our recent award of a USFWS Flexible Services contract.

Since it’s origins in 1871, the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s mission has been to “work with others, to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people.” Similar to the USFWS, GreenWorks’ mission over the last 14 years has been to create healthy interactions between people and nature through conservation and restoration of sensitive ecosystems.

Under this new contract, GreenWorks hopes to provide services for a wide range of projects. From cultural resource inventories, to transportation plans, historic visitor centers, stormwater manuals, wetland restoration, bird blinds, and artistic fish cleaning platforms, GreenWorks will support the USFWS Service as it continues to plan and design for the “Big Six” priority public uses (hunting, fishing, wildlife photography, wildlife observation, environmental interpretation, and environmental education) on its 150 million acres of refuges.

To learn more about the USFWS Service visit: http://www.fws.gov/

The Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge includes 1,853 rocks, reefs islands and two headlands spanning 320 miles of the Oregon coast. Credit: David Ledig/USFWS

Mt. Scott Creek METRO Grant Application

GreenWorks recently helped the Clackamas County Water Environment Services prepare an application for METRO’s Nature in Neighborhoods Capital Grants Program. The requested funds would finance restoration of fish habitat and provide public education improvements along Mt. Scott Creek at North Clackamas Park in Milwaukie. The lower reach of Mt. Scott Creek is important habitat for several juvenile fish species and its location, within a park heavily used by local youth, makes it a great place for environmental education installations. Proposed improvements include:

48,000 square feet of restored and protected riparian forest habitat.

4 large woody debris installations for fish habitat, including approximately 40 logs total.

320 linear feet of streambank stabilization and restoration (within the total 550 lf section).

530 linear feet of decommissioned trail.

50 linear foot pedestrian bridge for ADA access over wetlands.

2 unique and sustainably designed creek overlooks with educational interpretive signs.

1 culvert removal and bank restoration at Camas Creek confluence for fish passage.


Mt. Scott Creek


We are all keeping our fingers crossed that funding comes through for this exciting project!


GreenWorks' Michelle Mathis showing proposed solutions at a public open house.




Stormwater Features Completed at Beverly Cleary School

As a Landscape Architect at GreenWorks, I get the chance to work on projects for many local public schools. I am often amazed at how much Portland area students know about rainwater. To some of them the terms rain garden, infiltration, and combined sewer are household words. A few years ago, in a 5th grade class, I lead a discussion on the effects of urban development on stormwater and how increased impervious surfaces speed up and pollute our water . I was barraged with questions about why we continue to let this happen and why someone is not doing more about it. It seems the work of local designers, environmentalists and agencies was not enough for them. It’s refreshing to see this type of concern and curiosity in young people. It inspires me to continue to work with schools.

The school community at Beverly Cleary School in NE Portland was inspired to develop a project that improved their schools effects on urban stormwater.  It took some determination.  They built and planted a swale at their school in the spring of 2006, but the downspouts were never disconnected to feed into the swale.

Fernwood students install and plant a swale in 2006

Recently, a dedicated parent with the support of the school community fostered the project through to completion. GreenWorks donated design and consulting services for the swale and most recently for design of the downspout disconnects. In addition to the downspout design, GreenWorks collaborated with students to measure the soil’s infiltration rate, and helped with contractor coordination during construction. The highlight of the project is the pouring downspout bucket. See it in action below. This living science lab is now open for exploration and learning by the school’s students!

Don Huld from Portland Public Schools and dedicated parent Lynn Raube enjoy the rain and the new downspout disconnect

Michelle Mathis is a Landscape Architect at GreenWorks with 8 years of experience.  She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Landscape Architecture from Ohio State University Knowlton School of Architecture, and has a Master’s in Education from Portland State University.

Silver Falls State Park Natural Play Area

Have you ever wanted to nap like a cougar, climb into an ant hill, build a birds nest or dig for insects like a bear? In the coming year you may be able to do all these things and more in the animal themed interpretive,  natural play area at Silver Falls State Park.

GreenWorks has begun work on phase one of the interpretive natural play area at the Park. The idea grew out of the Oregon Parks and Recreation ‘Stepping Stones’ program with the goal to get kids outside and connected with nature.  A 2009 series of workshops with educators, OPRD staff, designers and of course kids, developed themes, ideas and concepts using the Stepping Stones methodology.

The Silver Falls Play area will be animal themed. The young and young at heart can explore a series of play areas situated in a fir and fern wonderland. The first phase of construction will include bear, ant, cougar and bird themed areas. Below are schematic site plans of some of the areas, as well as sketches developed in the design workshops last year. Keep your wild ears open for further design and construction news.

The Cougar Zone at Silver Falls Natural Play Area

Schematic designs were developed from workshop sketches. Here is a Cougar Prowl area sketch.

A Cougar area section created by a workshop participant

Have a wildly fun and safe Labor Day Weekend.

Green From the Ground Up


Thursday, Oct. 22, 2009 8:30 to 11 a.m.
Portland Community College
Rock Creek Campus Event Center
17705 NW Springville Road, Portland
$10 registration fee

The Home Builders Association (HBA) Green Building Council, Clean Water Services and Metro have brought together speakers to present a balanced perspective and complete spectrum of information on swales and rain gardens.

estacada library rain garden
estacada library rain garden

Carrie Pak, engineering division manger from Clean Water Services will be introducing their new Low Impact Development Approaches (LIDA) Handbook for the Tualatin Basin. Other presenters include Paul Dedyo, PE, KPFF Engineering, Mike Faha, Landscape Architect, Green Works and Alan Hipolito, Executive Director and business manager, Verde. The presenters will share experience-based insights and lessons learned about swale and rain garden design, installation – from sizing to plant selection – and operations, maintenance, project examples and case studies.

Register online now!
Find out more about this seminar

Find out more about nature-friendly – or low impact – development

GreenWorks = Green Streets

Green Street_emailer_august2009 v2

From our recent emailer:  “Green streets provide many benefits such as creating a more pedestrian friendly street, addressing stormwater in a more environmental and economical way, and improving water quality.

GreenWorks has designed over 30 green street projects in Oregon, Washington and California.

Beavercreek Green Street recently received an American Public Works Association 2009 National Project of the Year Award.”

King Appointed to USGBC Group

(via the Oregon Daily Journal of Commerce) posted Friday, August 7, 2009


Senior associate Jason A. King of GreenWorks PC has been appointed by the U.S. Green Building Council to serve on the Sustainable Sites Technical Advisory Group (SS TAG). The group provides technical advice in regard to products, tools and services related to sustainable sites within the LEED rating system.

King will advise on credit interpretation requests and credit ruling appeals, as well as monitor consistency in the methods of assessment and standards across the LEED product range as it relates to credits for sustainable sites. He was selected from a pool of 124 applicants for eight open TAG positions. King is experienced in green roof design, storm water design, habitat restoration, reduction of the urban heat island effect, and other sustainable design strategies.

Also, read this interview with Jason King about the appointment, recently featured on World Landscape Architect by Damian Holmes.

Restoring Clara Vista Swales

Phase I of the work on the swale rehabilitation has been completed, and the following pics offer some views of the completed installation.  For this grant-funded project, GreenWorks offers 50% of their time as a pro-bono service, working closely with Hacienda Community Development and our fabulous non-profit partner Verde to restore these stormwater facilities to their former lush and functional self.


The project, funded in part from Metro’s Nature-in-Neighborhoods program, included educational aspects, where residents of all ages living in Hacienda properties were included in design decisions such as plantings, materials, and types of spaces that would be included.  The result is truly community driven.


One issue with the original design was that there was an uninterrupted linear swale with meant that any diversion from the pathway would damage the hydrology of the site.  In addition to the installation of new swale cells, the intermediate places in between were piped subsurface to allow for greater play and amenity area for residents.  These are seen below, newly backfilled, and Phase II will import additional soil and re-seed these worn out areas with an ecolawn mix, as soon as the weather cools down. 


Check out these pics of the before condition, where the majority of vegetation had been trampled, flow-dissipating rocks had been strewn above, and the water was ponding due to compaction of the soils.  Quite a change.