Oregon Dept. of State Lands
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News Release
SOLVE and Metro honored with Land Board Award - 10/13/20

PORTLAND, Ore. – The State Land Board today recognized SOLVE and Metro as collaborative, compassionate partners in the state’s ongoing efforts to clean up camps along Oregon waterways. 

“This partnership is a wonderful example of state and local governments and nonprofit organizations working together to address tough issues thoughtfully and compassionately,” says Governor Kate Brown, who presented the award in a virtual ceremony.

Camp cleanups are complex work – particularly when respecting both people and natural resources is the goal.

“We quickly realized this was not work we could do alone,” says Patricia Fox, who coordinates the Department of State Lands cleanup work. “To make progress, we needed partners with different skills and strengths.”

Enter Metro and SOLVE. Metro’s RID Patrol team cleans up dumped or abandoned garbage, work that’s increasingly involved engaging the houseless community. SOLVE’s volunteer-powered cleanup projects have helped protect the health of Oregon’s lands and waterways for decades. 

Metro’s approach to cleanups has evolved over time, says Community Stewardship Manager Stephanie Rawson, as the team learned more about issues affecting the houseless community and joined with partners like Multnomah County’s Joint Office of Homeless Services.

“Initially, there was a lot of fear and misunderstanding related to camp cleanups,” Rawson says. “The more people we met with stories they were willing to share, the more insight we gained into how to better do this work, and the more respect and responsiveness came to the forefront.” 

Putting DSL partnership agreements in place with both organizations has made the collaborative efforts much more effective.

“When the need is there, we can pull in volunteers and go out and do the work, without the hurdles that slow us down,” says Kris Carico, SOLVE’s Chief Executive Officer. “That is a dream partnership.”

The Land Board Awards honor exceptional projects and partners for their contributions to protecting and enhancing Oregon’s treasured natural resources.  Learn more about all 2020 Land Board Award winners on the awards website or view the awards ceremony on the DSL YouTube Channel.

About the State Land Board and the Department of State Lands: The State Land Board consists of Governor Kate Brown, Secretary of State Bev Clarno and State Treasurer Tobias Read. Established by the Oregon Constitution in 1859, the Land Board oversees the state’s Common School Fund. The Department of State Lands is the Land Board’s administrative agency, managing the lands and resources that help fund Oregon’s public schools and protecting the state’s waterways and wetlands for the many benefits they provide.

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2020 Land Board Award winner photos are available for download here.

View more news releases from Oregon Dept. of State Lands.