Garden Safe this Spring

Spring is in the air! Flowers are blooming, birds are singing and building nests and kids are playLadybug_Signing outside as the days lengthen. As neighbor’s thoughts turn towards their gardens, it’s also the time of year when a lot of pesticide use occurs. Help make our neighborhoods safer by practicing natural gardening methods and talking with your neighbors about toxic chemicals like ‘weed n’ feed’ and Roundup. Show your support for healthy neighborhoods by hanging up a lady bug lawn sign. It’s free! Sign up here if you live in Overlook Neighborhood. 
If you live in another Portland Metro areas, go to Metro’s site to take the Healthy Lawn and Garden Pledge and get natural gardening info.

Resilience Summit a Success

Last Saturday, more than 100 neighbors and other Portland residents gathered for Sustainable Overlook’s second annual Resilience Summit, co-sponsored with the Overlook Neighborhood Emergency Team (NET) on the theme of preparedness. The morning began with a terrific keynote presentation “Surviving a 9.0: Lessons from Chile and Japan,” by geotechnical engineer Allison Pyrch.

That excellent – and sobering – presentation was followed by four speakers: Captain Corey Wilson from Station 24 spoke about Portland Fire & Rescue’s response strategy after a big seismic event; Ernie Jones from the Portland Bureau of Emergency Preparedness spoke about PBEM’s NET and BEACON programs; Mitch Bixby (Overlook NET team lead) reviewed our team’s efforts; and Leslee Lewis Overlook NET lead and Sustainable Overlook spoke about the map your neighborhood block preparedness program and preparing your own home.

After a terrific lunch catered by New American Restaurant, there was more information and conversation at tables for NET, Phlush (the 4-bucket Emergency Waste System) and Thrive (freeze-dried foods); and an area with some ideas for your emergency food and supply stash. The day wound up with four more presentations: Emergency Radio Communications by John Beaston, Staging Areas and How They Work by Mitch Bixby, Food Prep Using Freeze-Dried Foods by Angie Smith, and Knowing Your Neighbors and Mapping Your Block by Josh Cabot.

There was plenty of food for thought, and neighbors went home with some concrete ideas on how to increase their preparedness. Luck favors the prepared.

See more photos from the event.

Coming in February: Energy & Carbon Footprint Workshops

Concerned About Climate Change?  Take Action!

Governments around the world are developing policies and programs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, especially carbon dioxide and methane. Portland and Multnomah County are leaders, with the 2015 Climate Action Plan calling for an 80% reduction in carbon emissions by 2050. Per person, that means reducing carbon from 10 tons per year to 2 tons.
Sounds like a radical change, and it is. To achieve this goal, every government agency, business, household, and individual will have to make deep cuts in their use of energy from fossil fuels. Overlook Neighborhood Association and Trillium Charter School are co-sponsoring this pair of small-group, two-hour workshops to help you determine your personal carbon dioxide emissions, and second, identify practical actions and choices to reduce them.

Workshop 1. What’s Your Carbon Footprint?
Monday, February 227-9 PM at Trillium Charter School
The term ‘carbon footprint’ includes all the carbon dioxide (CO2*) you put into the atmosphere—directly or indirectly—by using energy generated from fossil fuels, including electricity, natural gas, fuel oil, auto and airplane fuels; and by purchasing food and products made using fossil fuels.
Almost no one knows how much CO2 they create, because we don’t get feedback about our energy use in terms of CO2 equivalents. For example, looking at an electric utility bill, we see how many kilowatt-hours we used, but not how much coal or natural gas was used to generate that much power. Both PGE and Pacific Power generate electricity with fossil fuels, so when we cut our electricity use, we also reduce our CO2 emissions.
Before the workshop meets, we will get free copies of our past year’s bills from our electric and gas utilties, and/or fuel oil supplier. At the workshop we will translate those into CO2 emissions. We’ll use receipts for gasoline or diesel fuel, or estimate gasoline use from miles driven. We will also estimate CO2 from air miles traveled. We’ll add these up to determine our total household emissions. We will compare our results with others in our group, and with Portland averages. Finally, we will consider what it may take to cut our carbon to meet the goal of 80% reduction by 2050.
By the end of this workshop, you will have a much better idea of your household greenhouse gas emissions, or ‘carbon footprint’.

Workshop 2. Reducing Your Energy and CO2
Wednesday, February 247-9 PM at Trillium Charter School
Each family is unique in how it uses energy, so we need specific ways to reduce that are practical, sensible, and fit their lifestyle and budget.
We will look at each of the biggest energy users in our homes and identify specific ways to reduce energy use, including home heating and air conditioning, water heating, kitchen and laundry appliances, lighting, and electronics. We’ll also examine auto and air travel use. Our priorities will be: No. 1, changing our behavior and choices, No. 2 no- or low-cost measures, and No. 3, long-term investments, such as weatherizing a house or replacing a furnace.
By the end of this workshop, you will have a customized kit of tools and strategies to help cut your household energy use and CO2 emissions. You will also have a clear sense of your challenges and opportunities.
* ”Carbon” is shorthand for CO2, the carbon dioxide molecule with one carbon atom and two oxygen atoms. CO2 gas is a byproduct of burning coal, oil, gasoline, diesel, airplane fuel, natural gas or propane. CO2 and methane are the primary causes of global warming and climate change.

Workshop Leader
The workshops will be led by Overlook neighbor Mike O’Brien, a teacher and advocate for energy efficient buildings for over thirty years, most recently as the City of Portland’s Green Building Specialist. He and his wife Vana built their new house at 1905 North Alberta Street in 2007—it’s red and has plants growing on the roof. If you have questions about the workshop, please phone or text him at 503-819-8991.
Registration
In order to have sharing time among participants, group size is limited to 12 people, so don’t delay!
Workshops are free.
 
Nora will email you instructions for items to bring to the first workshop, including 12 months of electric and natural gas bills, and/or gallons of fuel oil; gallons of gasoline OR auto mileage and MPG, and air travel over the past year. She will provide contact information for your utility customer service. Please bring a journal or pad of paper to record notes.

Save the Date! Resilience Summit 2016

Overlook Resilience Summit

Preparation:  Where Resilience Begins

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Following up on last year’s sustainability summit held at Beach School, Sustainable Overlook is partnering with Overlook’s Neighborhood Emergency Team (NET) and Multnomah County’s Schools Uniting Neighborhoods program to present a second summit that will focus on resilience.  This is an open invitation for neighbors to come together and discuss how we can prepare our homes for the unexpected, connect more closely as neighbors to serve as mutual safety nets, and adapt to changing conditions using specific plans that are being collectively-developed by NET (Neighborhood Emergency Teams). Mark your calendars now and click here for details!

Home Seismic Retrofit Workshop

Interested in Earthquake preparedness and learning how to attach your house to its foundation?

Join Sustainable Overlook, Overlook NET (Neighborhood Emergency Team) and Earthquake Tech to get the scoop. The workshop filled quickly so a second session is being offered the same day:

Saturday, December 5th 

Session 1 10 am – 11:30 am FULL

Session 2 12:30- 2 pm

$10 suggested donation (no one turned away)

Sustainable Overlook the Home

Earthquake Retrofit Workshop with Steve Gemmel

from Earthquake Tech (who taught our workshop

3 years ago) will teach us how to bolt our

houses to their foundations, and go over other

ways of making our houses more seismically

stable. A PERFECT winter DIY project!

Will be held at a residence in the neighborhood

with a live demo.

Email sustainable@overlookneighborhood.org to register and for more information.

Natural Gardening Workshops coming up

Learn more about urban weeds and rain gardens

Registration is now open for free and practical how-to workshops on rain gardens, native plants and urban weeds. Workshops are offered  through the East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District and community partners.  Three workshops will be held in the North Portland Neighborhood Services area:

In Overlook (at Trillium Charter School, 5420 N Interstate Ave

  • Urban Weeds, Wednesday, Oct. 21, from 6:30  to 9 p.m.
  • Rain Gardens 101, Saturday, Oct. 24, from 9 to 1 p.m.

In Cathedral Park (at BES Water Pollution Control Lab, 6543 N Burlington Ave)

  • Native Plants, Sunday, Sept. 20, from 1 to 3:30 p.m.

Registration is required. For more detail and to register online visithttp://emswcd.org/workshops-and-events/upcoming-workshops/.  Additional questions? Call 503-935-5368.

Yard Sale and Free Share!

Yard Sale and Free Share 2015 is coming up soon!

Saturday and Sunday, July 18 and 19.

Over 50 households participate in this fun annual event. It’s a great way to meet your neighbors – and reduce, reuse and recycle! We have online registration this year that is open now. Households that sign up will be marked on the map and on our website, and in published listings. Suggested donation $10 to cover printing and advertising costs.

The map will be available here July 15th so you can plan your treasure hunting route!

More info and registration HERE. 

2014 Overlook Yard Sale - Free Share Flier

Garden Tour Locations

For those who like to plan ahead, here are the locations of the garden tour stops for the Sustainable Overlook Garden Tour this Saturday. Please note Trillium School is open only from 10 to 11 am. Please respect the privacy of our generous tour hosts by only visiting during tour hours. Hope to see you on the tour!

Map/Tour Guide PDF here:2015_garden-tour-guide

Open 10 am to 11 am:

Tour stop 1: Trillium Charter School 5420 N. Interstate Ave. – Kid’s garden activities

Open 10 am to 3 pm:

Tour stop 2: 1624 N. Emerson St –  Mason Bee demo from 11-12

Tour stop 3: 1930 N. Skidmore St.

Tour stop 4: Attunement Center 1722-1723  N. Blandena –  Seed swap and Plant Exchange, Village Building Convergence Site

Tour stop 5: 2311 N. Blandena St. – Backyard Habitat Certification Information

The tour is self-guided, feel free to start at Trillium School or any location. The route this year is easy to walk or bike. Kids and service animals are welcome but please leave pets at home. Please contact us if you have questions about accessibility: sustainable@overlookneighborhood.org

Sustainable Overlook Garden Tour

This Saturday! June 6th

Trillium Charter School, 5420 N. Interstate Ave. 10-11 am

Four Neighborhood Gardens 10 am to 3 pm

The Sustainable Overlook Garden Tour is this Saturday, June 6th from 10 am to 3 pm. Start at Trillium Charter School (open from 10-11 am) or one of the four garden sites nearby (open from 10 am to 3 pm, map available here soon.) Get ready to be inspired by pesticide-free gardens that with showcase edible landscaping, mason bees, chicken keeping, an outdoor kitchen, a permaculture homestead, backyard habitats and much more!

  • See Trillium Charter School’s organic roof top garden where outdoor education and food production happen.
  • Mason Bee demos and learn how you can encourage pollinators in your yard
  • Seed and Plant Swap as part of the Village Building Convergence at the Attunement Center, a permaculture homestead site
  • Visit a Certified Backyard Habitat and learn how each of our yards or balconies can offer valuable habitat

Suggested dontation $5

Contributions benefit the Pesticide Free Neighborhood Project

More details here soon.