Courtesy of Rosemary Oliva

A clean Portland

Organizations are forming or revising their agenda to cater more to the environment, and environmental preservation policies and general beautification efforts are in place to clean up the city. Some of these efforts are misguided, and to the individual it may be hard to identify their problematic nature.

Here’s a guide to help determine the best organizations that don’t have a hidden agenda and are truly concerned with saving the environment.

Cleanups to avoid

The Impact Reduction Program, created in 2015, allows people to submit complaints about houseless campsites. The city then reviews those complaints, assesses the sites and potentially conducts cleanups, displacing houselessness communities.

Though the program exists as a temporary solution, it has a misguided purpose. In its efforts to clean up areas, they constantly misplace the property of individuals, and their items are never returned. The program makes no real effort to help houseless people; it only further displaces them.

If you are looking to join an organization or become a part of something designed to keep Portland clean, this isn’t it.

Cleanups to join

There are numerous neighborhood cleanup events scheduled around Portland that give residents a chance to remove unwanted clutter from their homes, basements and garages.

Neighborhood cleanups prioritize and promote both recycling and reuse. The materials accepted at cleanup events vary, from bulky items like furniture, mattresses and appliances to items for recycling and reuse like scrap metal, building materials and household goods.

Friends of Marquam Nature Park

This is a non-profit community-based volunteer organization. They work with Portland Parks & Recreation and others to conserve, maintain and enhance the historical, natural and recreational resources of Marquam Nature Park and to educate the public about the park’s unique natural and cultural history. Aside from regular restoration and trail work parties that require physical stamina and commitment at a specific time, there are other projects that may be done on your own schedule, with little physical exertion.

Friends of Powell Butte

Friends of Powell Butte is a group committed to protecting and enhancing Powell Butte Nature Park in outer Southeast Portland, Oregon. This organization hosts monthly clean ups that strive to maintain the natural beauty of the park. The program is constantly accepting new volunteers. To rsvp to one of their  events you can simply go to their website or if you happen to be in the area you can join right in.

Pick it up, Portland!

SOLVE is an Oregon based organization that gathers across the state recruiting volunteers to clean their city. In Portland they hold a two-day event that spans across the entire city. Through this two-day journey they encourage volunteers to join and help clean the streets, parks and  anywhere else litter gathers. Most importantly their mission statement is to bring Oregonians together to improve our environment and build a legacy of stewardship, that is inclusive of ALL Oregonians, regardless of age, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation or socioeconomic background.