SOLVE Volunteers Clean up 51,000 Pounds of Trash in Downtown Portland

SOLVE Volunteers Clean up 51,000 Pounds of Trash in Downtown Portland

Portland, OR. Volunteers have collected a total of more than 51,000 pounds of litter in Downtown Portland over the past year. SOLVE’s monthly ‘Downtown Portland Cleanup Days’ started in September of 2020. More than 5,000 volunteers have pitched in during the coordinated, downtown-wide, litter cleanup effort. SOLVE officials say, “More than 5,000 community members have worked together to lift Portland back up, one piece of litter at a time.”

Volunteers collected large items like couches, pieces of furniture, and car tires, as well as small pieces of litter like bottle caps, cigarette butts, and plastic bottles.

SOLVE’s state-wide programs have held 571 events, empowering 12,193 volunteers who removed 113,226 lbs. of trash, planted 13,748 native trees and shrubs, and removed 180,929 sq. ft. of invasive plants in the last 12 months alone.

In addition to monthly clean-up efforts, SOLVE has weekly ‘Detrash Portland’ events. They connect like-minded volunteers who want to tackle the issue of litter in Portland. Each week, SOLVE supports events throughout the city; it provides cleanup supplies, safety information, and disposal assistance for anyone who would like to improve their neighborhood through the simple act of cleaning up.

From SOLVE, “We take pride in Portland and know that cleaning up is an easy and effective way to give back. Join us at an upcoming event and become a part of the Detrash Portland movement! “

If you’re interested in volunteering with SOLVE here’s a link to upcoming events.

For example, Tillamook County volunteers are wanted for SOLVE’s Beach & Riverside Cleanup, in partnership with the Oregon Lottery, on Saturday, September 25. Projects will include cleanup in Netarts Bay, Rockaway Beach, and Pacific City.

Part of the mission of SOLVE is to educate people about the importance of cleaning up the environment.

SOLVE’s list of learning opportunities: (Most of these opportunities are for high school level readers and above, and cover a variety of environmental topics.) – Edx offers a multitude of classes from some of the world’s top universities. Enrolling into a class is free, although you will have to make an account with the website. Options to accredit your online class are available too. – Similar to Edx, FutureLearn connects users to hundreds of online learning opportunities. Classes are free, but you will have to register on the site. Conservation is an ever-changing subject, so to keep the science community up to speed, the USDA created a free webinar portal as a part of their Science and Technology Training Library. Webinars vary from being “live” to on-demand. –  Brought to you by the National Center for Sustainable Resources. – A six-part series on basic forestry, brought to you by Oregon State’s Extension Services. The webinars come weekly and are already underway! Click to catch the second half of the class. – A 60-minute webinar perfect for this time of year: What can a leaf bud tell us about environmental change?

A focus on Plastic Pollution: – Plastics 101. SOLVE is committed to cleaning our communities and natural landscapes, including Oregon’s beaches, from plastic pollution and other litter. Take a moment to watch National Geographic’s Plastic: 101 video to get acquainted with this material. – Learn more about where your trash goes in this short video about modern landfill management.

For the kids:

Make screen time more valuable! Use this list below to access online resources to keep your child engaged in science and the natural world from home. Do a quick Google search and you’ll find many resources available. Below are just a few that we found particularly interesting. – Kudos to Scholastic for being extremely versatile and opening up their online platform to learning opportunities for kids of all ages! – Join Ranger Rick on journeys throughout the natural world! The Wildlife Federation is making all Ranger Rick website activities and online magazines free for the next few months. – An all-encompassing science activities site from New Zealand. – Interactive science-based games from PBS. – Khan Academy is stepping up their game, making their online resources more available than ever before. They have also created a learning schedule, that students can log into and experience real-time instruction, to provide some structure to your child’s day at home. – Become a citizen scientist between April 24 – April 27 and help document the biodiversity in your neighborhood. This is a global effort.


Founded in 1969, SOLVE’s mission is to bring Oregonians together to improve our environment and build a legacy of stewardship.

SOLVE restores and preserves Oregon’s environment by mobilizing the power of volunteers and partners with the generosity of donors. Across the state, we bring diverse communities together to improve the health and safety of our neighborhoods and natural areas including our coast, rivers, parks, and forests.

  • We implement litter cleanups because we know the importance of keeping our neighborhoods safe and healthy, while also understanding the importance of picking up litter before it heads downstream, impacting our shared ocean.
  • We orchestrate year-round beach cleanups because we know they are essential to reducing the harmful effects of plastic pollution and other marine debris.
  • We plant native trees and shrubs and remove invasive species to help Oregon’s habitats stay healthy, so they can continue to support a wealth of pollinators and other wildlife.
Volunteers Make a Difference for Earth Day 2018

Volunteers Make a Difference for Earth Day 2018

Portland, OR. Thousands of local volunteers rolled up their sleeves to clean up trash and restore natural habitat in places like Cannon Beach on Saturday April 21st. Still more are expected to join in when the 48th annual Earth Day is officially commemorated, on Sunday April 22nd. The local nonprofit environmental organization, SOLVE has lead clean up efforts for the past 27 years and organizers say over that time more than 112,000 local volunteers have removed over 15 million pounds of litter and invasive plants from illegal dumpsites, neighborhoods, and natural areas as part of this global event. 

You can still get involved with one of many Earth Day opportunities like “Pick up the Pearl” on Sunday, April 22nd from 12pm-5pm. Another option is trail beautification in Scappoose, or planting native species in Oregon City. Below is a list of some SOLVE volunteer options for Earth Day: 

If you need inspiration, here’s a look at some of the good work done by volunteers on Saturay, April 21st.

Work is done at Willow Creek by Five Oaks-Triple Creek Neighbors and helpers from Tualatin Hills Park & Recreation District.

Trimming branches at Willow Creek

Cleaning up in Forest Park

The big crew at Cannon Beach

The Beaverton Earth Day Mulching Event with Genentech and Beaverton City Government

The Beaverton Earth Day Mulching Event with Genentech and Beaverton City Government

South Waterfront volunteers receive instructions

Friends of Riverplace are busy

Friends of Riverplace haul trash away.

SOLVE expects to gather 47,000 pounds of trash thanks to the Earth Day 2018 efforts of over 5,000 local people. 


Our Mission Is Simple.

SOLVE is a statewide, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with a mission to bring Oregonians together to improve our environment and build a legacy of stewardship. We are dedicated to developing relationships among different groups, individuals, and businesses in pursuit of a common goal: to protect and preserve the places that make up our uniquely beautiful home. SOLVE mobilizes one of Oregon’s largest volunteer networks to clean up our beaches, parks, neighborhoods, and other natural spaces through litter cleanups, invasive plant removal, planting native trees and shrubs, and other environmental projects. We annually support nearly 30,000 volunteers in 900 projects throughout the state.

Originally called S.O.L.V. (Stop Oregon Litter and Vandalism), SOLVE was founded by Governor Tom McCall and other community leaders in 1969 to address the need for community action in our ever-growing state.

Local Nonprofits Gear up for #GivingTuesday

Local Nonprofits Gear up for #GivingTuesday

Portland, OR. This year’s #GivingTuesday, on November 28th, will mark the sixth year of the movement. Since the inaugural #GivingTuesday in 2012, the global day of giving has taken its place alongside Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday, empowering individuals and organizations around the world to help bring about the change they wish to see. The end of the calendar year has always been a busy time for charitable giving, but the #GivingTuesday movement has amplified the effects of giving season. 
Here’s a video about the special day:

For a bit of history, #GivingTuesday was founded through a partnership between the 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation to created the movement with the goal of connecting “diverse groups of individuals, communities and organizations around the world for one common purpose: to celebrate and encourage giving.” On #GivingTuesday, 2016, over $177 million dollars worth of donations were made from people in 98 countries.

The spirit behind #GivingTuesday is not only based in generosity but also in the power of social media to connect and inspire (there’s a reason it’s name has a hashtag). Last year on #GivingTuesday, social media engagements reached nearly 2.4 million.

If you’re looking for a link to local nonprofits, click here for a link to our partner’s page for dozens of options in six different categories:

Many donors are turning to Charity Navigator, the nation’s largest independent charity evaluator to research nonprofits. There are 50 nonprofits in Oregon which have earned Charity Navigator’s highest four-star rating and another 58 with an admirable three-star rating. Click here to a learn more about local, national and international nonprofits. 

This year Charity Navigator has partnered with GuideStar, Classy and GlobalGiving to display impact information for over twenty-four hundred rated charities. This collaboration will make it easier for charities to share their results and impact-related information with the largest possible audience. 

SOLVE is an example of four-star charity – the top Charity Navigator rating. Over the past 30 years, more than 130,000 Spring Oregon Beach Cleanup volunteers have removed an estimated 1.9 million pounds of litter from Oregon’s beaches.

From Charity Navigator:

And we’re launching a collaborative project to bring you information about nonprofit impact. We are publishing results information for approximately 2,400 charities. This information will be provided by one of three partners—GuideStar, Classy, and GlobalGiving. We consider this to be an opportunity for us to help nonprofits become more impactful by clearly sharing that information with you, their donors and beneficiaries. Visit us online so you can see what impact-related information we’re collecting and which charities have this information available on their CN rating pages. 

Busy Earth Day Sees Clean Up Projects and Scientists on the March

Busy Earth Day Sees Clean Up Projects and Scientists on the March

Portland, OR. Oregonians came out in force on Earth Day. Over 5,800 SOLVE volunteers picked up 35 tons of trash and debris from 162 sites including neighborhoods, school grounds and natural areas around the state like Kelley Point Park. Invasive non-native plants were cleared from 10 acres, and 2,690 native trees and shrubs were planted on April 22nd.

Volunteers collect trash at Kelley Point Park.

Portland General Electric volunteers Sunny and Terry help out at Tryon Creek State Park.

Youth leaders with SOLVE and SPLASH pitching in for Earth Day in Hillsboro, Oregon.

An adventurous crew floated the river for the Sandy River Cleanup.

Project highlights throughout the state included:

  • In Hillsboro, local youth from the SPLASH program led a Global Youth Service Day event at Hamby Park. Over 80 volunteers, including 61 youth, removed invasive weeds and spread mulch throughout the park.
  • In Medford and Phoenix, the Rogue Valley Council of Governments coordinated 5 different sites along the Bear Creek Greenway. The project engaged 108 volunteers who collected over 5,000 pounds of trash, keeping harmful litter out of the creek and protecting wildlife.
  • In the Tillamook State Forest 63 volunteers collected 40 cubic yards of trash including 52 tires, a sectional sofa, mattress set and truck canopy. Local 4 X 4 clubs, the Oregon hunters Association, Oregon Equestrian Trails, and the Tillamook State Forest Trail Patrol all came together to help with this annual cleanup.

The other big Earth Day event had thousands of scientists and their supporters flooding into downtown Portland’s Waterfront Park. It was the city’s March for Science, one of roughly 500 taking place around the world in conjunction with Earth Day.

Many marchers brought signs, to help make their point.

Mad scientists converged on the park for the March for Science.

The Nature Conservancy offered signs to local supporters.

Portland’s March for Science started with speeches then the crowd took to the streets and marched for about an hour. Earth day is celebrated annually on April 22nd.

The idea for a national day to focus on the environment came to Earth Day founder Gaylord Nelson, then a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, after witnessing the ravages of the 1969 massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California. Inspired by the student anti-war movement, he realized that if he could infuse that energy with an emerging public consciousness about air and water pollution, it would force environmental protection onto the national political agenda. Senator Nelson announced the idea for a “national teach-in on the environment” to the national media; persuaded Pete McCloskey, a conservation-minded Republican Congressman, to serve as his co-chair; and recruited Denis Hayes from Harvard as national coordinator. Hayes built a national staff of 85 to promote events across the land. April 22, falling between Spring Break and Final Exams, was selected as the date.

SOLVE Spring Oregon Beach Cleanup Marks 50th Anniversary of Oregon Beach Bill

SOLVE Spring Oregon Beach Cleanup Marks 50th Anniversary of Oregon Beach Bill

Manzanita, OR. An estimated 5,000 people kicked off Earth Month on April 1st by volunteering with SOLVE to clean up Oregon’s beaches from Astoria to Brookings. The 32nd annual SOLVE Spring Oregon Beach Cleanup focused on 45 beaches. One big find at the Beverly Beach Cleanup was 50 lbs. of rope. This year’s event also marks the 50th Anniversary of the Oregon Beach Bill, which granted public recreational access to beaches along all 362 miles of coastline. Organizers are still gathering information, but last year volunteers removed 93,400 pounds of litter and marine debris and recycled over 2,000 pounds of debris to be turned into educational art sculptures.


Volunteers were out in force in Manzanita. Over the past 30 years, more than 130,000 Spring Oregon Beach Cleanup volunteers have removed an estimated 1.9 million pounds of litter from Oregon’s beaches.

Organizers told volunteers like this Manzanita family that even the smallest bits of trash can be harmful. For example, cigarette butts flow into storm drains, then directly to our streams, rivers, and ocean. The chemicals they retain are released as they flow downstream to the ocean. Just as troubling, cigarette butts, tiny bits of plastic, and other trash are readily eaten by marine life. If we eat seafood, we may also ingest these contaminants.

These volunteers were helping to clean up the beach in Seaside.

Volunteers filled up a dumpster with trash in Seaside.

Here is one of the crews working in Cannon Beach.


SOLVE is a state-wide non-profit organization that takes action every day to keep Oregon clean and green. We mobilize over 35,000 volunteers and organize over 1,000 cleanup and restoration projects throughout the state. Our mission: Bring Oregonians together to improve our environment and build a legacy of stewardship.

The next big event for SOLVE will be Earth Day on April 22nd.

As the number of people visiting and moving to our beautiful state continues to grow, it has become more important than ever to keep it clean and healthy! Let’s come together to make this Earth Day the largest ever, picking up litter, removing invasive plants, and planting native trees and shrubs across Oregon. Together we can make sure Oregon can remain the amazing place we all love.

The idea of people coming together on Earth Day to take care of and celebrate our planet began more than 45 years ago and was a perfect fit for SOLVE and our volunteers. In 1990, SOLVE IT for Earth Day took root in the Greater Portland-Metro area, fusing our hands-on approach with this worldwide day of service. Since then, SOLVE IT for Earth Day has grown into Oregon’s largest Earth Day service event.

Over the past 27 years more than 112,000 volunteers have removed 15 million pounds of litter and invasive plants from illegal dumpsites, neighborhoods, and natural areas as part of this global event.