Portland Public Schools
Portland, Oregon

Bridger School

Home of the Wildcats!

7910 SE Market | Portland, OR 97215
Phone: (503) 916-6336 | Fax: (503) 916-2612

Have You Seen Our Water Garden?

Green Team Care Days take place the 3rd Wednesday of the month from 8-10:30am. Check the Bridger School calendar for upcoming dates and join us for our Green Team meetings the 2nd Friday of the month. Email nicolevulcan@gmail.com or Tyenorth@gmail.com for more information.

2011/2012 Update from the Water Garden Steward


The Bridger Water Garden is now the Green Team!

In an effort to encourage green living in all parts of our school, the Bridger Water Garden advisory team is now the green team. If you'd like to spend time churning compost, maintaining signs, adopting a portion of our native habitat or bringing your great ideas for "greening" the school, please be sure to contact us to collaborate. And check out our new logo below!

Here's an update on some the exciting things we've done over the past year:
  • Bridger School was awarded a Community Watershed Stewardship grant from the City of Portland to complete the downspout disconnection project described below. We'll be completing that project over the 2011-2012 school year. More details on a celebration party to come!
  • Built a beautiful new kiosk in our garden, featuring a living roof, mosaic created by Bridger Green Team members, and an information area.
  • Built several raised beds for various classrooms in our community. If you're interested in building or maintaining one for your child's class, please let us know!
  • Seen the election of a student representative for the "Green Team." Congratulations to Isaac for his election as Water Garden Representative!
  • Fostered the creation of SUN after school class, teaching children "The Science of Bridger's Water Garden."
...plus a plant sale, dozens of native plantings, countless hours in workshops and after school events...


The Bridger Water Garden project began in the Winter of 2003 and is a collaboration between Bridger School and Urban Water Works, a former non-profit organization. The goal of the project is to educate students and community members about storm water runoff and water quality, while also using the arts to celebrate the aesthetic properties of water.

Our hope is that the students involved in this project will forever be aware of the preciousness of water, its role in supporting our ecosystems and our society. Students learn how they can improve water quality; therefore, ensuring their stewardship of this essential resource.


Students interact with the space during recess as well as during classroom assignments.

The project reroutes storm water runoff from 13,000 sq. ft. of roof, into a 12,120 square foot water garden, and was designed and built by the students, teachers and parents of this school. This former asphalt courtyard, now includes a system of seasonal creeks, a pond, infiltrated basins, and a vegetated swale that collects, cleans and absorbs 100 percent of the water that it captures from all seven disconnected downspouts.

This garden reduces runoff entering the Willamette River one mile away; provides recreational and educational opportunities for the school and surrounding community; and provides a model for storm water diversion that could be implemented by average households.

Water Garden Facts

  • 300,000 gallons of rainwater annually is diverted from an overburdened sewer system
  • Rainwater from school roofs and playground water native plants
  • The area of the water garden = 12,000 sf
  • Download the site plan (900k)
On-Site Living Laboratory

Our students have an opportunity to learn about the environment and sustainability, plant/life sciences, habitat and watersheds literally in the school's backyard.
Outdoor Student Work Area

Students have a reflective work area to do their writing and reading. As well as a great gathering place for storytelling and play acting.