Bridlemile Creek Stewards (BCS)

MEETINGS: Bridlemile Creek Stewards are not currently meeting.

The rain that falls onto every home, park, and openspace in Bridlemile eventually drains into one of Bridlemile's many creeks, which are tributaries of Fanno Creek, which is a branch of the Tualatin River, which flows into the Willamette River.

Creek between SW39th & SW38th is completely in backyards. Aerial Image from Portland Maps
Creek between SW39th & SW38th is completely in backyards. Aerial Image from Portland Maps

Each plant in your yard and in the park, affects the temperature, health, and stability of the soil around it, the water that flows over and through it, and caters to certain birds and other wildlife. These plants, together with the soil and any man made objects define the habitat of your yard and parks. A healthy watershed habitat benefits the soil, water and air quality, wildlife, and you.

Homeowner restored streamside along creek shown above. Photo by Victor von Salza
Homeowner restored streamside in SW Portland. Photo by Victor von Salza

The website and the creek restoration projects at Albert Kelly, Hamilton, and Bridlemile Open Space Parks are designed to help you learn how to restore, preserve and maintain the watershed habitat in your yard and Bridlemiles' parks and open spaces.

Restoration Creek in Albert Kelly Park. Photo by Victor von Salza
Restoration Creek in Albert Kelly Park. Photo by Victor von Salza

The Bridlemile Creek Stewards are volunteer neighbors experienced with stream habitat restoration. We restore Bridlemile creek tributaries to control erosion, protect property, improve water quality, fish, wildlife and human habitat. We help homeowners and students learn how to make their yards and parks a healthier part of the watershed.

Greg with Bridlemile Elementary School Class at Hamilton Park Creek Restoration site. Photo by Victor von Salza
Greg with Bridlemile Elementary School Class at Hamilton Park Creek Restoration site. Photo by Victor von Salza

How to Get Involved

When you see pollution, report it!
For the City of Portland, the Environmental Services Spill Protection Citizen Response team is available 24 hours a day to investigate spills, slicks and suspicious discharges. To report a spill call 503-823-7180 and leave a detailed message, OR email to report pollution that may threaten rivers and streams. For additional details see the BES Spill Protection and Citizen Response page.

Join the Bridlemile Creek Stewards simply pledge to spend 4 hours each year at one of the three BCS restoration sites in Albert Kelly, Hamilton, and the Bridlemile Open Space parks as Docent or Volunteer. • Get on the BCS email list for a monthly notification of our events and meetings.

• Participate at one or more of our ongoing restoration events at Albert Kelly or Hamilton Park, or at our yearly Friends of the Open Space Park No Ivy Day event at the Bridlemile Open Space Park. Events are posted on the SWNI Events Calendar, click here for a list of Bridlemile Watershed Events, or join the BCS email list.

• Organize an enhancement project for your part of the neighborhood with the help and support from the Bridlemile Creek Stewards.

• Attend one of BCS's monthly meetings, on the second Tuesday of each month, from 7-9PM at the Watershed Resource Center in the Gabriel Park Community Center. • Learn how to make your yard more waterhsed friendly at where you will find information about classes, grants, tools, books, plants sales, and much more to help you do your project from start to finish.

How to reach the Bridlemile Creek Stewards

Steve Mullinax, 503-768-9065

Photo Steve Mullinax by Michael Mullinax
Steve Mullinax. Photo by Michael Mullinax

Mission and Strategic Goals

Our mission is to engage the Bridlemile community to protect and restore watershed health by: 1 Facilitating and supporting projects which enhance watershed health, including erosion control, wildlife habitat and water quality. Typical projects include conversion from invasive species to native plants. 2 Community involvement, outreach, education and advocacy. Outreach will include identifying properties in need of habitat conversion, and educating property owners about sharing space with wildlife. We hope to engage and encourage all of Bridlemile's property owners to take responsibility for improving water quality and habitat. 3 Building a self-sustaining organization.

Timeline of Projects, Accomplishments and Awards

Since October, 1998 BCS has successfully initiated and carried out a number of restoration projects. We have cleared over 10 acres, including more than 2000 feet of stream bank, installed erosion control, saved over 200 trees from ivy infestations, and planted over 7,700 native plants.
• 1998-2002 held four annual Southwest Portland Neighborhood Stream Festivals, two on SW 39th Drive, and two at Hamilton Park.
• 1998-present: advised or assisted over 30 Bridlemile-area homeowners in restoring their properties.
• 1999-2000* the property owners directly north and south of the Lester property at 4228 SW Terlyn Ct. Two adjoining property owners (Norling, 4231 and Cooper, 4229 SW Terlyn Ct.) have expressed interest. Education of Bridlemile property owners.
• 2000-2001* replanting of the unnamed Fanno Creek tributary which runs from Hamilton to Fanno Creek between 38th Place and 39th Drive
• 2000 Community Service award from SOLV • 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2003 nominated for the Tualatin Riverkeepers Green Heron Award
• 2001-2003*-present Hamilton Park Creek Restoration invasive species removal, replanting and maintenance
• 2002 Bridlemile Neighborhood received the Spirit of Portland Neighborhood of the Year Award, and BCS projects and accomplishments were sited in the award! • 2003 Pollution Prevention (PP2) award from the City of Portland.
• 2003-2005*-present Albert Kelly Park Creek Restoration invasive species removal, replanting and maintenance
• 2005 Green Heron Award by the Tualatin Riverkeepers.
• 2005-present Steve and Greg did classroom presentations and demonstrations at Bridlemile Elementary School about watersheds and then did four tours of the stream restoration in Hamilton Park. Following the lectures the students helped plant 200 native plants that we provided in their bio-swale and the stream site.
• 2006 first Annual Friends of the Open Space Park No Ivy Day event at the Bridlemile Open Space Park.
• 2006 and 2007* took and staffed the BCS display at Bridlemile Elementary School Science Fairs.
• 2007 May* second Annual Friends of the Open Space Park No Ivy Day event at the Bridlemile Open Space Park.
• 2006-2007* BCS CWSP 2006-7 Grant Report.pdf,8KB 8KB/1 page
2007 Thursday August 9th
• For the past two years Greg has worked with the Bridlemile Elementary School, historian Lewis McArthur, Oregon naming board, and others to get the stretch of creek at the East end of Hamilton Park named Bridlemile Creek. Today the sign went up.

Bridlemile Creek Sign. Photo by Victor von Salza
Bridlemile Creek Sign. Photo by Victor von Salza.

* these items were done as part of CWSP grants.

Our Partners

Our efforts are made possible through our working relationships with the Southwest Neighborhoods, Inc., City of Portland - Bureau of Environmental Services (BES), Tualatin Riverkeepers, Fans of Fanno Creek, St. Andrews Environmental Mission Project and other agencies and community groups. And through the volunteer efforts of dozens of neighbors like you - Thank You Volunteers!

Capabilities and resources - how we can help you

• Successful grant record with several public and private funding agencies.
• Restoration project planning and execution.
• Access to the expertise of watershed agencies, professionals and advocates.
• Tools and native plants

Related Links:


Map of Portland Watersheds

Friends and Advocacy Groups:

Tualatin Riverkeepers
Fans of Fanno Creek
Friends of Arnold Creek
Tualatin River Watershed Council involves citizens, local governments, agriculture, business, industry and other stakeholder groups.
FAUNA (Friends and Advocates of Urban Natural Areas)

Local Government Links:

• Check out and comment on the City of Portland Fanno Creek Watershed Management Plan. This web page was updated in Fall, 2004 and includes extensive and detailed information characterizing current conditions in the Fanno & Tryon Creek Watershed.
• The Framework for Integrated Management of Watershed Health describes how the City of Portland intends to achieve and maintain healthy conditions and ecological functions in its urban watersheds.
• Metro’s Nature in the Neighborhood program(s)
City of Portland - Bureau of Environmental Services(BES)
• Portland Environmental Services’ 2004 Stormwater Management Manual
City of Portland - Endangered Species Act (ESA) Program
West Multnomah Soil & Water Conservation District is a state-designated, special district. Their mission is: "To conserve, protect and develop soil and water resources; to help with the development of all natural resources in the west county for the benefit of the people, wildlife and the environment."
• For Metro’s outings and volunteer opportunities, see the GreenScene e-Zine.

Native vs. Invasive Plants:

• The No Ivy League – great site on eradication of English Ivy. Don’t miss it!
• The authoritative Portland Plant List from the Portland Bureau of Planning
• Much more info and links on this topic can be found at the website.

Technical and Scientific:

Tualatin Riverkeepers' Low Impact Development(LID) is an innovative stormwater management approach with a basic principle that is modeled after nature: manage rainfall where it falls using uniformly distributed small-scale controls. LID's goal is to minimize runoff by using design techniques that infiltrate, filter, store, evaporate, and slow runoff close to its source. Instead of piping stormwater directly to streams or to facilities located at the bottom of drainage areas, LID addresses stormwater through cost-effective landscape features. LID is a versatile approach that can be applied equally well to new development, urban retrofits, and redevelopment projects. Eliminating urban runoff is necessary for restoring native salmon and trout runs in the Pacifiic Northwest.
• The Watershed Stewardship Education Program (OSU Extension Service)
• For streamflow graphs, see the U.S. Geological Survey Tualatin River Basin Streamflow Page, updated hourly. The links from that page include Fanno Creek Discharge at 56th Avenue, for example, the 2 day graph.
Society for Ecological Restoration
EPA’s River Corridor and Wetland Restoration page.