Metro: Nature in Neighborhoods eNewsletter  

Metro Nature in Neighborhoods eNewsletter

December 2009

The Integrating Habitats and Nature in Neighborhoods eNewsletters have been merged so you can get the latest nature-friendly news, happenings, learning opportunities, ideas and updates in one place!

In this issue:

Apply now: Nature in Neighborhoods restoration and enhancement grants

Metro's Nature in Neighborhoods restoration and enhancement grants fund projects that connect citizens to their watershed through hands-on restoration activities and environmental education. The program connects community-minded people to their neighborhoods, natural areas, backyards and beyond. Apply to Metro for a Nature in Neighborhoods restoration and enhancement grant!

Pre-application deadline:
4 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2010

Get more information
Download an application
Questions? Contact Kristin Blyler at 503-797-1834 or

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What if our communities included amenities that connect future generations to nature and the place they call home? In the newest edition of the Integrating Habitats Winners Series, a housing community nurtures native oak species in a shared greenhouse. Residents commit to a neighborhood stewardship agreement that includes planting trees to establish forest canopy and improve wildlife habitat. Park programs include storytelling by elders and youth to share cross-generational knowledge and foster strong community bonds. View this design or check out the entire Winners Series. Want a hard copy? Join the mailing list. Send an email with your request to

The Nature in Neighborhoods program also has a bounty of additional resources, information and tools on ways we can all work together to place habitat restoration and protection within our most important development goals. Find out more

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Call for Sustainable Sites Initiative pilot projects

The Sustainable Sites Initiative released the first voluntary, scientifically researched rating system and guidelines for design, construction, and maintenance of sustainable landscapes, with or without buildings. To assess the rating system, the Sustainable Sites Initiative has opened a call for pilot projects in conjunction with the release of the rating system. Any type of designed landscape is eligible, so long as the project size is at least 2,000 square feet. The call will remain open until February 15, 2010, and the Initiative will oversee the projects during the two-year process.
Get more information about pilot projects
Learn more about Sustainable Sites' guidelines and performance benchmarks

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National Park Service releases new plan to sustainably transform the National Mall

The Park Service's sustainable vision within the newly released National Mall Plan means the historic public space could serve as a model of sustainable design for hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. This milestone document that will guide the future management of the National Mall incorporates dozens of sustainable practices, including the application of standards defined by the Sustainable Sites Initiative, the first national rating system for sustainable landscapes. Learn more about the project

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Success story: sustainable urban landscape retrofit

Greening a mid-century condo tower in Portland, Oregon: The redesign of an ordinary commercial landscape at the Harrison East Tower condominiums focused on an unusual and sustainable garden. Read the article

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Call for presentations - 2010 Oregon Urban and Community Forestry Conference

The Oregon Department of Forestry and Oregon Community Trees, in cooperation with the USDA Forest Service, will hold the 2010 Oregon Urban and Community Forestry Conference on June 2-3, 2010.  Wednesday June 2nd will be an outdoor field day at the J. Frank Schmidt & Son Nursery in Boring, and Thursday June 3rd will be an indoor educational session at the Oregon Garden Resort in Silverton. The conference planning committee invites potential speakers to submit a presentation proposal for inclusion in the conference program.  The theme of this year's Annual Conference is “From Seed to City: The Journey of An Urban Tree“, focusing on nursery production, species selection, and planting of landscape trees in cities. This annual conference usually attracts around 75-125 urban forestry professionals and advocates. The deadline for submissions is January 22, 2010. 
Download an application

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What's new at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Proposed stormwater rulemaking and listening sessions

The EPA announced its plans to open a public input period and hold listening sessions to inform a rulemaking to strengthen national stormwater regulations by establishing a program to reduce stormwater discharges from new development and redevelopment and making other regulatory improvements. Stormwater discharges from developed sites can negatively impact water quality through increases in stormwater volume and increased pollutant loads to the receiving waters. Because stormwater discharges from the built environment are a principal contributor to water quality impairments nationwide, EPA signed an Federal Register Notice in October 2009 announcing its plans to propose and take final action by November 2012 on a national stormwater rulemaking. EPA also proposed an information collection request (ICR) to inform the rulemaking.

Get more information

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EPA requests comments on survey for stormwater rule

The proposed information collection request for the stormwater rule consists of three separate mandatory questionnaire instruments: one specific to the construction industry, one directed to owners and operators of MS4 permits, and one directed to States and U.S. territories. The industry questionnaire is designed to gather current or baseline information on a firm's finances, and information on stormwater management and controls for newly developed and redeveloped sites including design, and installation and maintenance costs of such practices. The MS4 and State/Territory questionnaires would gather information to characterize the current scope of the program; the level of stormwater controls and best management practices at newly developed and redeveloped sites; incentives and disincentives for such practices; and the current burden and expenditures to States and MS4s associated with existing requirements. The Federal Register Notice has a 60-day comment period. 

Review and comment on the stormwater rule
Find the questionnaires, notices and factsheets

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EPA grant available

Five Star Restoration Grant Program Provides modest financial assistance on a competitive basis to support community-based wetland, riparian, and coastal habitat restoration projects that build diverse partnerships and foster local natural resource stewardship through education, outreach and training activities.

Application Deadline: February 11th, 2010
Get more information and download an application

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EPA's low impact development (LID), green infrastructure and urban stormwater online resources

Learn more about low impact development
Get information on managing wet weather with green infrastructure
Check out that latest National Research Council Report on Urban Stormwater Management in the United States

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Connect the drops: Map your regional LID projects

Connect the Drops is creating a regional map of low impact development projects to highlight local projects and developers, showcase design excellence, celebrate successes, and facilitate knowledge-sharing among professionals on a regional and national scale. Help identify LID projects in your neighborhood.

Add your project
Find out more about Connect the Drops

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Sustainable Industries free webinar: TrendWatch 2010

Wed., January 6, 10-11 a.m. PST

Sustainable Industries presents the annual TrendWatch Web Conference - one of their most anticipated and highly attended Webinars of the year. This free Webinar provides critical insight into 2010's high opportunity trends for sustainable business leaders. Based on the in-depth market analysis highlighted in Sustainable Industries' January 2010 TrendWatch Issue, this Webinar includes input from leading experts in cleantech, finance, green building, and energy efficiency.

Find out more and register

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Online urban forestry class now open for enrollment

Enrollment is now open for Oregon State University's new online Urban Forestry class (FOR350/HORT350) for Winter Quarter, 2010 (January - March). This new online class provides a broad subject overview and examines contemporary issues surrounding urban horticulture and urban forestry. This is a great opportunity for planners, natural resource professionals, or traditional foresters to learn more about the field of urban forestry. You can take this course right from your home or office computer, without having to travel to Corvallis to sit in a classroom. If you're looking for cost-effective continuing education options, consider this class - an opportunity to explore issues, topics, and careers managing the plants, trees, and forests right where we live. This course is offered in partnership with the Oregon Department of Forestry with financial assistance through the USDA Forest Service.

Register or get more details

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National Tree Carbon Calculator

The Center for Urban Forest Research's popular Tree Carbon Calculator has gone national! The new version of the Tree Carbon Calculator works just like the old, but now covers 16 US climate zones. This version includes new features: palm species, emissions factors, and energy information (heating and cooling degree days). Now users from coast to coast can enter species, tree size (diameter-at-breast height) or tree age and receive information on the amount of biomass and carbon stored in the tree, as well as benefits associated with energy conservation projects. All results are based on tree growth data from each of the 16 climate zones.

Visit the calculator site and learn more

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Community Tree Connections newsletter

The Newsletter of the Oregon Department of Forestry Urban and Community Forestry Program connects people with resources to help improve their community forests.

Find out more about the program and read the newsletter

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Urban forests key to international climate responses

A study released recently by Georgia Tech planning Professor Brian Stone recommends planting millions of trees to create extensive new urban forests as a key part of international climate response plans. That's one conclusion of his look at the climatic impacts of deforestation and urbanization.

Read more about this study

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Emerging real estate trends in 2010 – Cynical, bearish, ‘green'

Released by the Urban Land Institute and PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, the 'Emerging Trends in Real Estate 2010®' report forecasts where to invest, what to develop, which markets are stronger than others, and how the economy and trends in capital flows will affect real estate.

Read the Oregonian article
Read the report

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Clean Water Connection eNewsletter

Clean Water Services' monthly eNewsletter features the latest news, projects and activities, as well as clean water tips, a native plant finder and fun facts.

Check out Clean Water Services' monthly eNewsletter

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Local connections

Be sure to check out these event calendars every month for new learning opportunities in your area!

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'Tis the season for sharing

Do you have a calendar or website that you turn to for information, resources and the latest and greatest news, events or updates? Please send us your recommendations and we may include them in this eNewsletter or on our web site so others can access and share these resources with colleagues around the region. Please send recommendations to

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Customize your optimal Nature in Neighborhoods access

People access information all types of different ways these days. That's why we offer a variety of ways to access Nature in Neighborhoods' resources, grants, tools, principles, ideas and background information. Find the one that's best for you...

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Nature in Neighborhoods eNewsletter subscription information

This is a timely eNewletter from Metro's Nature in Neighborhoods program. If you want to update your profile or wish to be taken off the list, click on the "manage subscription" link at the bottom of the newsletter, or respond to this e-mail. The hearing impaired can call TDD at 503-797-1804. If someone forwarded this to you, you can subscribe at Metro's website. Share this information with others you think would like to receive this e-newsletter.

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People places. Open spaces.

Clean air and water do not stop at city limits or county lines. Neither does the need for jobs, a thriving economy and good transportation choices for people and business in our region. Voters have asked Metro to help with the challenges that cross those lines and affect the 25 cities and three counties in the Portland metropolitan area.

A regional approach simply makes sense when it comes to protecting open space, caring for parks, planning for the best use of land, managing garbage disposal and increasing recycling. Metro oversees world-class facilities such as the Oregon Zoo, which contributes to conservation and education, and the Oregon Convention Center, which benefits the region's economy.

Your Metro representatives

Metro Council President David Bragdon

Metro Council: Rod Park, District 1; Carlotta Collette, District 2; Carl Hosticka, District 3; Kathryn Harrington, deputy council president, District 4; Rex Burkholder, District 5; Robert Liberty, District 6.

Auditor Suzanne Flynn, Certified Internal Auditor

Metro's web site:

600 NE Grand Ave.
Portland, OR 97232-2736
503-797-1804 TDD
503-797-1797 fax