October Rain

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albany_stormwater2 With major storms threatening our region, stormwater management is a topic on everyone’s mind. Rain gardens, bioswales, and other stormwater facilities become highly active players in the infrastructure of a city during a major weather event like the one we are experiencing in the Pacific Northwest. The City of Albany is highly committed to managing their stormwater and has been working with GreenWorks to improve their stormwater management since 2009.

GreenWorks was hired by the City of Albany to assist them in developing stormwater quality development standards. The first phase was a thorough review of the city’s municipal and development codes and engineering standards. GreenWorks recommended updates to address water quality and stream protection goals and regulations. The team facilitated workshops and a field facility tour for city staff to determine the types of stormwater quality facilities and related design standards to adopt. We developed facility sizing requirements and prepared engineering standards, specifications and standard drawings. Key goals included the development of stormwater quality standards with a focus on vegetated facilities that can integrate into existing site landscaping and City ROW, that are straight-forward to design and review for compliance, and offer flexibility to the development community. GreenWorks used highly illustrative standards to show how various options of vegetated facilities could be sized and located. The resulting Stormwater Quality Program and Standards (including codes, standards, specifications, and drawings) was adapted by the Albany City Council in 2014.

Stormwater facilities were designed and completed in 2015. Robust in size, these facilities were built to manage a major stormwater event. GreenWorks continues to provide implementation assistance to city staff on an on-call basis to review drawings and answer questions, and in some instances provide stormwater facility design support.

Awards Granted to Hood River Middle School Music and Science Building!

Music and Science Building at Hood River Middle School

The Hood River Middle School Music and Science Building is a LEED certified project designed as a hands-on learning laboratory, where students interact with the site’s resource systems. The building additions were completed in September 2010.

  • Last week the U.S. Green Building Council certified the Hood River Middle School additions as LEED Platinum, the highest possible LEED rating.
  • The project was also recently named one of the American Institute of Architects Top Ten Green Projects for 2012.

GreenWorks worked closely with school faculty and the design team to create a site that meets school needs while utilizing a small ecological footprint. Resource system information, such as onsite rainwater harvesting, wastewater treatment and solar power generation, is tracked and fed to a central dashboard where students monitor the buildings’ resource flows. In the native plant arboretum, each student is responsible for a plant that they care for, water, measure and observe throughout the seasons. The learning garden is an ever-changing canvas, which provides harvests enjoyed by students and the community. Students harvest and sell the produce at the local farmers market and learn permaculture principles in the multisensory, food forest where they grow and harvest plants for food, fiber, dye and other uses. GreenWorks’ services included schematic design, construction documents, specifications, LEED documentation, bidding assistance and construction administration.

Permaculture Garden and Greenhouse Outside of Music and Science Building

Site Plan

Read more about the project on the AIA website here.

Grant High School Community Garden

The Environmental Club at Grant High School in Northeast Portland is in the process of establishing a Community Garden and a Learning Garden in the front of the school. Their inspiration for the gardens came from a desire to give back to the local community, provide fresh food from the garden to the cafeteria, and learn about sustainable agriculture. The students received a grant from State Farm and have teamed up with Portland Community Gardens to make their dream a reality. The Environmental Club enlisted the help of GreenWorks to create a design for the garden that would be aesthetically pleasing to the surrounding community, include two ADA accessible plots, and maximize the available garden space.

Grant High School Community Garden Design

The gardens are located in front of the school in the NE corner of the existing lawn on NE 36th Avenue. Portland Community Gardens will assign the community garden plots on a first come first served basis. The learning garden will be maintained by the environmental club and sustainable agriculture classes as well as the biology, special education and Japanese departments.

On February 16th the Environmental Club and Portland Community Gardens held a Town Hall event where they invited the local community to ask questions and express their concerns about the garden. The attendees voiced an enormous amount of support and enthusiasm for the project. Neighbors are eager to get a spot secured and start gardening!

Two members of the Environmental Club build raised beds for the Learning Garden

GreenWorks was honored to contribute to the creation of the Grant High School Community and Learning Gardens. The Environmental Club has been working on the garden’s implementation for over a year now, coming up against many set-backs and logistical road blocks. They are truly a remarkable group of students who simply wanted to give back to the surrounding community, supply their cafeteria with fresh and healthy food and provide an opportunity for future students to learn about sustainable agriculture.  Follow the Grant High School Community Garden blog here.

Students planting garlic in their classroom nursery in preparation for the upcoming growing season

A Hopeful Rooftop Harvest

The Multnomah County Hope Garden installed in mid-June as a GreenWorks pro-bono project with a host of other partners, continues to thrive.  On August 19th hosted a crowd to continue the harvest.  Commissioner Judy Shiprack, Sustainability Coordinator Kat West, and many others celebrated with a brief  ‘harvest’ ceremony to celebrate the donations of time, labor, and materials from a wide range of people and local businesses.

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The produce will be donated to the Oregon Food Bank to combat hunger issues in our region, and if you have surplus veggies from your garden, these can be donated to OFB through the Plant a Row for the Hungry campaign.  Over 4000 pounds of produce so far this year has been donated from local gardeners – over 50 of which came for this very productive 150 square feet of rooftop.

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commissioner shiprack addresses the crowd
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the bounty grows
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the plaque showing donations and volunteers

Summer Sustainability…

GreenWorks is excited to be involved again in 2009 with the 2nd iteration of the Summer Sustainability Series program on ‘Sustainability in the Built Environment.  From the Website:  “The Summer Sustainability Series offers unique professional programs based on the ground-breaking work of Oregon’s businesses, universities, not-for-profit organizations, and policy makers.  We visit experts and practitioners in the field as they bring their experiences to life. Participants will join other thought leaders from a range of professions, pushing beyond the current thinking to find better solutions. “

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Again this year, GreenWorks Principal Jim Figurski gave an overview of the process of creating Tanner Springs Park (a collaboration between GreenWorks and Atelier Dreisietl, seen above).  And Doug Shapiro of Hoyt Street Properties gave everyone the opportunity to get a birds eye view of the park atop the penthouse of the Metropolitan Condominiums.  Not a bad perspective.

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Day 2 Featured a presentation by Jason King, Senior Associate, giving a tour of the Multnomah County Building Green Roof (in full bloom below) and the newly planted rooftop urban agriculture demonstration, the Hope Garden.

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Meet Columbia EcoVillage

This past Saturday, June 20th, the residents of the Columbia Ecovillage celebrated the grand opening of their sustainable community in Northeast Portland.  The event featured “…brief presentations from the development team, architecture and contracting firms involved in the green renovation, as well as a community celebration and tours of the property and the two remaining homes.” 

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GreenWorks provided permitting, site planning, and landscape architecture services, working with the great community members, to provide landscaping based on sustainable permaculture principles, as well as stormwater management for new buildings.

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All images copyright 2009 – GreenWorks

Gardening for Hope

GreenWorks has been honored to help orchestrate the transformation of the rooftop planters on the Multnomah County Green Roof into a ‘Hope Garden’ … From Multnomah County website:

“Multnomah County and the City of Portland are partnering to plant organic vegetable gardens at their respective headquarters to recognize the growing community interest in local food systems and to inspire residents to plant their own edible gardens.  “Growing food is a great way for a family to reduce food costs, spend time together, and to assist hungry families,” said Multnomah County Commissioner Judy Shiprack.   “Multnomah County recognizes that our local food system has a significant impact on the economy, health, and environment of our community,” said Multnomah County Commissioner Jeff Cogen. “And this demonstration project fits one of the county’s core missions to promote healthy people and healthy communities.”

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Volunteers from a number of organizations and firms contributed their time and effort into making the garden a reality.  A list of donations includes:

:: GreenWorks Landscape Architects www.greenworkspc.com
:: Teufel Landscape www.teufel.com
:: Tremco Roofing www.tremcoroofing.com
:: Anderson Roofing www.andersonroofing.net
:: Phillips Soil Products www.phillipssoil.com
:: HD Fowler www.hdfowler.com
:: Oregon Wire www.oregonwireproducts.com
:: Territorial Seeds www.territorialseed.com
:: Plant Health www.planthealthllc.com
:: Portland Nursery www.portlandnursery.com
:: Parr Lumber www.parr.com
 

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Food will be cared for by the Multnomah County Green Team, and donated to local food banks via the Share your Harvest program.  The roof is publically accessible at 501 SE Hawthorne, and open during regular business hours.  Plus the view of downtown is stunning.
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