2014 National Pesticide Forum April 11-12

2014 National Pesticide Forum Coming to Portland
Advancing Sustainable Communities: People, Pollinators & Practices 

The 32nd National Pesticide Forum, will be held April 11-12, 2014 at the University Place Hotel and Conference Center at Portland State University.

Register now for this incredible conference! Sustainable Overlook will be giving a neighborhood tour on Friday April 11 and Pesticide Free Overlook coordinator Mulysa Melco will be speaking at the Organic Land Management workshop on April 12.
Keynote presentations, workshops, and plenary panels will focus on solutions to the decline of pollinators and other beneficials; strengthening organic agriculture; improving farmworker protection and agricultural justice; and creating healthy buildings, schools and homes. By working with a range environmental, health, consumer, and farm organizations, we expect to bring together a diverse crowd in order to share our efforts to build local, state and national strategies for strength, growth and health—in line with our conference theme, Advancing Sustainable Communities.For more information and to register, go to www.beyondpesticides.org/forum. In addition to the program, people, science, sharing and strategizing, you won’t want to miss the food! Organic food and beverages will be served for breakfast, lunch and dinner Saturday, and we will have organic hors d’oeuvres, beer and wine for receptions on Friday and Saturday night. Click here for the speaker lineup. Register online today or call 202-543-5450 to register by phone.We encourage you to register in advance to ensure your space and food, but walk-ins are welcome as long as space is available.This Forum is being convened by NCAP and
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Urban Bee Habitat: Start a Bee-friendly Project in your Neighborhood!

March 19, 2014 – 

Workshop: Wednesday, March 19, 6:30 – 8:30 PM at the Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods
Come at 6 pm for refreshments and networking.
King School Facility, 4815 N.E. 7th Ave., bus lines 6 and 72

With spring around the corner, the Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods (NECN) will host a workshop on March 19th on how to start a bee-friendly garden project in your neighborhood.

Did you know that planting bee-friendly flowers is the most important thing you can do to help save both native bees and honey bees? Even if you don’t know a daisy from a daffodil, it’s easy to grow some pollen-bearing plants that the bees will love. It’s even more fun if you join with your neighbors to learn about bees and take action together. That’s what residents of the Sabin Community Association did, and now they want to share some practical tips that will help you start a bee-friendly garden project in your community.

Join the following experts for a panel discussion and Q&A:
Mace Vaughan, Pollinator Program Director at Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation and co-founder of the Sabin Bee-Friendly Garden Project
Tim Wessels, Master Beekeeping Instructor at Oregon State University, President of the Portland Urban Beekeepers, and founder of Bridgetown Bees
Diane Benson, Coordinator for the Sabin Bee-Friendly Garden Project*
Glen Andresen, Gardening and beekeeping educator and host of The Dirtbag, a KBOO radio show about organic gardening
• Mulysa Melco – Landscape designer of homesteads and habitats, Volunteer for Sustainable Overlook and Coordinator of their Pesticide Free Overlook project.

*The Sabin Bee-Friendly Garden Tour is a free, self-guided tour with 41 sites that you can visit whenever you like – spring, summer or fall. A map and a guide to the gardens are available on the Sabin website (sabinpdx.org). Sabin hopes to inspire other neighborhoods to create similar projects for protecting pollinators and building community.




Spring Seed Swap!

Sunday, April 6th
3 pm – 5 pm
6730 N. Wilbur Ave. 

Bring seeds to share and envelopes/containers. If you’re new to seed saving come to learn and get seeds to grow and share at future swaps. We’ll have seeds for veggies, cover crop, flowers, herbs, etc. Everyone welcome!
Sponsored by Sustainable Overlook and Pesticide-Free Arbor Lodge Park.


Meadow Planting – March 1 – Friends of Overlook Bluff

There are very welcome signs of spring appearing around the neighborhood! And a planting day from our partner Friends of Overlook Bluff is one of them. This great group is working to restore and preserve Oak savannah habitat along the bluff to the West of the residential part of Overlook neighborhood. It’s a historically rich habitat that is still home to many bird, wildlife and plant species. Be part of the project by coming out on Saturday, March 1st to help plant native seed, rootstock and maintain the plots that have been planted so far. The efforts are part of a bigger goal to ensure permanent protection for this green space that serves as a natural buffer between the rail yards,  industrial area and our homes.
“Our vision is to preserve the last remaining undeveloped parcel of land on the bluff with its majestic, solitary, heritage Oak, to restore native species along the east slope of the Willamette, and to create a series of trails that connect green space from Overlook to St. Johns. We want to protect what remains of a corridor of Oregon white oak savannahs and Pacific madronas that once extended from Vancouver B.C. to California.” – from Friends of Overlook Bluff’s mission statement
Hope to see you there!

Is Your Lawn and Garden Healthy?

As spring slowly creeps into our yards, our thoughts turn to planting gardens, weeding and feeding our soil and plants. Make sure your yard is safe for people, pets and wildlife by avoiding pesticide use. Join over 300 Overlook residents in quitting or reducing garden chemicals by taking Metro’s Healthy Lawn and Garden Pledge at www.sustainableoverlook.org and receive a free ladybug yard sign!

Planning session 1/29

Interesting in helping advance sustainability issues in our neighborhood? Join the 2014 planning session this Wednesday 1/29 at the Lucky Lab on N. Killingsworth, 7-9pm. We’ll be discussing upcoming Sustainable Overlook events starting with the 3rd annual Garden Tour. We welcome new faces and your ideas!

Earth Day 2014

The annual Overlook Earth Day event will be held Saturday, April 26 at Bethel Lutheran church on N. Denver Ave. This year the event will focus on recycling documents. A shredding truck will be available for neighbors to bring up to 2 bags or boxes of documents to recycle. Participants will receive a free tomato plant. Sponsored by the Overlook Neighborhood Association.

Check out our neighbors in Mississippi and Arbor Lodge neighborhoods for more recycling and Earth Day clean-ups.

The Transition Companion: Jan. 9

Thursday, January 9th

6:30-8:30 pm

Daybreak Cohousing Common House, 2525 N. Killingsworth Ave. 97217

Join neighbors for an informal reading group. ‘The Transition Companion: Making your community more resilient in uncertain times’ by Rob Hopkins asks the question “What if the best responses to peak oil and climate change don’t come from government, but from you and me and the people around us?” We’ll be discussing the ‘Connecting’ section. A limited number of books are available free of charge. Email sustainable@overlookneighborhood.org Bring a dish or snack to share. Free!


10 Reasons to go Pesticide* Free

The latest edition of the Overlook Views newsletter is being distributed now and you’ll find a few articles by Sustainable Overlook members. Overlook neighbor and landscape designer Mulysa Melco wrote an update on the group’s pesticide free neighborhood project and included a sidebar with 10 reasons people in our neighborhood feel non-toxic yard and garden care is important. Here is an expanded version of the list with References and Resources!

1. Better health for everyone! Yard and garden chemicals are linked to increased cancer risk and a host of other illnesses. Children, babies and pregnant women are especially vulnerable to toxin exposure, even in minute quantities.

American Academy of Pediatrics Recommendations to Reduce Children’s Exposure to Pesticides

Pesticide Action Network North America (PAN)

Beyond Pesticides

Metro : Why Care about Using Pesticides?

EPA: Why Children May be Especially Sensitive to Pesticides

2. Your garden will be happier. Without toxic chemicals, and with natural gardening practices like composting, the soil life and critters in your yard will create a more balanced ecosystem and that makes for stronger, more resilient plants.

Metro Natural Gardening tips 

Organic Consumers Association 

3. Food safety and security. One of the many benefits of growing your own food organically is feeling confident that what you’re eating is not contaminated with pesticides. Plus, a neighborhood that grows its own food it more resilient in a disaster.

Organic Consumer’s Union

Union of Concerned Scientists

Growing Power 

Mother Earth News: Why Grow Your Own Food? 

4. Lower your carbon footprint. Pesticides and synthetic fertilizers are petro-chemical based, so when you avoid them, you are using fewer fossil fuels.


Transition US: Home and Garden Challenge

Union of Concerned Scientists: The Climate Friendly Gardener

5. Take good care of our pets. Dogs and cats are at risk from lawn and garden chemicals for some of the same reasons kids are – they are low to the ground, they touch and mouth everything and spend a lot of time outdoors. Pets’ risks of cancer and other health problems increase when they are exposed to lawn chemicals.

Metro:  Why Care about Using Pesticides?

Pesticide Action Network: Your Health– Home, Pets and Garden

Beyond Pesticides: Pets

6. Protect wildlife and save the bees! Songbirds, raptors, butterflies and our salmon population are threatened by pesticide use. Bees and other pollinators that we depend on for our food supply are under particular threat from neonic insecticides, common ‘all-in-one’ rose and shrub products.

Xerces Society 

Backyard Habitat Certification Program

7. Keep our water clean. Chemicals don’t stay put – they run off into waterways and soak into ground water. By avoiding them we can be good stewards of our drinking water, rivers and streams.

Clean Rivers and Streams

8. Save money and time. Natural gardening techniques tend to be much cheaper than buying products or hiring a chemical service, plus they require less labor in the long run.

SPIN Farming techniques (Small plot intensive farming)

Grow BioIntensive (Sustainable mini-farming)

9. Keep it local. Use your dollars to support local, green businesses, not big chemical corporations.

Supportland (rewards card for supporting local businesses.)

Chinook Book (coupons for locally owned nurseries)

Check this website in the future for a list of local, organic landscape designers, installers and maintenance companies.

10. Practice peace. The toxic ingredients in many garden products fight nature rather than work with it. Fostering natural balance in your yard is good for your health and spirit and is a kindness to your neighbors.

Forrest and Trica McDowell Creating Sanctuary 


*’Pesticide’ refers to insecticides, herbicides, fungicides, anti-microbials and other chemicals used to kill or deter pests.