- What does the name SOLVE stand for?
- What does SOLVE do for Oregon?
- Where does SOLVE get its funding?
- How is SOLVE managed?
- Who started the Beach Cleanup?
- Where can I find SOLVE Adult and Youth Registration & Waiver Forms (English & Spanish versions)?
- How can I get involved to plant trees?
- Can I sign up my group for a SOLVE project?
- Does SOLVE offer volunteer opportunities for senior citizens?
- Does SOLVE have volunteer opportunities throughout the year?
- Who can volunteer with SOLVE?
- How can I create my own volunteer project?
- How can I become a Site Coordinator for an existing volunteer program?
- Does SOLVE offer financial support for cleanup and restoration projects?
- How can I get involved on a watershed restoration project?
- How can I get volunteer leadership training?
Waste Recycling & Enforcement
- How do I file a traffic littering complaint?
- Does Oregon have a Litter Control Hotline?
- Where can I get rid of my old refrigerator, tires and other hard-to-dispose of items?
- Does SOLVE clean up illegal dumpsites?
- Who do I call to report an illegal dumpsite?
Teachers & Students
- How can I involve my school in a project?
- Can SOLVE help Oregon high school students meet the new graduation requirements?
- What is Service-Learning?
- How can students, youth and teachers get involved with SOLVE Watershed Restoration Programs?
History & General Information
Our focus has changed since the acronym was originally developed in 1969, and the word SOLVE more accurately reflects the actions volunteers take to improve our environment.
Each year SOLVE provides resources to communities throughout Oregon, focusing on litter cleanup, tree planting, and invasive removal projects. There are SOLVE projects in every county in Oregon. SOLVE creates an average of 50,000 volunteer opportunities across the state annually. For every $1.00 donated to SOLVE each year since 1997, Oregon has received $10.46 in volunteer service.
We value every dollar donated to SOLVE and pledge to use all contributions wisely to meet SOLVE's mission: Bring Oregonians together to improve the environment and build a legacy of stewardship. We receive our funding from a variety of sources including individual members.
SOLVE programs and activities are currently managed by 20 talented and dedicated staff members. We've come a long way since 1969, when SOLVE was established by Tom McCall and other community leaders. Until 1990 SOLVE was run and operated by volunteers. That year, SOLVE hired its first part-time Executive Director, Jack McGowan. Jack led the organization for 18 years, employing a model that provides volunteer leadership around the state with the professional resources provided by the staff. Those volunteer leaders in turn oversee the on-the-ground activities of tens of thousands of volunteers each year.
Common items found on Oregon’s coast such as six-pack yokes, fishing line and netting entangle and kill hundreds of seabirds, fish and mammals each year. Litter fouls boat propellers, clogs engines and contributes to the degradation of our beaches. It also puts a damper on coastal tourism and the local economy.
Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife (ODFW) employee Judy Nielsen and Eleanor Dye of the Oregon Sanitary Service Institute (Now the Oregon Refuse & Recycling Association) decided to do something to rid the state’s beaches of litter. So in 1984 Oregon led the world with the first statewide volunteer coastal cleanup ever.
These coastal cleanups are now spring and fall traditions for thousands of Oregonians. Between 1984 and 2006, more than 164,000 volunteers have picked up over 1,000 tons of beach and marine debris from the Oregon coast.
You can complete a SOLVE Waiver electronically when you register for a project online.
If you need to print a paper waiver, please read our safety instructions and click Accept at the bottom of the page to find our general adult and youth waiver forms. By downloading, completing and signing the forms, you can participate in Express Check-in at events, avoiding potential check-in lines.
We have a number of programs with a tree-planting focus. The tree planting season runs from the fall through the early spring months. Opportunities include:
- Team Up for Watershed Health: (October – mid-December, February – March) weekly Saturday morning tree-planting events, at sites around the metro area
- SOLVE IT: (early Spring) Annual statewide Earth Day cleanup and restoration event
- You can also organize your own tree planting event or project through SOLVE’s Project Oregon program! Project Oregon provides Oregonians with the materials they need and training, if necessary, to complete successful community projects whether they are small or large. Project Oregon is designed to support projects in four different ways: by providing planning assistance, project materials, small grants of up to $100, and recruitment and online registration for volunteers.
Yes, we provide online registration for groups for all of our programs.
Groups are always welcome at the Spring Beach Cleanup and Beach and Riverside Cleanup. A phone call to the event Zone Captain is requested for groups of 20 or more.
If you are interested in organizing your own group project, check out our Oregon Adopt-A-River or Project Oregon programs.
For a recommendation on a project for your group, please contact Quintin at quintin@SOLV.org or call 503.844.9571.
SOLVE works to provide volunteer opportunities for everyone. If you are interested in a volunteer opportunity, please look at our calendar of events or call Quintin Bauer at 503.844.9571 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yes. SOLVE manages a wide range of programs throughout the year, which encourage and support volunteerism all over our State. You can volunteer for a single day event such as a Beach Cleanup, or make a longer commitment and volunteer through programs like Oregon Adopt-A-River. We encourage you to sign up for our free monthly e-Updates located on the SOLVE homepage, which list upcoming volunteer opportunities. Here is what is happening this month.
There are also Volunteer Action Training and Stream Team Captain Training opportunities for those interested in organizing and leading their own projects.
SOLVE encourages everyone to volunteer! Our projects bring together people of all ages, from all ethnic, social, economic and geographic areas to enhance our communities, and natural areas, and to build a sense of community that unites us all as Oregonians. SOLVE has opportunities for nearly everybody. Here is just a small sample of some the groups we work with: families, AmeriCorps members, students, civic groups, businesses, faith-based organizations, government agencies and citizens who need to fulfill community service hours.
You can organize your own project at any time as a SOLVE Project Coordinator through these programs:
Oregon Adopt-A-River, SOLVE's Project Oregon. Our comprehensive Volunteer Action Training is provided free of charge if you agree to coordinate a SOLVE project in your community within a year.
Beach Cleanup Zone Captains and Beach Captains: Spring Beach Cleanup, Beach and Riverside Cleanup – Contact Briana Goodwin, email@example.com; Stream Team Captains for year-round watershed restoration projects on the lower Willamette River – Contact Quintin Bauer, firstname.lastname@example.org. SOLVE IT Earth Day event Site Coordinators, held Statewide in April – Contact Quintin Bauer, email@example.com
SOLVE offers small grant funds through our Project Oregon program. Project Oregon offers Oregon citizens the planning support and resources needed to organize and carry out a litter cleanup, tree planting, invasive removal, or restoration site maintenance and monitoring project. SOLVE provides active staff assistance, small grants, and limited help with planning, organizing, and recruiting volunteers, project materials, and recognition. When available, SOLVE provides grants of up to $100 for on-the-ground project expenses such as disposal fees, supplies, equipment rental, gloves, safety vests, plants and planting supplies, and recycling and trash receptacles. Applications are accepted at any time.
Other programs offer a combination of funding and group services, such as dumpsters or port-o-lets to help offset costs.
SOLVE offers a variety of watershed opportunities.
- Oregon Adopt-A-River: (year round) Clean up your favorite stretch of stream, lake or river. Adopt-A-River is a statewide adoption of a 2-mile stretch of an Oregon waterway; participants commit to two projects per year over two years.
- SOLVE-IT: (April) Statewide restoration and cleanup effort.
- Team Up for Watershed Health: (October – December, February – March) weekly Saturday morning tree-planting events, at sites around the metro area.
- Project Oregon: Lead your own restoration project!
Improve your volunteer leadership and community project management skills! Our comprehensive Volunteer Action Training is provided free of charge for those who agree to coordinate a SOLVE project in their communities within one year of completing the training (fee-based training is also available with no project requirement). Otherwise, trainings are offered for $75 per person. If you don’t find a scheduled opportunity in your community, contact Morgan Parks firstname.lastname@example.org. We may be able to schedule a special opportunity for a group in your area.
Waste Recycling & Enforcement
Did you see someone throwing litter out their window? Write down the license plate number, date, time, location of the event, male/female driver and file a traffic complaint. Typical traffic littering complaints are directed to an Oregon County or City authority.
No. Unlike Washington, Oregon does not have a statewide litter control hotline. You can instead file a formal complaint to your County or City authorities.
This depends on what county you live in. Please refer to our Waste Enforcement Resources page.
SOLVE partners with neighbors, property owners, businesses, recreation advocates, civic, nonprofit, faith-based, community organizations and groups, and government agencies to remove waste and restore illegal dumpsites to their natural state throughout Oregon.
Illegal dumping is a serious problem that threatens the health of our watersheds, natural areas and communities. Illegal dumpsites are expensive to clean up and damaged watersheds are difficult to restore. Wildlife such as deer and other large mammals can be restricted from accessing necessary water sources and can become trapped and entangled in debris.
SOLVE supports the cleanup of illegal dumpsites throughout the state of Oregon through our Project Oregon and SOLVE IT programs. SOLVE IT has dramatically reduced the number of illegal dumpsites in the greater Portland Metro area. Over the 17-year history of this Earth Day event, volunteers have removed more than 12 million pounds of debris from illegal dumpsites, neighborhoods and natural areas and over 41,000 illegally dumped tires have been recycled. Although there are many success stories of horrendous dumpsites that have been cleaned up in communities throughout Oregon, there is still much more work that needs to be done. Household garbage and construction waste continues to litter our magnificent forests, rivers, streams, beaches and desert lands. Public awareness and volunteer action are the best ways to combat this important issue.
Illegal and unsightly dumpsites are a major ongoing issue in many Oregon counties. Over the years, SOLVE has helped clean up thousands of tons of debris left in our environment. Fortunately, there are many organizations and agencies focusing on this problem. SOLVE, in partnership with citizen volunteers, government agencies and private companies, is committed to finding solutions through education and cleanups.
Please refer to our Waste Enforcement Resources page for reporting options
If the illegal dumpsite is on public property, SOLVE supports citizens taking personal responsibility by coordinating a cleanup project or event. SOLVE operates a program called Project Oregon which is designed for groups or individuals who organize their own cleanup or enhancement project. SOLVE has free materials, including trash bags, and can offer small grants, up to $100, to offset certain project expenses. This could include renting a drop box, hauling, or disposal fees. A great Project Planning & Reference Guide is available to project coordinators. If you are interested in organizing a cleanup project, please determine if the illegal dumpsite is on County, City, State Forest or Park land and fill out our Project Oregon application online.
Teachers & Students
Whether at your school, or in the community, our K-16 Education program successfully involves students in community service projects. Our emphasis on service-learning – a teaching and learning strategy integrating service to the community with classroom study – enables students (and teachers) to satisfy state educational standards while meeting real community needs. We offer free curriculum, project planning assistance (including small reimbursement grants), and in-service training and consultation for teachers.
Schools may participate in a single event, multiple events throughout the school year, or as an ongoing program. Schools may also choose to integrate SOLVE service-learning curricula into their participation in SOLVE programs and events.
All programs and materials are endorsed by the Oregon Department of Education as an engaging way for students to meet required curricular standards. For additional information, we invite you to contact Quintin Bauer, our Program Coordinator, at email@example.com, 503.844.9571 x321, or 800.333.7658.
Yes. Oregon has new high school graduation requirements. All graduating seniors must demonstrate certain qualifications to receive their high school diploma. Contact Quintin Bauer at 503.844.9571 ext. 321 or at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information to help you meet your requirements.
Please also see below, under "Senior Projects".
Service-learning is a teaching and learning strategy that intentionally integrates meaningful service to the community, with school-based or school-required academic learning goals. Since 1999 SOLVE has been working to develop a series of K-12 programs and curricular materials to support Oregon schools in service-learning.
SOLVE has a formal partnership with the Oregon Department of Education (ODE). We offer a variety of opportunities for students to meet the CIM content-related standards in 11 ODE-identified subject areas, and the Career-Related Learning Standards. SOLVE service-learning opportunities can be implemented with participation in even just a single event, multiple events throughout the school year or as an ongoing program.
SOLVE offers the following service-learning resources:
SOLVE provides a comprehensive curriculum – Students Building Community – designed to help Oregon’ K-12 students meet learning goals and outcomes as they beautify, enhance and restore their community. Comprised of hundreds of restoration and community-building activity ideas, Students Building Community is aligned activity-by-activity to Oregon's academic standards across all content areas (from Arts to Technology). Students Building Community supports student project development in six broad categories: Around Your School, Birds and Butterflies, Construction, Planting, Streams and Ponds, and the Restoration Process.
K-16 Project Planning Guides
SOLVE offers two different Project Planning Guides for educators. R Oregon is geared toward elementary schools while Make it Right was created for middle/high schools. These programs are designed to integrate youth voice and leadership into the process of identifying, implementing and evaluating projects that benefit the community.
Service-Learning Project Support
SOLVE is ready to provide logistical support and coaching to help teachers and students plan and implement restoration or cleanup projects. SOLVE provides a brief service-learning training for participating educators, curriculum aligned to state standards (Students Building Community), free project materials, small reimbursement grants and ongoing project support. With prior consultation, SOLVE may also be able to provide on-site support and access to designated SOLVE-managed sites located in the vicinity of some schools. Two of SOLVE’s programs – SOLVE IT and our Fall Cleanup – are set up to support teachers and classes engaged in service-learning during designated school days around the event. If these programs do not work for your class schedule, we can support your project through our Project Oregon and Oregon-Adopt-A-River programs. Please contact Quintin Bauer at email@example.com, 503.844.9571 x321, or 800.333.7658 for more information.
Find descriptions of all education program opportunities and curricula, application and reporting forms as well as our Service-Learning Tools Series on the SOLVE K-12 education planning page. I want my class to be involved in community service – but I don’t think I want to link it to my curriculum at this time. Can SOLVE help me?
SOLVE offers Oregon teachers and youth a number of pre-organized one-day opportunities to join in cleanup and restoration events around the state. Students are invited to sign on as a class, a club, a group of friends, or to participate in these activities with their families. SOLVE provides documentation for students who need a record of their service hours:
- Beach and Riverside Cleanup and Spring Beach Cleanup: Twice-a-year opportunities to help clean the entire Oregon coast
- SOLVE IT: (early Spring) Annual Statewide Earth Day enhancement and cleanup event
- Oregon Adopt-A-River: (year round) Statewide adoption of a 2-mile stretch of an Oregon waterway; participants commit to two projects per year over two years
- Team Up for Watershed Health: (October – December, February – March) weekly Saturday morning tree-planting events, at sites around the metro area
- Project Oregon: Year round volunteer-led projects. Activities include tree planting, invasive removal, litter cleanup and restoration site maintenance and monitoring.
For current-year dates, or to register for any of these events, please visit our calendar.
SOLVE’s Team Up program offers a number of ways for students and youth to get involved with watershed restoration:
Team Up Saturday Events:
From October through mid-December and February – March, there are scheduled tree-planting events every Saturday morning through our Team Up program.
Team Up Service-Learning Experiences:
If given advance notice, our Team Up staff can also work with teachers to design school-day service-learning experiences at designated SOLVE sites in the Portland Metro area.
Green Team is a comprehensive, long-term service-learning program designed to engage a class of students with the restoration process of stream sites. (Green Team is restricted to the Portland metro area because of the availability of SOLVE-managed sites).
SOLVE’s resources vary according to the commitment level of the Green Team and may include access to a Team Up restoration site; curriculum, on-site orientation, support, tools and materials; educational videos and handouts; and presentations from expert resource personnel.
Introduced topics are tailored to support each site. Projects may include invasive species identification and removal, native tree and shrub planting, site maintenance and monitoring, bioengineering, water quality, fish and wildlife, stewardship and watershed health.
All Oregon graduating seniors are required to demonstrate successful completion of an “”Extended Application.” In many schools, this has been incorporated into a senior project requirement. SOLVE’s Team Up and Education staff are prepared to provide sites and limited coaching for seniors wishing to plan and implement their own restoration project with SOLVE. Please see the list of senior project requirements posted on our web site. Students will be required to work closely with SOLVE staff throughout the process.
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