Archive for the ‘sustainability’ Category

Information on Illegal Dumping from Metro

March 18, 2014

Our friends at SE Uplift recently forwarded us a message from Metro regarding the dumping of furniture, large appliances, and other items on our neighborhood curbs. Timely stuff, considering the upcoming Kerns/Buckman Neighborhood Cleanup event taking place on Saturday, April 19th from 9am-12:00pm in the parking lot of Hinson Baptist Church at SE 20th Avenue & Salmon! Read on for details on Metro policies regarding this practice…


Block Party! Pollinator Habitat! Plant Swap!

September 20, 2013

Pollinator signThis Saturday (9/21) starting at 10am, there will be a block party SE 16th Ave. and SE Ash St.  The traffic circle planting work party will start at 10am.  Bring your kiddos and turn them loose on their bicycles!

We will be having a ‘Plant-swap’ throughout the day – Fall is the perfect time to divide those spring blooming perennials. Bring your extra divisions to the swap and go home with new perennials for free!  Please no Kudzu.  😉

As you may know pollinator populations are declining due to herbicide and pesticide use and habitat loss.  They are hard pressed to find habitat in the city and this space will add to the ‘quilt-work’ of attractive habitat for pollinators of all types. This is the first phase of establishing a wildflower meadow type habitat in that traffic circle, which means we will be eliminating competition from fast growing weeds and other plants.  Wildflowers are slow to establish, particularly in the first year, and just can’t compete with noxious weeds and invasive species. Once established they will thrive on their own.

The following Saturday, Sept 28th, we will move the block party to 14th and Pine’s traffic circle.  Construction permitting, we hope to have a block party at 15th and Oak in October.

If you are interested in this project please contact Jim Forristal at for more info.

Some of the plants we are looking for specifically include these:

Common name Botanical name
NATIVE Wildflowers:
California Poppy Eschsholzia californica
Oregon Sunshine, Common woolly sunflower Eriophyllum lanatum
Slender Cinquefoil Potentilla gracilis
Western Yarrow, Common Yarrow, Milfoil Achillea millefolium
Bigleaf Lupine Lupinus polyphyllus
Venus Penstemon Penstemon venustus
Blanketflower, Great blanketflower Gaillardia aristata
Wild bergamot, Beebalm Monarda fistulosa
Common selfheal Prunella vulgaris
Western Buttercup Ranunculus occidentalis
Blue Mountain Prarie Clover Dalea ornata
Showy Milkweed Asclepias speciosa
California Oatgrass Danthonia californica
NON-NATIVE flowering plants
Baby Blue Eyes Nemophila menziesii
Lacy Phacelia Phacelia tanacetifolia
Spanish lavender Lavandula stoechas
Starflower Borage
Purple cone flower Echinacea
Hummingbird Mint, Giant Hyssop Agastache
Davidson’s Penstemon Penstemon davidsonii
Stonecrop Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’
Arrowleaf balsamroot Balsamorhiza sagittata

SE Uplift Sustainability Workshop – Space available!

February 13, 2013

SE Uplift is holding their second Quarterly Sustainability Workshop this coming Saturday, February 16th. The event will focus on working with the city to create neighborhood green spaces. There is still space available, and they would love to invite more Buckman residents to the workshop. Read on for details!

Greenspace & Working with the City Workshop
Saturday, February 16th, 2013 // 10am -12:30pm
3534 SE Main St
Portland, OR 97214

Could your neighborhood use more greenery? What if that gravel parking lot was a pocket park or that troublesome alleyway an orchard?

If you are at all interested in creating new community green space or improving existing spaces in your neighborhood – we have the workshop for you!

Please join Southeast Uplift for our second Quarterly Sustainability Workshop, highlighting green spaces and working with the city, including pocket parks, urban orchards and alley gardens on Saturday, February 16th, 2013.

With project presentations, networking opportunities and useful tips, this free workshop will provide participants with the inspiration and practical tools they need to create alternative green spaces in their own neighborhoods!

For more information and to register, please visit:

*Space is limited, so register soon!


Build It Green! Home Tour – Saturday, September 22nd

August 15, 2012

The Build It Green! Home Tour and Information Fair is coming up on Saturday, September 22nd. Word is it’ll feature a home in the Buckman neighborhood!

The 11th annual Build It Green! Home Tour and Information Fair is a self-guided tour of green remodels and new homes around the Portland metropolitan area. Tour-goers pick up great ideas for their own projects by visiting with homeowners, designers, do-it-yourselfers and contractors about accessory dwelling units, solar panels, ecoroofs (green roofs), rainwater harvesting, natural landscaping, affordable housing, water and energy conservation, natural building materials, alternative construction techniques and much more.

Volunteers are also needed for the tour; free admission!


Pedalpalooza Bike Tour!

June 28, 2012

A group of neighbors is organizing a bike tour of inner-Southeast Village Building Convergence sites this weekend. Read on for details.


I’m writing to invite you to the Pedalpalooza bike tour of inner-Southeast Village Building Convergence sites this coming Saturday, June 30th. This will be a potluck-style three-course meal bike-ride, so feel free to bring something easily transportable to share! We also encourage you to bring your own eating utensils.

We will meet at St. David of Wales Church (2800 SE Harrison St.), which was the main VBC venue, at 5 pm to see their placemaking project and enjoy some salad as the first course of our potluck. Around 6 pm we’ll arrive at our second potluck destination, the intersection painting at 16th & Brooklyn, where we will have our main-course dinner items. We will finish the site tour at the Buckman intersection, 15th & Alder, at around 7 pm. We will share dessert and compost any food waste accumulated over the course of the potluck-ride in the community compost. We also plan to bike by the Brooklyn Community Gardens and Communitecture sites en route to our potluck destinations.

This will be a family-friendly event, so feel free to bring little ones and friends of all ages! It will also be a fantastic way to see some of the awesome placemaking visions our community has brought to fruition during this year’s VBC, while meeting others who are interested in building community creatively, joyfully, and by bike!

Let me know if you have any questions, and I hope to see you on Saturday!

Eva (

Free water gauge kits and tips from the Regional Water Providers Consortium

June 28, 2012

We were recently contacted by a group called the Regional Water Providers Consortium. According to their website, the RWPC “is committed to good stewardship of our region’s water through conservation, emergency preparedness planning and water supply coordination.”

The RWPC is offering a free outdoor watering gauge kit to anyone in the RWPC service territory from July 1st to August 10th. We’ll be publishing an article about it in the upcoming print edition of our newsletter, but you lucky blog readers get a sneak peak at it now!

Help make Buckman waterwise – Free water gauge kits and tips from RWPC

Did you know water usage in the Portland Metro area can more than double and even triple during the summer months? We Oregonians work hard to keep our lawns and gardens green in hot and dry weather. Many of us have heard the advice to water our lawn about an inch a week – and more during hotter weather – but few of us actually know what that means. In fact, many people actually overwater their lawns without realizing it. To help residents wise up about their water usage, the Regional Water Providers Consortium (RWPC) is offering a free outdoor watering gauge kit to anyone in the RWPC service territory from July 1 – August 10.

The watering gauge takes the guesswork out of watering by measuring how much water is landing on your lawn. The RWPC also posts a “weekly watering number” on its website (, which provides the recommended amount of water to keep lawns healthy through summer.

To receive a free watering gauge kit, call 503-823-7528 or email (please include your mailing address, water provider name and how you heard about the offer).

Here are RWPC’s “Top Five” waterwise gardening tips:
1.    Water lawns and gardens early in the morning (before 10 am) or later in the evening (after 6 pm) when temperatures are cooler and evaporation is minimized.
2.    Adjust your sprinklers so that they are watering your lawn and garden and not the street.
3.    Water in several short sessions rather than one long session to allow for better absorption and to prevent run-off.
4.    Adjust your mower to a higher setting. A taller lawn provides shade to the roots and helps retain soil moisture, so your lawn requires less water.
5.    Add a shut-off nozzle to your garden hose and save about 5-7 gallons of water each minute your hose is on.

About the RWPC

The RWPC is a consortium of 23 local water providers plus the regional government Metro. Visit the consortium website – – for more information and resources to help conserve water at your home or business.

Sign up for Community-Supported Agriculture produce!

April 30, 2012

The folks at Grow Portland ( have announced a new way for Portlanders to order fresh produce from local growers. Read on for details:

The Growers Alliance ( is a grower-led marketing collective managed by Grow Portland. The Growers Alliance was created in 2010 to help immigrant, refugee, and beginning American farmers reach direct markets with their produce. We’re offering a new Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) pick-up spot at the Urban Farm Store on SE Belmont this summer.

To join our CSA, Portland residents sign-up and pay in advance of the season to receive a weekly box of freshly harvested, organically grown produce from our growers. Our season is 28 weeks long (May-November), and we offer different sized boxes of produce depending on the family size. These details can be found in our 2012 CSA brochure:

Regional Green Building Hotline

March 30, 2012

We were recently contacted about a hotline service available to homeowners who are looking for information on green home strategies. Read on for details.

Going Green and Saving Resources
Metro, the City of Portland, Multnomah, Washington and Clackamas Counties offer a community resource serving our region: the Regional Green Building Hotline.  For over four years, the Hotline has provided practical tips and useful information about green home strategies, including resources and incentives for new and existing commercial and residential projects in the region.  The Hotline has answered thousands of questions about ways to reduce your carbon footprint, renewable energy, indoor air quality, salvage, doing more with less, training workshops and more.  The free service is a bridge to the information you need to help you begin, wherever you are.

Inquiries are welcomed from homeowners, renters, real estate professionals, non-profits, contractors, students, developers, business owners and design professionals in the tri-county area. It is the Hotline’s intent to inspire callers to incorporate as many sustainable choices, either material or behavioral, into their projects as they would like.  The Hotline can also help callers overcome perceived barriers and obstacles around green building.

Green Building Questions Answered Here!
Looking for effective ways to save money on utility bills? Which local green programs and incentives are available to me today? What is the WaterSense label? How can I retrofit my house to healthily age-in-place?  Where can I attend a free class to build a rain garden?

Can I get a rebate for planting a tree? Does my new water heater qualify for a tax credit?

Try this free community service from Metro, City of Portland, Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington Counties.

Regional Green Building Hotline 503.823.5431
A service within the Green Development Resource Center

Facebook ~ Green Development Resource Center
Twitter ~ @greenhotline

Save the date for the 11th Annual City of Portland Build It Green! Home Tour on Saturday, September 22, 2012.

Clean Energy Works Oregon Rebate Program

March 30, 2012

Clean Energy Works Oregon (CEWO) is a non-profit program established to reduce energy waste by working with homeowners to make improvements to their homes’ energy efficiency. The program includes no-money-down financing.

CEWO partners with local businesses to perform the work on your home. One of those businesses is Hammer & Hand. Hammer & Hand recently contacted us about publicizing a rebate that CEWO is currently offering. Read on for details.

Clean Energy Works Oregon “Spring Bonus” Ends April 30th

Hammer & Hand and Clean Energy Works Oregon are partnering up to help Portland homeowners improve the energy efficiency and livability of their homes by offering free “whole-house” assessments and incentives in the form of rebates reaching $2500 and no money down financing.

Hammer & Hand’s free “whole-house” assessment helps owners identify ways to make their homes more energy efficient and comfortable, like installing new insulation or upgrading an old heating and cooling system.

To receive the maximum level of instant rebate on your home’s energy remodel sign up for Clean Energy Works Oregon’s $500 Spring Bonus before it expires on April 30th. To sign up, visit Hammer and Hand’s Clean Energy Works Oregon’s web page (, click on the Clean Energy Works Oregon button and fill out the form using rebate code “CNHHA”.

Questions? You can reach Hammer & Hand’s Home Performance Team at 503.894.1198.

Grow Portland Seed Packing Session

February 8, 2012

We recently received the following e-mail from a community organization called Grow Portland (also see a PDF flier with additional information here):

Local nonprofit Grow Portland is gearing up for its third annual Seed Club. For the Seed Club, Grow Portland buys organic vegetable seeds in bulk from socially responsible suppliers. These seeds are repacked into smaller sizes and made available to home gardeners, schools, and non-profits at affordable prices.

This March and April, Grow Portland is hosting four sessions to pack these seeds. At these sessions, gardeners have a chance to socialize and learn with other growers, pack vegetable seeds, and take home 15 seed packets of their own.

Our Buckman neighborhood packing session will be Monday, March 12th 7-8:30 pm at Green Dragon (928 SE Belmont St). Gardeners sign up online in advance to attend.

See our website to sign up, and for more information on membership options for schools and nonprofits: Contact Lauren with additional questions:, 503-858-0216.


Learn more about the nature of cities…including ours

September 16, 2011

Read on for details on an event that will explore the link between urban planning and sustainability…


“The Nature of Cities” and the Portland Plan

Transition Portland General Meeting
Wednesday, September 21, 2011, 7:00 – 9:00 pm
St. Francis School, Che’ Room, 1131 SE Oak Street, Portland 97214

Join Transition PDX to view the film “The Nature of Cities”, by Timothy Beatley (40 min) and a discussion about the film and Portland Plan. Beatley is recognized expert on sustainability and green cities.

We will be joined by Mike Houck, a City Planning and Sustainability Commissioner and author of the book “Portland Wild”. Matt Wickstrom, city district planner of SE Portland will also join us for part the othe meeting to discuss and answer questions about the Portland Plan process.

The film “The Nature of Cites” explores efforts by cities in the US and Europe to integrate nature and sustainable design into the fabric of modern cities. Beatley is the author of numerous books, including “Green Urbanism: Learning from European Cities,” “Native to Nowhere: Sustaining Home and Community in a Global Age,” and most recently “Biophillic Cities, Integrating Nature Into Urban Design and Planning.

This meeting is a prelude to our discussion in October about the forthcoming draft of the Portland Plan and our input to the City’s Planning and Sustainability Commission in November. We will try to equal or improve on our work on the Climate Action Plan of a few years ago. The Portland Plan is a twenty-five year strategic plan that will guide Portland’s future. It is important to all of us and it will allow us to get our message and goals into public policy.

For more information about the Portland Plan go to:

Coming Soon: Curb-side Composting

August 11, 2011

Portland City Council is currently considering a proposal that will enable people to compost food scraps by placing them in their green yard debris roll cart instead of the garbage. A video (featuring Mayor Sam Adams) and FAQ are available here.


2011 Build It Green! Home Tour and Information Fair

August 2, 2011

The City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability is throwing its annual information fair on eco-friendly building practices, along with a self-led tour of area homes. Read on for the details. Please note: the Buckman Historic Association will also have a booth at the information fair!

2011 Build It Green! Home Tour and Information Fair

The City of Portland’s tenth annual Build It Green! Home Tour and Information Fair features twenty-two green remodels and new homes around the Portland metropolitan area. Many of the homes and affordable housing include solar panels, ecoroofs, rainwater harvesting, natural landscaping, water and energy conservation, reused building materials, alternative construction techniques, small footprints and much more.

Homeowners and contractors will be available to share their personal experiences and to answer questions.  A FREE family-friendly information fair will be a prelude to the tour with green vendors, demonstrations, food, drink and music.

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Information Fair: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Hosted by Green Depot at Ecohaus, 819 SE Taylor St, Portland

Home Tour (self-guided): 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Featuring 22 tour stops throughout the Portland metro area

This event is suitable for all ages.

Presented by the City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability. Sponsored by Metro, Energy Trust of Oregon, Solar Oregon, Oregon Home magazine, and City of Portland Bureaus of Environmental Services, Development Services and Water.

For more info: visit, e-mail, or call 503-823-5431.

Staff will make reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities. Please notify us no fewer than five (5) business days prior to the event by phone at 503-823-7700, by the TTY line at 503-823-6868, or by the Oregon Relay Service at 1-800-735-2900.

Valerie Garrett, tour coordinator 503-823-5431

Christine Llobregat, media contact 503-823-7007

About the City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability
To create and enhance a vibrant city, BPS combines the disciplines of planning and sustainability to advance Portland’s diverse and distinct neighborhoods, promote a prosperous and low-carbon economy, and help ensure that people and the natural environment are healthy and integrated into the cityscape. BPS provides a forum for community engagement and education, and is a catalyst for action. With a city full of partners, BPS develops creative and practical solutions on issues as far ranging as comprehensive, neighborhood and environmental planning,urban design, waste reduction and recycling, energy efficiency and solar technologies. This innovative, interdisciplinary approach strengthens Portland’s position as an international model of sustainable development practices and commerce.

Kerns/Buckman Neighborhood Cleanup: This Weekend!

April 11, 2011

The time is almost upon us! This Saturday marks the annual Kerns/Buckman Neighborhood Cleanup event, a surer sign of spring than some mangy old groundhog (no offense to groundhogs).

When: Saturday, April 16th from 9AM-12PM
Where: 2625 E Burnside Street (entrance on 26th Ave)
Accepted materials: Bulky waste, yard debris, metal, styrofoam (no peanuts), batteries (no lithium or car batteries), tires and e-waste (including computers, cell phones, LCD monitors, printers and others).
Not accepted: Hazardous waste, paint, concrete, or dirt. Contact Metro for hazardous waste disposal. Paint cans without lids and dried paint are acceptable.
Donation: $5-30 depending on load.

If you have questions, please call email or call 503.704.4095 prior to the clean-up.

This year, we’ve added an additional twist to the event. We’re coordinating a Graffiti Collaboration Clean-up effort that will identify and remove graffiti with the help of contracted removal crews. Volunteers are also needed on-site to help with the clean up efforts. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact


One Banana Peel At A Time

August 16, 2009

A great article on Buckman’s community composting site at 15th & Alder:

Composting Site In Full Swing!

July 13, 2009

Congratulations to everyone who took part in developing our first composting site. The bins are set up and neighbors are already bringing vegetative kitchen scraps to the site.

The first batch of compost was put into the tumbler at the end of June and as of July 9th, the first batch of compost in the tumbler has completed two weeks. It will be interesting to see how many days (weeks or months) it takes to get finished compost. Will keep you informed!

The two main issues for the Community Compost Site are size of pieces and state of decomposition. We have had overly large items – melon rind, whole potatoes, etc. and stinky sludge added to the bin.

The message is – Cut it, crush it or smash it – smaller is better; and IF IT SMELLS, BAG IT AND TRASH IT!

We have added two items to the NO, NO list – avocado seeds and big pieces of avocado skin.

People are coming from all over Buckman with their compostable kitchen scraps — keep it coming and Thanks!

Community Composting Site at 15th & Alder

June 13, 2009

The Buckman Sustainability Committee is installing the first of many community composting sites during the City Repair Village Building Convergence (VBC) June 4-14. We will be installing a compost tumbler in the planting strip at 1507 SE Alder Street plus two bins for holding browns and greens.

During the VBC we will construct and install bins, install a compost tumbler, construct a kiosk and paint the intersection with an organic vine design with soft beautiful colors. The vine will seem to grow from the composting area. When the site is completed, neighbors will bring fruit and vegetable kitchen scraps for composting. They will put the scraps into one bin and cover with the leaves provided. The compost Captain will load the tumbler and turn as necessary. When finished, the compost will be FREE to participants in the program.

This is a pilot for a composting network in the neighborhood. The Sustainability Committee is composed of local volunteers and students from Portland State University. Much of the building material is being donated; a small grant from Vision into Action is also supporting our first three composting sites.

Join us any day starting at 8:30 AM Weekends, 3:30 PM Monday through Friday. Music and Snacks provided!

  • Thursday, June 4 – Scrub street
  • Friday and Saturday June 5/6 Construct and install bins
  • Sunday June 7 – Install compost tumbler
  • Monday and Tuesday June 8/9 – Outline street graphic
  • Wednesday, June 10 – Take a day off
  • Thursday and Friday June 11/12 – Construct and install kiosk
  • Saturday, June 13 – Paint street graphic

The Sustainability Team is looking for two more sites in Buckman. The sites should be readily available from the sidewalk and should have a dedicated person to monitor the composting.

Green Street Facilities On SE Ankeny

June 13, 2009

The City of Portland is committed to green development practices and sustainable stormwater management.  Green streets are an innovative, effective way to restore watershed health.  They protect water quality in rivers and streams, manage water from impervious surfaces, and can be more cost efficient than new sewer pipes.  Green streets offer many benefits that sewer pipes can’t.  Green streets:

Clean and cool air and water

  • Refresh groundwater supplies
  • Enhance neighborhood livability
  • Calm traffic and enhance pedestrian and bicycle safety
  • Increase community and property values
  • Protect valuable surface and groundwater resources
  • Add urban green space and wildlife habitat
  • Help meet regulatory requirements for pollutant reduction and watershed resource management
  • Reduce stormwater in the sewer system
  • Save money on wastewater pumping and treatment costs

Green street facilities such as those to be installed in the Buckman neighborhood make a valuable contribution to these benefits.  Many hundreds of similar installations throughout the city are being included in future projects.

For the Ankeny corridor, there are 15 separate facilities, some are within the planter strip (between curb and sidewalk), some are vegetated curb extensions, and some are a combination of the two.   We worked with businesses, residents and property owners throughout the design process and responded as best we could to their concerns–making changes to placement and types of facilities where this was feasible while still achieving our requirement to reduce flows into the pipe system.

The facilities on or near Ankeny will have a slight impact on parking in the area.  There are approximately 155 parking spaces available between Ash and Burnside and between 16th and 20th. Of these, the green street facilities will displace approximately 16 spaces, or 10% of the total.  As you know, parking is a shared resource, and no adjacent property has exclusive claim to specific parking spaces.  While we understand the concerns expressed about parking in the neighborhood, we are confident that the green street facilities will be a benefit to the area.

Oak Basin Sewer Work Delayed to Spring 2009

October 1, 2008

Environmental Services has designed a series of sewer improvements and stormwater management projects in an area of southeast and northeast Portland known as the Oak Basin (see project area map below). The work will alleviate basement flooding problems, and replace more than 8,000 feet of sewer pipes that are in poor condition. Some sewers in the area are more than 80 years old.  The upgrades will increase sewer system capacity, improve reliability and help control combined sewer overflows (CSOs) to the Willamette River. The work was originally scheduled to start in the summer of 2008, but has now been delayed to spring 2009.  The project will take about 18 months to complete.

The original project included replacing or refurbishing the existing sewer pipe in SE Oak between 18th and 10th.  This included work on Buckman School grounds and at St Francis Parish.  That work has now been pulled from this project and will be rescheduled later.  Included in the future project will be additional Green Street facilities in an area east of the School.

Sewer Construction Techniques

The Oak Basin Sewer Project will require both open-cut trench construction and trenchless techniques to rehabilitate existing sewers. The project also includes construction of a new large interceptor sewer line in SE 10th Avenue and an access shaft at 10th and SE Oak Street to connect the new line to the sewer system. Construction will affect traffic with both travel lane and street closures. The city will provide traffic control updates during all phases of construction.

Sustainable Stormwater Management– Green Street facilities

The Oak Basin Sewer Project includes construction of several Green Street facilities along SE Ankeny Street between SE 16th and 20th avenues. Green Streets are vegetated curb extensions or streetside planters that collect stormwater runoff from the street and keep it from flowing into the combined sewer system. Green Streets slow stormwater flow and allow water to soak into the ground as soil and vegetation filter pollutants. This sustainable stormwater management technique treats stormwater at the site, protects water quality and helps replenish groundwater supplies.

Coordination with Burnside – Couch Project

The City of Portland Office of Transportation (PDOT) is designing roadway improvements for the Lower East Burnside and Couch Reconfiguration Project. Environmental Services is coordinating with PDOT to complete sewer construction in the PDOT project area before road construction begins.
For More Information

Call David Allred at 503-823-7287 for additional information or to arrange a presentation for your organization or business. To receive email updates, send your email address to Learn more about the Environmental Services Sustainable Stormwater Program at

David will also be giving a presentation and be available to answer your questions at the November 13th general meeting at Buckman School.

Bill Bradbury On Climate Change

September 10, 2008

Secretary of State Bill Bradbury has arranged with the Sunnyside Neighborhood Association to give his climate change presentation to a crowd of SE Portland residents. The event will be held on Tuesday, September 30th, from 6:30-8:30 pm at the Sunnyside Methodist Church (3520 SE Yamhill St).