The Brooklyn Basin Project

Locus Focus
program date: 
Mon, 02/01/2010

300 miles of creeks lie beneath streets and buildings of Portland. In this segment of Locus Focus we explore a creek that flows under the streets of SE Portland and what the city is doing to recognize and replicate the important functions that creek once performed. Brooklyn Creek's headwaters are on the west slope of Mt. Tabor (a dormant volcano that hovers on the near horizon of SE Portland). Until it was culverted many years ago, the creek flowed through what are now the Sunnyside, Richmond, Hosford, Abernathy and Brooklyn neighborhoods, on its way to the Willamette River.

Host Barbara Bernstein talks with Dean Marriott, director of Portland's Environmental Services and Anne Nelson, the environmental program coordinator for the Willamette Watershed about the Brooklyn Basin Project aka Tabor to the River, in which the city is creating scores of green streets to mimick the way that Brooklyn Creek once handled rain water that fell in its channel. We talk about why, as the old infrastructure of concrete and pipes that currently handles stormwater is beginning to fail, it's important to learn some lessons from nature about the most efficient and flexible ways to manage stormwater. This project will help keep the Willamette River clean while it helps mitigate against the inevitable increase in rainfall we can expect as our climate changes.


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