Gill Williams at The University of Oregon, Portland School of Architecture

Gill went back to school this spring term, co-teaching a design studio at the University of Oregon’s School of Architecture. Co-led by Tim Smith, Principal at SERA Architects, the studio entitled Portland Green Loop: A Placemaking Armature for the 21st Century City explored how the public infrastructure of cities “can be a catalyst for the (re)generation of whole and beautiful city districts and neighborhoods, and why the public realm needs to be multi-functional from an economic, environmental, and social standpoint.” (excerpt from the syllabus) The 6-mile long Green Loop is a linear greenway envisioned for Portland’s central city area. Spanning the Willamette River and touching a variety of close-in districts and neighborhoods this pedestrian-centric facility is envisioned as a park, transportation corridor, urban placemaking catalyst, habitat and social experiment. 25 first year masters students spent 10 weeks exploring the possibilities of “The Green Loop” and the re-imagining of the neighborhoods along the alignment. Guest speakers during the studio included representatives from the City of Portland, the local development community and architecture, planning and landscape architecture practitioners. The studio culminated in two days of presentations by the students to a variety of local professionals.

Minto Island Bicycle & Pedestrian Bridge Concept Design

Renderings by GreenWorks, P.C.

The City of Salem and Salem’s Urban Renewal Agency are moving forward with plans to connect three major urban parks and more than 20 miles of trails along the Willamette River.  The Minto Island Bicycle & Pedestrian Bridge is a tied-arch design spanning 600-feet over the Willamette Slough, connecting the existing path in Riverfront Park to the 900-acre Minto Brown Island Park.

GreenWorks developed a conceptual framework that integrates the bridge terminus in Riverfront Park with the existing circulation, the 30’ diameter “Eco Earth” art globe, as well as the existing park infrastructure.  New terraced seatwalls provide additional park seating overlooking the Slough, and are complemented with accent plantings that help anchor the bridge terminus.

Construction could begin as early as Summer 2014. Click here for a link to the City of Salem website, which provides additional information about this exciting project.

Renderings by GreenWorks, P.C.

Future Recreational Attraction on the Deschutes River in Downtown Bend, OR

Birdseye View – Looking South at Proposed Improvements

Recently, the Bend Park & Recreation District has been working on a plan to alter the spillway on the Deschutes River at the Colorado Dam in downtown Bend to enable kayakers and inner-tubers to ride downstream without having to maneuver around the dam. The Colorado Avenue Dam creates an impoundment that was once used to support lumber mill operations and also maintains surface water levels upstream in the Mill District area. The dam is located in an area of the river that is heavily used during the summer months by people on inflatable rafts and inner-tubes. The current configuration blocks downstream passage and requires all river users to exit the river and put-in downstream. The dam creates a pinning hazard exposing a high number of users to the potential of being swept into the dam.

GreenWorks, as part of a team including OTAK, Pacific Habitat Resources, and, provided a design for safe passage over the existing Colorado Dam for many types of river users including inflatable crafts, and hardshell boats like kayaks and canoes. The design includes whitewater play features, a higher pedestrian bridge and increased habitat diversity along the river. By incorporating a fish passage and on-bank habitat restoration, improvements to McKay Park, and removal of the existing pedestrian bridge, the design will achieve improved safety for river users and environmental conditions of the river.

Perspective Vignette – Looking Upstream from the bank of McKay Park

Preferred Alternative Site Plan

e_Draft_2012_02_13 2

Highway 213 Bridge Completed

Following a successful rapid bridge construction that required a multiday road closure, ODOT officials announced the reopening of Highway Oregon 213 in Oregon City at the I-205 interchange on Monday night, ahead of schedule.  The “Jughandle Project” will relieve traffic backups and improve safety at the busiest signalized intersection in the state by eliminating left turns, adding a new alignment for Washington Street, and replacing a 130 foot-long section of the 6-lane bridge.

Click here to view a brief time lapse video of the rapid bridge construction – amazing stuff!

GreenWorks developed a planting and irrigation design as part of the project, including a rehabilitated gateway landscape into Oregon City, new green streets designed to accept and treat stormwater, and a 7+ acre mitigation site planted with thousands of native trees and shrubs. Click here to view the plans and drawings.

Oregon City’s Jughandle Project Breaks Ground

Oregon City’s Jughandle Project broke ground last week kicking off construction for a project that aims to improve safety and reduce traffic congestion on Highway 213 at the I-205 interchange.  GreenWorks joined the City of Oregon City, ODOT, the Federal Highway Administration, METRO, Clackamas County, OBEC Consulting Engineers, and MOWAT Construction for the celebration last week in Oregon City.   GreenWorks developed planting and irrigation plans for this gateway into Oregon City. More information can be found here:

Congrats to our teammates and the organizations involved that make this project a success, one that improves Highway 213 while building the area’s infrastructure and facilitating future economic growth. “

Join us for the groundbreaking of the Merlo Bus Fuel & Wash Facility and LIFT Building

The Merlo Bus Facility is TriMet’s primary facilities operation for the western service region.  This project constructed a new 19,000 sq. ft. operations facility within a fully built out site which needed to maintain its daily operation during construction.  GreenWorks provided design services for the site including new stormwater facilities, landscaping, and irrigation.  Design efforts included consideration and coordination with the existing CWS stormwater swales and THPRD’s Nature Park adjacent to the project site. Site design included street frontage improvements for accessibility and street trees.

Please join U.S. Congressman David Wu, Washington County Commission Chair Tom Brian, Beaverton Mayor Denny Doyle and TriMet General Manager Fred Hansen for the groundbreaking of two new facilities at our Merlo Bus Facility: a new bus fuel and wash facility, and a new building for our Westside LIFT service.

The $13.5 million project is made possible by federal stimulus funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

The Merlo Bus Facility is where TriMet’s Westside bus lines are fueled and washed each day and has been in failing condition for many years. This project will construct a new 19,000 sq. ft. facility. The Westside LIFT facility supports TriMet’s door-to-door ADA service. The current LIFT building is leased, and the building owner’s desire is to use this building. TriMet will construct a new 4,700 sq. ft. building for its Westside administration functions. Construction of both buildings will take approximately one year to complete.

Wednesday, February 17, 9 a.m.

Merlo Bus Facility

16130 SW Merlo Rd.

Beaverton, OR 97006

Creation of ‘Eco-Districts’ to Give Portland a Boost

A recent special supplement in the Daily Journal of Commerce featured Energy and how an upcoming pilot program will add eco-districts to five area in Portland, creating a model for sustainability and growth.  GreenWorks’ Principal Mike Faha was a panelist at the Portland Architecture + Design Festival weighing in on the concept of eco-districts and their community impact, see the full article below:

Creation of ‘eco-districts to give Portland a boost


By Melody Finnemore

For the DJC

Urban proverb: New York is a city with a park in the center. Portland is a park with a city in the center.

In the 1980s, when Mike Houck began leading Portland’s effort to incorporate parks, trails, greenspaces and natural resources as a centerpiece of urban planning, city leaders told him there was no room for nature within a bustling metropolitan area.

How times have changed. Portland Mayor Sam Adams has created a technical advisory committee and a “sub cabinet” to explore how the city can implement neighborhood-scale green redevelopment that has minimal environmental impact while fostering vibrant communities with access to an array of manmade and natural amenities.

In other words, continue Portland’s momentum as a city that grows around a thriving system of parks, trails, greenspaces and natural resources.

The redevelopment concept of eco-districts and the ways in which it furthers energy efficiency, greenhouse gas reductions and other sustainability practices was the topic of a recent panel discussion during the portland Architecture + Design Festival. The month-long festival, held in October, was sponsored by the American Institute of Architects Oregon chapter.

Panel participants included Houck, executive director of Portland’s Urban Greenspaces Institute; Rob Bennett, executive director of the Portiand+Oregon Sustainability Institute (P+OSl); Carrie Schilling, principal at Works Partnership Architecture; Johanna Brickman, associate partner at Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Architects; and Mika Faha, principal at GreenWorks, a landscape architecture and environmental design firm.

Bennett has worked closely with Adams through a public-private partnership formed to promote the redevelopment concept. Along with P+OSI and the city, the partnership includes the Portland Development Commission, Metro, Oregon Built Environment & Sustainable Technologies Center (BEST), and the local real estate, design, and construction industries.

The mayor’s work groups are charged with exploring regulatory reform analysis and recommendations for zoning, building codes, fees and incentives this month. By next month, those regulatory changes will be introduced for adoption to the City Council. And, over the next three years, pilot projects will transform five highly visible areas into model eco-districts.

The five pilot districts are Portland State University, South Waterfront, Lloyd District, Gateway and Lents. The focus was on districts that already had been developed rather than “shiny new examples,” Bennett said, adding eco-districts are just as feasible for industrial areas as they are for mixed-use neighborhoods.

The high-performing, green districts are designed to bring together residents, businesses, utilities and other groups to create and manage their own energy and wastewater systems, saving money and creating better places to live and work.

Eco-district redevelopment goals are to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution, ensure that water is safe and clean, preserve and restore land, build healthy communities and ecosystems, and create green jobs.

District-scale, energy-efficiency measures, and renewable and low­carbon energy production are key components of the eco-districts concept. Neighborhood energy savings are achieved through passive building design, equipment efficiency and renewable district energy generation.

However, success in this area depends on, among other things, the creation of new financing tools such as energy-efficiency utility districts to fund building retrofits. Oregon’s environmental quality, energy and economic development departments have been called upon to provide technical assistance, tax-credit financing, loans and other support.

Along with reduced energy consumption and gains in renewable energy production, eco­districts feature multimodal transportation that prioritizes transit, cycling and walking as well as the preservation of affordable family housing that promotes livable and resilient neighborhoods. Eco-districts also provide a new perspective on storm water and potable water management, Schilling said.

“Current city regulations say to deal with storm water only on your own site, but eco-districts provide an opportunity to create a deliberate collective plan and connect to a larger infrastructure,” she said.

Eco-districts also help promote ~ the concept of storm water as a resource to be used rather than something to be disposed of, Bennett added. Green infrastructure is at the heart of the eco-district strategy, and site design integrates biologists, ecologists, landscape architects, architects and engineers, he said.

Faha noted that eco-districts create the chance to achieve greater connectivity among city parks outside the downtown core as well as connecting open spaces with schools, daycare facilities and recreation centers. Such integrated resource planning not only benefits communities, but also would help the city, county and state save money through cost sharing, he said.

Portland’s Green Streets Network and Street Design

GreenWorks’ Principal Mike Faha collaborated with the Portland Bureau of Environmental Services’ Dave Elkin to lead a Green Street tour last week for the Congress for the New Urbanism.  The tour highlighted GreenWorks green street projects’ design, implementation, and policies and codes that govern them.  For more information visit

“Tour 1: Portland’s Green Streets Network and Street Design”

The Congress for the New Urbanism’s “Project for Transportation” has long promoted humane, multi-modal, narrower streets and complete networks through its collaborations with the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and International Code Council. Attempts to establish a national initiative in support of green streets, or streets that reduce environmental impacts, has been disappointingly slow for advocacy groups aiming to push the initiative into the mainstream. Multi-benefit streets have been most successfully implemented at the local level by a handful of cities. Portland is one of these, and since beginning design and construction of green streets in 2003, Portland now has roughly 700 public and private green streets–streets that reduce stormwater run-off and improve water quality. Over the next 10 years, the City is planning to install 500 more green streets. The numerous green streets in Portland are part of a 20-year plan to reduce overflow into the Willamette River and Columbia Slough. Portland’s green streets are designed for all contexts, from neighborhood residential areas to central business districts. Learn about green streets’ design and implementation challenges from one of Portland’s leading landscape architects. Learn about the policies and codes that govern them from representatives of the city’s environmental and transportation agencies.
The tour will be led by Mike Faha, ASLA, LEED AP, Principal, GreenWorks PC; David Elkin, Portland Bureau of Environmental Services, and Portland Bureau of Transportation.”

Click on the gallery below to learn more about the tour and the projects featured:

Portland Eco-districts: A Natural Future


Courtesy of

Mike Faha, GreenWorks Principal, recently participated in an AIA panel discussing Portland Eco-districts as part of the Portland Architecture and Design Festival.

“Portland Eco-districts: A Natural Future” explored Portland’s newly created Eco-districts, how they work, and what work is being done throughout the Portland region.  The discussion also explored the extent we can go to create an idealistic future plan for Portland.  The panel included Architects, Landscape Architects, and Urban Designers.

For more information about the Portland Architecture and Design Festival visit

Road Ends for Old Bridge; Deconstruction of the 47-year-old Span on I-5 Starts Next Week

GreenWorks will soon begin design services as part of the I-5 WRB Design Enhancements, a reconstruction of  the I-5 replacement bridge over the Willamette River:

“GreenWorks of Portland, partnering with artists Lee Imonen, Adam Kuby and Suzanne Lee, will design a south bank interpretive area, which includes the old Eugene Millrace, river channel restoration and the south bank bicycle and pedestrian path, underpass and viaduct.”

See the full article from the Register-Guard below:


The Register-Guard

A river runs underneath them. That much we know. That, of course, is why the bridges are there.

But it’s finally time for the old one to come down starting next week, after almost four months of removal preparation. Meanwhile, traffic will continue to zip along Interstate 5, and over the Willamette River, on the temporary bridge constructed in 2004. And even though the I-5 replacement bridge over the river isn’t scheduled for completion until December 2012, traffic should be diverted from the five-year-old temporary bridge to the southbound portion of the new bridge within 18 months.

But how in the world do you dismantle the old bridge, built in 1962, without blasting it with dynamite?

“Chewing action,” said Dick Upton, the bridge’s project manager for the state Department of Transportation.

Crews will begin using excavators with jackhammer-type devices attached to gnaw away at the old concrete as early as Monday, Department of Transportation spokesman Rick Little said.

Hamilton Construction of Springfield has spent the past four months building a work bridge and containment structure — to catch falling pieces of concrete during demolition — across the river, underneath the old bridge. Hamilton is putting the finishing touches on it this week, Little said Wednesday during a tour of the work site.

The work bridge is getting its final layer of plywood and will be topped with sand. “Nice and soft to land on,” Upton said of the sand that will break the fall of crumbling concrete, and protect the work bridge.

Multistep process

Demolition of the old bridge — taken out of use in 2004 because of structural deficiencies — should be complete by mid-January, and the concrete will be hauled out and recycled, Upton said.

“Virtually everything that’s in the old bridge will get reused somehow,” he said.

As soon as the old bridge is down, construction of the southbound portion of the new replacement bridge will begin, with completion scheduled for spring 2011. At that point, all traffic in both directions will be diverted from the temporary bridge to the new southbound structure, Little said.

The new bridge will actually be two bridges — a southbound one and a northbound one, each as wide as the entire old bridge at 64 feet.

Each of the two new bridges is designed to eventually accommodate three lanes of traffic. The new southbound bridge can easily temporarily accommodate two lanes in each direction, ODOT says.

The process will then be repeated to build the northbound structure of the replacement bridge, with the containment structure being taken out and rebuilt under the temporary bridge before it is dismantled, Little said.

The replacement bridge, which will have twin arches anchored on either shore that rise up to the bottom of the span to meet in midriver, is being built as part of the $1.6 billion Oregon Transportation Investment Act, funded by bonds approved by the 2003 Legislature.

Creative minds at work

The money is being used to replace and repair bridges on critical transportation routes throughout the state. The $187 million project ($147 million for construction and $40 million for design) has been billed as “more than a bridge,” a collaboration of local and state officials and volunteer residents that want something more than just a span of concrete, Upton said.

“It’s really about local engagement and interest we’re getting in this project,” Upton said.

A community advisory group has put in “hours and hours” of work. That group, along with the state Department of Transportation’s design-enhancement panel, recently selected three teams of artists, architects, landscape architects and other design professionals to work with ODOT on design enhancements.

Lando and Associates of Portland and Seattle artist Buster Simpson will design enhancements for above-deck and roadway features on the new bridge. These include landscaping, screening, sound walls and other elements such as potential sign bridges and median sculptures.

GreenWorks of Portland, partnering with artists Lee Imonen, Adam Kuby and Suzanne Lee, will design a south bank interpretive area, which includes the old Eugene Millrace, river channel restoration and the south bank bicycle and pedestrian path, underpass and viaduct.

Litus LLC, a Eugene land management consulting company, will collaborate with Eugene artist Betsy Wolfston, local educators and conversation experts to develop design elements on the north side of the river that reflect the bridges’ “Whilamut Passage” theme and the 200-acre Whilamut Natural Area on either side of the bridge area.

All three teams will develop conceptual plans this winter and unveil them during Eugene’s First Friday ArtWalk on Feb. 5, according to ODOT.

i-5 bridge replacement facts

On-ramp closure: The Franklin Boulevard on-ramp to southbound I-5 will be closed near the end of November for about two months. Motorists will be detoured to I-5 via Franklin and Glenwood boulevards. Franklin Boulevard between Glenwood Boulevard and just east of the I-5 on-ramp may be closed for a few weekends in February.

Boaters: Use the marked channel on the north side of the river to go under the bridge. Never use the south side.

More info:

Work begins on improvements to several Eastside MAX stations

October 22, 2009

Projects funded with federal stimulus dollars

TriMet is beginning work this week on the first of several stimulus-funded projects aimed at improving rider and pedestrian safety, security and convenience at Eastside MAX stations.

Repainting the E 162nd MAX Station
Crews power wash chipping paint in advance of painting the shelter roof at TriMet’s E 162nd Ave MAX station. Credit: Thomas Le Ngo

TriMet is using federal stimulus funds to repaint six MAX stations, starting at the E 162nd Ave station in Gresham.

Some Eastside MAX stations have had limited refurbishments over the years and are in need of painting. Federal stimulus funds allow TriMet to paint six stations over the next six weeks, weather permitting. After 162nd Ave station, painting will occur at the E 102nd Ave, E 122nd Ave, E 181st Ave, Ruby Junction/E 197th Ave and Gresham Central stations.

Upcoming projects

TriMet is also upgrading various street and rail crossings at 11 light rail stations along Eastside MAX beginning in November. The work includes installing bollards, chains and railings to channel pedestrians to help them be more aware of train movement. Crews will also install signs or pavement markings such as “Look Both Ways,” “Stop Here,” and “Danger No Trespassing.”

Several other stimulus projects on the eastside are in the works in the coming months:

Bike improvements

  • Replacing and adding bike lockers at six stations, increasing bike locker parking from 36 bikes to 72 bikes
  • Refurbishing and reopening secured bike cage at Gresham Central, holding 30 bikes
  • Work scheduled to start in November

Access control and illumination

  • Installation of fencing, lighting and signage to improve safety, security and fare compliance at Gresham Central MAX station
  • Scheduled to start in December

Tactile paver replacement

  • Replacement of damaged and worn tactile pavers that alert riders of trackway at five stations

Job retention

The contractor for station painting is Aadland Evans Contractors, Inc. Subcontractors include A2 Fabrications, Suell Painting and COAT Flagging, all of which are part of TriMet’s Disadvantaged Business Enterprise program.

Federal stimulus funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) have retained three jobs and prevented nine layoffs among the contractor and three subcontractors working on this project.

About TriMet stimulus funds

TriMet was awarded $53.3 million in federal stimulus funds to be used to fix failing infrastructure, make the transit system more robust and put Oregonians to work. TriMet’s 31 stimulus projects are projected to fund about 740 direct jobs and 1,100 indirect jobs.

For more information visit TriMet:

GreenWorks = Green Streets

Green Street_emailer_august2009 v2

From our recent emailer:  “Green streets provide many benefits such as creating a more pedestrian friendly street, addressing stormwater in a more environmental and economical way, and improving water quality.

GreenWorks has designed over 30 green street projects in Oregon, Washington and California.

Beavercreek Green Street recently received an American Public Works Association 2009 National Project of the Year Award.”

Green Streets in American Nurseryman

The article ‘Green Streets for Green Cities’, was recently published in the August 2009 issue of American Nurseryman magazine.  The article outlines GreenWorks’ work with the City of Portland – taken up the challenge of converting gray pavement to green oases, protecting the region’s ecosystem through more efficient — and more aesthetic — management of stormwater.


An excerpt from the article.  Check out the AN website for online version of the article (by subscription):

“Using soil and vegetation, Green Streets mimic natural conditions to manage runoff on the surface, at the source. The plants absorb water, and their roots help water soak into the ground. Plant roots and soil bacteria help break down stormwater pollutants. Roots, insects and worms increase the space between soil particles and increase stormwater storage. Green Streets can be attractive neighborhood amenities, and a variety of plants can provide a range of looks.”


Green Streets on ASLA Website

A recent article authored by Jason King and Shawn Kummer appeared in the ASLA Urban Design Professional Practice Network – discussing some recent work on green street projects and their role in shaping urban form.


windscape stormwater gateway

“Green streets, like many other green infrastructure strategies, offer the same or better functional contributions as gray streets, as well as a range of added benefits. For example, green storm water design contributes to communities well beyond treating 90% of roadway pollutants, replenishing groundwater, sequestering carbon, and improving air quality. More expansive community benefits include improved neighborhood aesthetics, green connections, pedestrian and bicycle safety, traffic calming, and building community consensus around what is a good infrastructure investment. This transfer of investment from single-purpose gray infrastructure such as cartridge storm filters to multi-purpose green infrastructure investment allows for greater benefit to communities—both financially and environmentally—making every dollar invested pay back abundantly. The economics are simple:  green storm water infrastructure provides more green in our communities, costs less, works better, is easily scalable, and is more resilient and adaptable than standard pipe systems. While the techniques to improve the control and treatment of storm water runoff are still evolving, green stormwater designs, like many other green infrastructure techniques, are proving to be flexible, offering solutions at a variety of scales rather than just at the end of the pipe. “

Read the entire article here.

Kenton Streetscape in Portland Monthly


 Some recent press regarding the Denver Avenue Green Main Street project, in the Kenton Neighborhood of North Portland.  This is excerpted from the Portland Monthly article “Upgrade Avenue: Kenton gets a million-dollar makeover”…  by Rachel Ritchie – Published July 2009



“IF EVER A PATCH OF PAVEMENT could capture the multiple personalities of Portland’s past, present, and future, it would be the intersection of N Denver and N Interstate Avenues in the historic Kenton neighborhood. Here, a giant statue of Paul Bunyan stares down at the ramshackle all-nude roadhouse Dancin’ Bare while the Euro-futuristic cars of the MAX light-rail glide by. Kenton was home to Portland’s stockyards and the meatpacking titan Swift & Company in the early 1900s; legend has it that so many cattle were slaughtered in the neighborhood, the Columbia Slough ran red. Over the years, Kenton held fast to its gritty pioneer character (Exhibit A: The Bunyan statue), but minus pedestrian-friendly amenities like benches and crosswalks, its business district—the car-clogged N Denver Avenue—foundered, becoming perennially studded with vacant properties. But now the Portland Development Commission (PDC) is offering up a bundle of new business loans, plus $2.85 million for the Denver Streetscape Project, a six-month-long renovation set to begin in August. Here’s a preview of Kenton’s next incarnation.

Green Street Not only will N Denver Avenue’s sidewalks be widened from ten to fifteen feet and its three car lanes cut down to two, but by year’s end, the thoroughfare will be one of Portland’s first fully retrofitted green main streets. The pavement will be replaced with concrete, which retains less heat than asphalt, thus reducing cooling needs for adjacent businesses. Stormwater planters on every block will capture and sift runoff from the roads and sidewalks while adding a hint of street-level lushness.

New Business To encourage N Denver Avenue’s rebirth as an urban boutique district à la N Mississippi Avenue and NE Alberta Street, the PDC is subsidizing small-business loans. One early taker: Kenton resident Jessie Burke, who, in May, opened Posie’s Café (, a charming coffee shop committed to supporting fellow local businesses. (She sells coffee from Ristretto Roasters, pastries from Florio on N Willamette Avenue, and wraps from White Girls Can Wrap.)

Paul Bunyan The mythological concrete-troweled lumberjack, who earned a spot on the National Register of Historic Places this year, was built in 1959 for Oregon’s Centennial celebration and has since remained the icon of Kenton. He’ll stay put, but the plaza he stands in will soon be dressed up with trees, greenery, and seating.

Kenton Library Hennebery Eddy Architects has designed a new six-thousand-square-foot Multnomah County library branch, slated for completion in 2010, that will provide Kenton bibliophiles with a home. The neighborhood has lacked a library since its founding in 1909.

Mauricio Saldaña Sculpture Portland artist Mauricio Saldaña, a third-generation stone carver, will create a granite sculpture to stand at the corner of N Denver Avenue and Kilpatrick Street, as well as seven concrete-and-granite benches that will be planted along the corners of the street.”

Denver Avenue Streetscape Approved

Latest News on the Denver Avenue Streetscape Project in Portland’s Kenton Neighborhood.  Project team includes GreenWorks and SERA Architects.  Text from the Oregon Daily Journal of Commerce (DJC), April 27, 2009 by Tyler Graf…

image courtesy SERA + GreenWorks

Spruced-up streets planned for Kenton Neighborhood

The city says 42 construction jobs will be created as part of the Denver Streetscape Project inside the Kenton Neighborhood. Thanks to an ordinance passed last week at City Council, the $2 million project will move forward this summer. The project will feature the installation of trees, sidewalk improvements, curb extensions, storm water planters, art, ornamental streetlights and pedestrian crossings and will cover North Denver Avenue from North Interstate Avenue to North Watts.

According to the Portland Developent Commission, design and engineering will be completed this spring. The project will be put out to bid shortly with the bid opening anticipated for May. Contracts will be awarded in June, with construction expected to finish by the end of the year.

Plants at Work: Greywater Wetlands

The last issue of Plants at Work, a supplement created by the regional group Sprout, and periodically attached to the Sustainable Industries Journal, provided some information on the up-and-coming issue related to greywater wetlands – in particular the potential use of these facilities to treat and make available, water for reuse in buildings.  The potential for greywater reuse to expand the ability to provide water conservation to sustainable landscapes is vital for our local climate, which is marked by long periods of drought in summer months.  Greywater, with minimal treatment, can be repurposed for use in irrigation of green roofs or other landscaping, as well as provide a beautiful site amenity.  The article ‘Building Wetlands: Legalizing greywater reuse opens new markets for wetland plants’, is written by Libby Tucker, who is also a frequent contributor to the DJC.


The article featured a number of GreenWorks projects.  There are no small scale examples of building wetlands for greywater at this time, but simple modifications can be made to other forms of constructed wetlands to provide this additional benefit.  Once the laws are changed, this will open up new potential for sustainable sites and water management – expanding the realm of design from sustainable to regenerative.   Projects include the Synopsis Headquarters in Hillsboro, 4800 Meadows in Lake Oswego, Rock Creek Greenway Wetlands, NRS Headquarters in Salem, and Tanner Springs Park in Portland. 

Downloads of the magazine are available here.  (definitely check out the article on Floating Wetlands as well… good stuff).


Also, be sure to check out the presentation at Sprout’s upcoming conference ‘Soak it Up: Phytotechnology Solutions for Water Challenges’.   GreenWorks Senior Associate Jason King, ASLA LEED AP, will present at the first day of the conference on the theme: “Connecting Landscape Function to Ecological Function Through Design.” which will feature a range of GreenWorks and other related project work pushing the boundaries of  innovative stormwater management… truly putting plants to work every day.

Beavercreek Sustainability

Construction was completed last fall on the Beavercreek Road Green Street project, which was also recipient of an honorable mention for Project of the Year from the Oregon APWA.   The Beavercreek Road Improvements Project was a $4.2 million project undertaken by the City of Oregon City to upgrade 2500 feet of a heavily traveled regional arterial. Beavercreek Road is the primary link between Highway 213 and the City’s main north-south arterial, Molalla Avenue. The project, a major component in the City’s Transportation System Plan, expanded the existing three-lane roadway to five lanes with bike lanes and sidewalks on each side. It also incorporated green street design elements for stormwater collection, reduction, and treatment. The project’s design and construction engineering was completed by Wallis Engineering, along with GreenWorks for landscape architecture with construction completed by Dirt and Aggregate Interchange, Inc. and landscape construction from Fox Erosion Control.

Check out the project in more detail in this video: