Stormwater Stars Hands-On Workshop Series – with Maria Cahill, Green Girl Land Development Solutions Inc.

Stormwater Stars is a customizable series of community workshops that supports watershed friendly behaviors through technical knowledge, hands-on experience, and ongoing supported volunteerism.  We use robust program evaluation with meaningful metrics to effectively engage the community and meet stormwater goals or regulations. We collaborate with community members to identify and support relevant behaviors and break down barriers.  Introductory and hands-on installation workshops can be held at community centers, schools, multi-family housing, and single family residences. 

Example of Program Results                                                                                                      Over three workshop series, the Stormwater Stars program:

  • Educated 73 residents at 7 hands-on installation workshops and 3 practice siting and design workshops (participants are encouraged to attend all classes in the series)
  • Installed 23 stormwater best practices
  • Annually reduced stormwater runoff by 38,000 gallons and soil erosion by 174 pounds.
  • Six-month follow-up surveys showed 43% installed practices post-series and 40% reduced fertilizer and pesticide use

Social and Environmental Benefits

  • Meets three of six NPDES MS4 minimum measures: public participation, public outreach and education, and post-construction controls
  • Reduces stormwater runoff, erosion and nonpoint-source water pollution
  • Achieves more stewardship behaviors by collaborating with community to identify and support relevant actions
  • Builds community through collaboration, follow up and ongoing volunteer support

“The workshop was a great experience, and it meant a lot to have so many people come help make our yard better. As it continued to rain heavily over the next few days, we saw right away the difference the project had made. Our pathway was easy to walk on as it no longer gets muddy. There was far less water running off of our yard as opposed to our uphill neighbor. Several neighbors have talked with us about what we did and why, and have thanked us for the inspiration. We love our yard!” — Workshop host, 2014

At the Workshops:

  • Workshop 1: overview of watershed health, healthy watershed behaviors, menu of practices, site visits, design work in groups for installation workshops
  • Remaining workshops are hands-on practice installation at sites visited in Workshop 1, increase technical skills and confidence, include maintenance practices
  • Build community by working together to improve neighborhood environmental health, creating a mutual learning community, celebrating, and ongoing connections

Supports practice installation beyond workshops through:

  • Individualized site visits
  • Participant email group for questions, cost-sharing and work parties
  • Volunteer coordination for work parties
  • Small grants program
  • Internships
  • Contractor education

Program Evaluation includes:

  • Customized evaluation design to meet client needs
  • Attendance data and contact information
  • Behavior pledges
  • Pre and post-workshop surveys
  • Follow up surveys
  • Photos
  • Site visit data
  • Ongoing volunteerism data

Some of the best practices include:

  • Restored soils
  • Tree planting
  • Depaving
  • Porous Walkways
  • Rain gardens
  • Invasive species removal & native plants
  • Pesticide, herbicide, & fertilizer reduction
  • For more information on practices, see here.

Program Deliverables:

  • Workshops
  • Completed stormwater projects
  • Program report
  • Community organized around ongoing practice installation
  • Outreach website

Founding Partners:

The Stormwater Stars program is provided with financial support by West Multnomah Soil & Water Conservation District and City of Portland Bureau of Environmental Services. The Stormwater Stars program is provided in cooperation with West Multnomah Soil & Water Conservation District, City of Portland Bureau of Environmental Services, *Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, Southwest Watershed Resource Center, Green Girl Land Development Solutions LLC and Stamberger Outreach Consulting.


Project Team:

Jamie Stamberger Principal & Outreach Specialist Jamie provides expert consulting services to governments and nonprofits seeking to improve environmental health through measurably effective education and engagement strategies.  She has ten years experience developing, implementing and evaluating watershed education and outreach programs and has provided technical assistance and hands-on education to hundreds of residents and commercial property managers.  Jamie has extensive training and experience in community based social marketing, environmental education, mediation and facilitation, and is an alumna of the CDE Environment 2042 Leadership Program which focuses on promoting inclusive engagement in the environmental field.  For Stormwater Stars workshops, Jamie provides water pollution reduction education, best practice technical assistance/education, evaluation design and implementation, statistical analysis, and volunteer support.

Maria Cahill Principal & Green Infrastructure Consultant Maria has 17 years’ experience implementing low impact development practices on private and public new, redeveloped, and retrofit sites. Since 2008, Maria has collaborated on green streets, rain gardens, porous pavements and more with private and public teams. Maria builds capacity in and collaborates with public and private industry through technical assistance, facilitation, deliverables production, and education and outreach. Maria recently co-facilitated an interdisciplinary partnership of over 30 federal, county, state, and city governmental agencies, non-governmental organizations and private sector companies located throughout Western Oregon (e.g. Technical Advisory Committee, DEQ, EPA Region 10, NOAA National Marine Fisheries, ODOT, final reviewers) to write a low impact development template helping jurisdictions create their own customized stormwater management manual. Maria regularly volunteers with organizations such as Portland Youth Builders, a high school GED program, to introduce youth to career opportunities in green infrastructure.

Our Mutual Clients

Tualatin Riverkeepers, West Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District, East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District, OSU Extension Service, City of Gresham


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