Portland Parks & Recreation has been recertified by Salmon-Safe across its 10,000-acre system of parks and natural areas.

Portland Parks, winner of the 2011 National Gold Medal Award for Parks and Recreation Management (the industry’s highest honor), was first certified by Salmon-Safe in 2004. The Bureau continues to be the only parks organization in the country to achieve Salmon-Safe certification.

Portland Parks & Recreation plays an important role in maintaining the city’s green infrastructure. Our region’s unique geography means that fish spawning in the pristine creeks of the Cascades must first swim through downtown Portland.

“Portland Parks & Recreation realizes that our practices throughout Portland matter in ensuring a healthy passage and habitat for salmon,” says Parks Director Mike Abbaté. “As the largest landholder within the City of Portland we are happy to be setting an example of responsible land management. What’s good for fish is good for people, too!”

The Bureau’s stewardship of the wild fish is accomplished through an integrated approach to watershed and natural resource issues.

Portland Parks & Recreation ensures its operations are salmon friendly through efforts such as planting water-filtering bioswales (natural landscape elements designed to remove silt and pollution from surface runoff water) in its parking lots, using a bare minimum of harmful chemicals, and restoring streams. Healthy watersheds contribute to the health of all of Portland’s residents, human and animal.

Portland Parks & Recreation has utilized an integrated pest management (IPM) policy for more than a decade, and dramatically reduced its use of chemical herbicides. Automated irrigation systems allow the Bureau to use less water while keeping playing fields and gardens green. PP&R has partnered with other agencies, schools and neighborhood volunteers to restore Portland park streams. The rigorous evaluation process of Salmon-Safe certification taught the Bureau much about how it can continue and expand these efforts.

PP&R’s Salmon-Safe Commitment

By accepting the Salmon-Safe recertification, Portland Parks & Recreation continues its commitment to be mindful of water quality and watershed connections in all of operations, on all 200-plus park sites. Portland Parks & Recreation will continue efforts to maintain and continually improve system-wide salmon-friendly practices, and endeavor to set an example for the City of Portland, the Northwest, and park agencies nationwide.

“Portland Parks & Recreation’s recertification by Salmon-Safe shows that our commitment to environmental stewardship is both effective and ongoing,” says Portland Parks Commissioner Nick Fish. “We hope Portland Parks & Recreation can be a model for other park districts throughout the Northwest and the country.”