Making Improvements to Show We Care

GreenWorks is currently reviewing our sustainable office practices and looking for ways to improve. GreenWorks has been promoting sustainable design and sustainable office practices for decades, but we like to think that sustainability is not a destination, but a journey! There’s always room for improvement. This week, we received new recycling boxes from the City of Portland’s Sustainability at Work program. Each box comes printed with a list of what can and cannot be recycled in it. This will help maximize recycling in our office. We’re definitely starting the year off right. Even our Valentine’s Day decorations, made from repurposed paper, show our efforts to keep sustainability as a core value of the firm.

Planning and Design Currently Underway for Gateway Green Open Space

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Gateway Green is a 35-acre parcel of mostly vacant land and located at the intersection of two interstate highways in Portland, Oregon and adjacent to the Gateway Urban Renewal area. The land is owned by the City of Portland Bureau of Parks and Recreation. Planning and design is currently underway for Phase One development of the property. The project began as an effort of local land owners and open space advocates in an effort to catalyze economic growth in outer east Portland.  On a pro-bono basis, designers collaborated with local stakeholders to create a program and vision for Gateway Green. Through conversations and input from technical experts and the community a vision for the site was developed that identified the following project goals:

  • Improving environmental conditions, especially water and air quality, and wildlife habitat.
  • Providing a regional recreational destination, especially for bicycle and pedestrian opportunities.
  • Providing open space and a possible branding opportunity for adjacent Gateway Regional Center and surrounding neighborhoods.
  • Highlighting Portland’s evolving sustainable marketplace and expressing our region’s use of sustainable design solutions.

As part of the six-month project the design team conducted a one-day community charrette to develop the design of the initial concept plan. After development of the preliminary vision the team conducted technical review meetings to ensure the technical viability of concept options, approaches, details, and strategies. A final presentation of the revised vision plan was then presented to the community. The Gateway Green vision plan demonstrates a commitment to sustainability, puts the property to better use for the good of the community, and sets an example for reclamation and reuse of surplus or underused properties around the country.

 

Mike Faha Wins National Award for Sustainability

APWA2016_smMike Faha has been awarded the American Public Works Association (APWA) 2016 Sustainability Practices Award for an Individual. The award recognizes individuals that have made outstanding contributions to promote sustainability in public works. Mike will accept the award at the APWA National conference in Minneapolis.

This isn’t the first time Mike has been celebrated for his contributions as an individual to sustainable infrastructure. In 2015, he received the APWA Oregon Chapter’s Sustainability Practices Award for an individual. With over 30 years of projects and a career dedicated to creating livable, sustainable communities that balance economic, ecological, and social needs, these awards are particularly meaningful to Mike.

Pictured here, Bob Patterson, Public Works Director from the City of Pendleton with Mike Faha at the APWA Awards in Minneapolis August 29, 2016. Bob was named one of the top ten public works directors in the U.S.

Westmoreland and Crystal Springs Creek Receive APA Award for Sustainability

GreenWorks recently received a 2015 National APA Award for Excellence in Sustainability in the category of Sustainable Parks, Open Space and Recreation for their work at Westmoreland Nature Play area. GreenWorks worked with Portland Parks and Recreation to replace an aging playground with an innovative nature play area at the same time that Portland Bureau of Environmental Services led a stream enhancement /fish habitat improvement project on Crystal Springs Creek, which is adjacent to and an inspiration for the nature play area. The Award recognized both projects for creating a new place that connects watershed health, human health and livability.