As an OSU Master Gardener volunteer do you receive questions about damp or soggy landscaped areas? Do you have inquiries about resources for how to convert a lawn space with native plantings?

The Stormwater Stars program focus is to help provide tools and build confidence for people to work on their own landscape spaces to improve watershed health, enhance habitat and reduce the need for harmful lawn and garden chemicals. The basic practices we work with include lawn replacement, depaving, amending soil, porous pathways, contained planters and planting native plants. We host hands on installation workshops in the Fall and Spring to demonstrate these practices on private residential properties, at businesses, or community spaces. We also provide free site visits to homeowners and property representatives to help provide guidance for landscape improvements for watershed health.

Sign up for our Workshops:

People planting plants in open garden bed.

Sign-ups for our free workshops happen through the website. At the workshops we spend a little time introducing what we will be doing that day, and the bulk of the time is spent with our gloves on making the improvements to the site. Every workshop is different and throughout the season we do our best to provide opportunities to learn a variety of different landscaping practices on different size projects.

Sign-ups for our Fall Workshops have begun on our website:

Currently we have one workshop scheduled on November 13 from 1:00 pm – 3 pm in the Crestwood neighborhood of SW Portland.  We will be reviewing how to remove grass and working to replace it with a beautiful landscape using Willamette Valley Native Plants.

What about hosting?

Garden bed with plants, including blooming lupine, plus a mailbox with signs posted on the side: Stormwater Stars, Certified Backyard Habitat, and Pesticide Free Zone.

We are still looking for Fall Workshop locations as well as locations for the Spring and beyond.

Our workshops are open to everyone however workshops are located within the West Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District service area. The program was started in 2014 and initially focused on locations in SW Portland. We have since expanded the area that we serve and are actively looking to hold more workshops in NW Multnomah County.

For those interested in hosting a workshop, we will come look at spaces in their yard that might be a good fit and what practices could be demonstrated. Our workshop areas are typically about 600 square feet in area, but can vary depending on what the site needs. Workshop projects must be visible to the public, typically in front or side yards. Together we will decide if your space would be a good location to bring in volunteers where we can create and learn together. If your site is selected for a workshop we will work together to make a plan. Each site varies in terms of what is needed, and we provide assistance with design, plant selection, compost and native plants.

Interested in learning more?

Please contact the Stormwater Programs Specialist Rachel Dvorsky with questions or to set up a site visit at You can also find more information about our program, practices, as well as past projects on our website at

We look forward to seeing you at a future workshop!

Stormwater Stars is a program delivered by Neighbors West Northwest and the Westside Watershed Resource Center, in partnership with and funded by generous contributions from West Multnomah Soil & Water Conservation District and City of Portland Bureau of Environmental Services.

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