Ben Johnson Presents on Nature Play at Design Museum Mornings

Last Friday GreenWorks was delighted to host Design Museum Mornings: Nature Play in the City at the Center for Architecture in Portland’s Pearl District. Drawing an enthusiastic crowd of about fifty—everyone from early childhood education professionals and community organizers, to fellow landscape architects and nature play experts—the event included a fun social session with breakfast provided by GreenWorks followed by a comprehensive lecture on Westmoreland Nature-Based Play Area by GreenWorks’ Landscape Architect, Ben Johnson.

Ben, who has gained a reputation as a nature-based play specialist, began by sharing academic research on the subject, including the benefits of risky play and exposure to nature at a young age, before moving on to the vision and design process at Westmoreland. He outlined the successful Public Engagement process lead by Elizabeth Kennedy-Wong at Portland Parks and Recreation, who brought the community together early on to support the project and also described Adam Kuby’s role as the project Artist who had an integral role throughout the visioning and construction phases.

From the structural integrity of the massive logs and boulders, which are meant to encourage balance and climbing, to the carved stones which capture the journey of rain water, every detail of the space was carefully analyzed through multiple lenses including sustainability, safety, childhood development, and design.

GreenWorks had a fantastic time working with Design Museum Portland, a pop-up museum whose mission is to “educate the world about design,” and look forward to following their work around the city.

Missed the lecture? Interested in learning more? Check out our award-winning work on Westmoreland’s Nature-Based Play Area here and here!

GreenWorks Hosts Independence Riverfront Programming Open House

GreenWorks is currently developing an advanced conceptual plan for IWP east of the existing amphitheater. The concept design will include proposed connections to Independence Landing Waterfront Park to the south and integrate with Riverview Park to the West.

As part of this effort, the GreenWorks team hosted a series of Open Houses on the topic of potential programming opportunities for Riverview Park. The events, which were hosted at Independence Public Library and St. Patrick Catholic Church, drew around 160 participants and gave the design team an opportunity to connect with community members and leaders, and to kickoff exciting conversations about the future of Riverview Park.

A Day In The Life Of A Landscape Architect

Students from University of Oregon accompanied GreenWorks staff on site visits during the shadow mentor day.On Friday, February 2nd GreenWorks hosted three students for the University of Oregon’s Landscape Architecture Department for their Shadow Mentor Day. This annual program invites students to visit firms and agencies throughout Oregon and Washington to experience what a day in the life of a professional landscape architect looks like.

The day kicked off with a tour around the GreenWorks office and an introduction to the team, followed by presentations about current work on the boards. There was an opportunity for the students to share their portfolios, ask questions, and even get messy with a mini design charrette for a current waterfront project. The University of Oregon students accompanied the GreenWorks team on site visits during their Shadow Mentor Day.students were invited to meetings, as well as accompanied GreenWorks staff on site visits to nearby Spring Park and Westmoreland.

Later, as the students wound down at a hosted happy hour, they shared stories from their experiences on the job and networked with professionals in the local industry.

Design Workshop for Gateway Green

GreenWorks recently held a Design Workshop for Gateway Green, a once forgotten 24-acre parcel located at the confluence of I-205 and I-84 in Portland, Oregon. During the workshop the advisory committee was encouraged to provide feedback on desired programming, circulation, and general layout of the park. By utilizing a mix of tactile objects such as post-its, colored string, and movable icons, participants were able to discuss the pros and cons of various layouts and engage in dynamic conversations about the project. GreenWorks gained an insurmountable amount of feedback from the experience, and is excited to use the information as guidance while navigating the project’s ultimate design.

GreenWorks is Silver Certified

GreenWorks is excited to announce it’s official recognition as Silver Certified through the City of Portland’s Sustainability at Work program. The program offers three levels of certification to recognize Portland business’s positive impact on the environment and the community. We look forward to working with the City of Portland on our journey towards Gold Certified! For more information on how to green your workplace, please visit: https://www.portlandoregon.gov/sustainabilityatwork/

 

Lake Oswego – Tigard Water Treatment Plant Grand Opening

The GreenWorks team was in attendance at the Lake Oswego – Tigard Water Treatment Plant’s Grand Opening August 31. The Lake Oswego – Tigard Water Treatment Plant was expanded to serve future demands forecasted for the Lake Oswego and Tigard service areas and is also now an emergency supplier of water to the City of West Linn. GreenWorks provided landscape design for stormwater management, address visual impacts in residential areas, and to provide amenities for neighborhood use. Amenities included a neighborhood trail linking neighbors to the north and south where no street exists, public open space for neighborhood use including an amphitheater seating area, and native woodland enhancements. GreenWorks actively met with the adjacent neighbors to hear their concerns about the project and with the broader community at workshops to describe landscape / site design elements for public comment.

GreenWorks would like to acknowledge the team:
Joel B. Komarek, PE, CWRE | Project Director | Lake Oswego-Tigard Water Partnership
Dick Talley, PE, PMP | Area Manager | MWH, now part of Stantec
Tom Lebow | Construction Manager | Brown and Caldwell
Catherine Dummer | Construction Administrator | Brown and Caldwell
Ryan J. Imel | Project Manager, General Contractor | Slayden Constructors, Inc.
Sean Curley | Landscape Contractor | SCC Earthworks

Celebrate Salem’s New Pedestrian & Bicycle Bridge

A community parade and ribbon cutting ceremony will be held to celebrate the opening of the new Peter Courtney Minto Island Bridge on Wednesday, August 2. Festivities get underway at 4pm.

This project is the culmination of years of planning and effort by the City of Salem and Salem’s Urban Renewal Agency to achieve the community’s vision of connecting three major urban parks and more than 20 miles of trails via two pedestrian bridges over the Willamette River. This goal became a reality in part after the renovation of the historic Union Street Railroad Bridge, which connects West Salem’s Wallace Marine Park with Riverfront Park downtown. However, completion of the Minto Island Bridge and adjoining multimodal trail is the last critical link.

For design and permitting, the City of Salem hired OBEC Consulting Engineers with GreenWorks. The design integrates context-appropriate, safe infrastructure for pedestrians, bicyclists, and other trail users. Special thanks to Bob Goodrich, PE of OBEC and Aaron Kimsey, PE, Senior Project Manager at the City of Salem for including us on this great project.

The Big Float 2017! And more waterfront opportunities with the Eastbank Crescent project!

The Big Float is this weekend! The event is a part of the non-profit Human Access Project, headed by our friend, Will Levenson. Find out more about the event at: http://www.thebigfloat.com/

At THE HAPpenning Big Float Pre-Party last month, Mayor Ted Wheeler, Brett Horner (Portland Parks and Recreation), Kaitlin

Lovell (Bureau of Environmental Services) Mike Lindberg (former City Councilman) and Sallie Edmunds (Bureau of Planning and Sustainability) unveiled the Eastbank Crescent Project. The Eastbank Crescent is located between the Hawthorne and Marquam bridges on the eastbank of the Willamette River. The purpose of the project is to create a recreational destination and a fish and wildlife habitat refuge.  The project is a collaborative effort between City of Portland’s Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, Bureau of Environmental Services (BES), Portland Development Commission, Portland Parks and Recreation, GreenWorks, Mayer-Reed, and Flowing Solutions. Based on existing conditions analysis, constraints and opportunities, two concepts were developed including maximizing recreation and maximizing habitat.  GreenWorks, with sub consultant, Inter-fluve Inc., was task by BES to enhance in-water nearshore habitat for ESA-listed fish, restore riparian and upland habitat for birds and wildlife, and incorporate river habitat education opportunities. An array of habitat treatments were considered including laying back the riverbank to create more habitat by vegetating with native plants, undulating the shallow water area with alcoves or backchannels to enhance fish habitat and creating viewpoints and access for education.  The concepts were presented to stakeholders and the public in spring and summer of 2016 and to City Council on June 7, 2017.

Poet’s Beach Opens Along the Willamette July 13

The City of Portland will officially open Poet’s Beach along the Willamette River next week, located in South Waterfront Park, under the Marquam Bridge. Will Levenson, head of the non-profit Human Access Project, led the effort to change people’s perceptions of the river and encourage recreation along the waterfront. GreenWorks became involved in the Human Access Project in 2012, and we’re honored to be part of making Will’s vision a reality.

Poet’s Beach will be staffed with lifeguards seven days a week through Labor Day and will feature amenities, including picnic tables and restrooms. For more information, see the Human Access Project webpage: http://www.humanaccessproject.com/swimming/willamette_river_beaches/poet_s_beach

Mike Danko of the City of Independence Retiring

GreenWorks would like to acknowledge the extraordinary pubic service of Mike Danko, Community Development Director of the City of Independence, Oregon.  After almost three decades with the City, Mike is retiring. GreenWorks feels privileged to have worked alongside Mike on numerous projects, including the Downtown Revitalization Project, Fountain project, Amphitheater, Veterans Memorial, Parks and Open Space Master Plan, Independence Landing, and  the Soccer Complex. A true visionary, Mike’s commitment to community services is an inspiration to us all. Best Wishes, Mike!

Pictured here: Mike Danko and Mayor John McArdle

 

Happy Solstice!

In the Northern Hemisphere, peak sunlight usually occurs on June 20, 21, or 22 of the year, giving us the Summer Solstice. In Portland, that means 15.5 to 16 hours of daylight. Enjoy the extra daylight with a bike ride along the Trolley Trail, which can be reached from TriMet’s SE Park Station on the Portland-Milwaukie Orange Line. GreenWorks provided landscape architectural services for the final design of the Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail. Along the trolley trail section, GreenWorks provided trail improvements including plant selections.  For more information on the Orange Line: http://catchtheorange.com/#/stations

Peter Courtney Minto Island Bridge Welcomes Honored Guests

The Minto Island Bridge, a project 40 years in the making, welcomed its first pedestrians in an inaugural walk this past Thursday. The bridge has officially been named after one of Salem’s longtime Oregon Senate Presidents and dedicated community members, Peter Courtney. The long-anticipated bridge connects three major urban parks and more than 20 miles of trails along the Willamette River. The bridge was designed by OBEC Consulting Engineers. GreenWorks had the pleasure of developing a conceptual framework that integrated existing park features, such as the “Eco Earth” art globe, with new terraced seatwalls and complemented accent plantings. The bridge will be celebrating its grand opening in August. For more information, please visit the Statesman Journal at: http://www.statesmanjournal.com/story/news/2017/04/27/peter-courtney-bridge-salem-oregon-walk-across/100951398/

Astor Elementary Project Completed

Last summer, we blogged about Astor Elementary School’s depaving project where a group of volunteers spent a Saturday removing 5,000 square feet of asphalt to make way for a new playground. The demolition was orchestrated by Depave (depave.org) whose mission is to assist communities in transforming their pavement lots into neighborhood greenspaces. We are very pleased to share that the new playground is now complete and includes a turf mound, group swings, tree groves, and a custom log and boulder climber.  These elements were carefully designed and arranged to have a high play value and promote social play with the use of manufactured equipment and natural materials.

GreenWorks Recognizes Employees Active in the Milwaukie Community

Ben Johnson and Michael Corrente, residents of the Milwaukie area, are both active members of their civic community.

Michael Corrente has just been appointed to the Design and Landmarks Committee of the City of Milwaukie. His appointment will be made official at the February 7th City Council meeting. The Design and Landmarks Committee (DLC) is a 5-member group established to advise the Planning Commission on urban design, architectural, and historic preservation activities including but not limited to design review of development proposals in downtown, education and outreach, designation of historic districts and landmarks, and historic and cultural resources inventories.

Ben Johnson has served as a board member on the City of Milwaukee’s  Parks Advisory Review Board since 2015. As a member, Ben and his fellow board members coordinate with the City and Parks District to provide for the community’s parks and recreation needs.

Thank you Mike and Ben! GreenWorks is very proud of our civic-minded team.

Canemah Bluff named “Trail of the Month”

Portland Monthly is featuring Canemah Bluff Nature Park as its Trail of the Month in the December issue:

http://www.pdxmonthly.com/articles/2016/11/14/trail-of-the-month-high-and-dry-winter-walks-at-canemah-bluff

Canemah Bluff is a 300-acre natural area owned and maintained by Metro within Oregon City. GreenWorks worked with Metro to develop public access to the sensitive oak savannah and woodland and which includes, improving hiking & walking trails, a new boardwalk and a foot-bridge, and scenic overlook. Many thanks to our friends at Metro, Rodney Wojtanik and Alex Perove, for including us in their wonderful project.

October Rain

albany_stormwater1
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.

Canemah Bluff Trails and Overlook

canemah_bluff_reducedcanemah_bluff_nature_parkcanemah_bluff_stone_carvingAs the beautiful autumn weather draws you outdoors, head south for an autumnal amble through Canemah Bluff Nature Park. Canemah Bluff is a 300-acre natural area owned and maintained by Metro within Oregon City. More active park amenities include the playground, basketball court, and picnic tables at Canemah Neighborhood Children’s Park. Continue along the mile-long unpaved trails into the natural area for a chance to glimpse sparrows, red-breasted sapsuckers, white-breasted nuthatches, orange-crowned warblers, hawks and eagles.

GreenWorks recently completed the Canemah Bluff Trails and Overlook project, working closely with Metro to develop public access to the sensitive oak savannah and woodland. The project included improving hiking trails, a new boardwalk, new foot-bridge, and a scenic overlook.

A highly active and passionate neighborhood group provided the project team with valuable input. The project design reflects Metro’s and the neighborhood’s goals for minimal impact, yet provides a safe place for users to enjoy the natural area.

For more information, visit:

http://www.oregonmetro.gov/parks/canemah-bluff-nature-park