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.



Friday Roundup

August 29, 2014

Behind the Bubblers

Perhaps the best known drinking fountains in the City of Roses are the legendary "Benson Bubblers," the iconic four bronze bowls that provide fresh, Bull Run drinking water throughout downtown. The Benson Bubblers were named after businessman and philanthropist Simon Benson who donated $10,000 for the purchase and installation of 20 fountains in 1912.

Today, there are 51 “true” four-bowl Benson Bubblers. Forty-eight are installed in downtown Portland while three reside on the Eastside. Two bubblers do exist outside of Portland; one in Portland’s sister city Sapporo, Japan and the other bubbles at the Maryhill Museum of Art in Washington State.

An additional 79 bubblers replicating the original style have been cast and installed over the years, not to be confused with the “true” 51 Benson Bubblers.


Nellie Bubblers
The one and only three-bowl “Nellie” bubbler in Portland is located in front of Portland Fire Station 1 at SW First Avenue and SW Ash Street. This rare threebowl steel variation, named after benefactor Nellie Robinson, joins two fourbowl Nellie bubblers located between SW Clay Street and SW Market Street
on SW Third Avenue.


Single Bowl Bubblers
The 70 single-bowl fountains can be found from Linnton to Sellwood, and from the SW Hills to Mt. Scott. Although the single-bowl variations look like Benson Bubblers, they are not.


Stone & Other Style Single Bowl
The Water Bureau is also responsible for the upkeep of two stone fountains, located respectively in Northeast and Northwest Portland, and four other single-bowl fountains in Northeast, North, and at the Powell Butte Nature Park’s Visitor Center.


Written by Lindsay Wochnick.

August 28, 2014

Celebrating America's history through art

Five leading US museums have collaborated in a joint effort to share great American art with the American people.   


The first of its kind in the US, Art Everywhere US consists of 100 artworks – 20 from each museum - that reflects the history of the United States, from before the Revolutionary War to today. 

Art Everywhere US provides everyday encounters with incredible, visionary pieces that reflects the true essence of the United States - its people, culture, and history. 


An array of art styles and aesthetics, 50 pieces were selected to be reprinted tens of thousands of times, and posted in public spaces across the nation – on billboards, transit hubs, and other advertising channels.  It encourages us to nurture creativity in our daily lives.


There are many pieces of this collection scattered around Portland.  Check them out on Art Everywhere USwebsite for a map of locations and more information.  


Also, visit out our own great local museum - the Portland Art Museum - to see beautiful works of art from the United States and around the world. 

Watson and the Shark, 1778

John Singleton Copley

Photo courtesy of the National Gallery of Art.

August 27, 2014

Painting Portland

Portland’s collection of vibrant and eclectic art is part of what makes our city wonderful – and last week, we gained 16 great art murals!


Forest For The Trees NW is a public art mural project.  Last week, 20 talented local and international artists spent 5 days creating unique artworks all around Portland.   


Funded in part by the Regional Arts and Culture Council (RACC), the array of stimulating, thematic expressions encourages collaboration and community engagement through art.  The main objective of the project is to make art an accessible and interactive part of daily life. 


Special thanks to all the artists, sponsors, and to Forest For The Trees NW for making our city even more colorful.


For a list of locations, visit Forest For The Trees NW’s website


Forest For The Trees NW brings mural arts from around the world to Portland

Beth Nakamura in The Oregonian

Photo courtesy of Beth Nakamura.

August 26, 2014

Critters at the Foster Floodplain Natural Area

Immerse yourself in Portland’s natural beauty and walk along the Foster Floodplain Natural Area trails.


Two years ago, the City completed restoration of the Foster Floodplain Natural Area in Southeast Portland.  The area used to suffer from frequent flooding, which affected dozens of homes and local businesses. The innovative restoration, which took more than 15 years to fully complete, has reduced flood risks, improved fish and wildlife habitat along Johnson Creek, and transformed a flood-prone neighborhood into a lovely natural area. 


The restoration was a resounding success, and is now a bustling home to some of Portland’s most beautiful, native wildlife.


Nestled among the grasses and shrubs are critters like blacktail deer, rabbits, and skunks.  Great for bird watching, check out the trees and skies for black-headed grosbeaks, hawks, and bald eagles! 


The Foster Floodplain Natural Area is open to the public.  Check out the Bureau of Environmental Services’ website for more information.   


Photo courtesy of Greg Gillson.

August 25, 2014

RSS Feed