POL Government Elected Officials Commissioner Nick Fish

Welcome to Commissioner Nick Fish's website

Commissioner Fish is in charge of the Portland Water Bureau and the Bureau of Environmental Services.  He is also Council liaison to Elders in Action, Venture Portland, and the Regional Arts & Culture Council.



Bud Clark Commons: a Top Green Project

In celebration of Earth Day, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) released its annual Top Ten Green Projects list – and our very own Bud Clark Commons made the cut!

Based in Washington DC, the AIA has been a leading professional association for architects and allied partners for over 150 years.  Together with its Committee on the Environment, AIA chooses ten prime examples of ecological and sustainable architecture every year.

The only residential building to make this year’s top ten, Bud Clark Commons is the cornerstone of our fight to end homelessness in our community. 

Nick was pleased to bring Bud Clark Commons to life during his time as Housing Commissioner.  The City was proud to partner with Home Forward and Transition Projects to build the Commons, which provides healthcare, shelter, permanent homes, counseling, job training, and more for some of our community’s most vulnerable individuals. The facility has 90 temporary beds for men, 130 furnished studio apartments, a walk-in Day Center, and a beautiful public courtyard.

Transformed by Holst Architecture, the former brownfield site is now a shining example of sustainability.  By using local, green resources, Bud Clark Commons was built to stand the test of time – and earned a LEED Platinum rating.  The building uses a solar hot water heating system, low-flow fixtures and Energy Star appliances, harvests rainwater, has eco-roofs, and employs a large-scale greywater recycling system. 

Congratulations, Bud Clark Commons!

April 23, 2014

Portland celebrates the arts!

From professional dance companies and stage actors to solo sculptors and painters, our arts and culture community plays an important role in making Portland a thriving, vibrant city.


On Wednesday, City Council will be pleased to present an afternoon of arts – starting with the Regional Arts & Culture Council’s (RACC) annual “State of the Arts” report. RACC staff and Board members will share their successes from the last year, including stories about new public art, funded performances, arts education programs, improvements in equity and access, and more. The Council meeting begins at 2pm with a surprise performance!


After RACC’s presentation, we will hear the first annual report from the Arts Oversight Committee (AOC), a public citizen group which oversees the Arts Education & Access Fund income tax.  The AOC will report how nearly $7 million has been invested in our public schools and local arts organizations. The committee will also share their thoughtful recommendations for how to improve tax collection and distribution going forward.


We already know that more than 30,000 children, ages Kindergarten to 5th grade, are enjoying better arts education in our schools. As Arts Commissioner, Nick is pleased to welcome a special art show to City Hall from April 22 – May 2, showcasing the positive impact of Arts Education & Access Fund tax dollars at work. Thanks to the public school teachers and the student artists for sharing their work with us!


“State of the Arts” – 2pm

Arts Oversight Committee Report – 3pm

Portland City Hall

Council Chambers


Elementary School Art Show

April 22 – May 2, 2014, 8am-5pm

City Hall Atrium

Special reception: April 30, 3:30-5pm


Photo courtesy of Woodlawn School

April 22, 2014

Healthy watersheds make for happy beavers

Beavers have a reputation for being a nuisance - with gnawing down trees - but beaver activity is actually an important part of the health of our watersheds. 


Beaver dams help maintain wetlands by preventing erosion and soaking up floodwater.  A young beaver recently moved into the Schweitzer Natural Area, a 30-acre site along Johnson Creek Watershed near Powell Butte. 


The Bureau of Environmental Services (BES) restored the Schweitzer Natural Area in 2009.  Watersheds store floodwater during heavy rains, improve water quality by filtering pollutants, and provide habitats for endangered creatures.  Today, the area is flourishing, and the project is a success!  Native beavers like this young one are thriving thanks to the restoration project – and in turn, are helping us maintain the health of our watersheds.


Learn more about the Schweitzer Natural Area on BES’ website.

April 21, 2014

Friday Roundup

April 18, 2014

Right Brain Initiative receives grant from the National Endowment for the Arts

In partnership with the Regional Arts & Culture Council, the Right Brain Initiative provides art education to students in and around Portland – reaching 14,000 students in our community.  


This year, the Right Brain Initiative has received its third “Art Works” grant from the National Endowment for Arts (NEA)!


The NEA’s Art Works program values artwork itself, how people react to art, and the fact that artwork really is work for many artists and arts professionals in our communities. The arts not only create a rich culture – they are also an essential piece of our economy.


The Right Brain Initiative’s grant goes toward improving K-8 arts programs in Portland’s schools by helping teachers weave the arts into their everyday curricula. Thanks to the grant, local teachers will receive professional training to provide diverse arts education to our students, meet new Common Core State Standards, and enrich students’ classroom experiences. 

April 18, 2014

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