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 visit  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 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.

Madrona Nurse Log Dedication this coming Wednesday

Madrone in 2003     Madrone on ground Feb 16 2015     Madrone Nurse log


Please join Portland Parks & Recreation Urban Forestry, Overlook Neighborhood Association, and Sustainable Overlook to celebrate the famous and magnificent tree that was the namesake of Madrona Park.  As you may know, this sentinel tree fell down on a windless day in February and has now been brought back to the park to serve as a nurse log for the bluff’s fragile habitat.

This dedication will honor the Madrona tree’s cycle of life by celebrating with food, heritage tree coaster/necklace souvenirs, historical information and fun kids’ educational activities, as well as information about future restoration efforts and volunteer opportunities in the Park.

When: Wednesday, May 20  6:45 pm

Where: Madrona Park at 2499 N Wygant (limited parking please use Wygant, Humboldt or Alberta to access the park)

Learn more at

May Meeting 5/21

Join Sustainable Overlook for the next general meeting on 3rd Thursday, May 21st from 6:30-8:30 pm at New American at 2103 N. Killingsworth Ave.

We’ll be discussing the upcoming Sustainable Overlook Garden Tour (6/6), reviewing recent events and discuss neighborhood sustainability topics. Summit agenda items to or just come to the meeting!

Everyone welcome.

Food and beverages available for purchase.

Urban Plants Walk with Rewild Portland

Tomorrow! Sunday, May 3, 10 am to noon

See the our neighborhood flora in a new way as Rewild Portland’s Sarah Hill interprets the weeds and wild plants along our bluff and around the neighborhood. In this intro level walk, participants will learn the principals of gathering wild plant foods, focusing on harvesting ethics, basic plant ID, and common edible ‘weeds’. At the end of the walk, participants will be able to sample a few dishes made with locally harvested wild foods, and have the tools and resources to begin exploring the world of foraging. Rewild Portland aims to reconnect people with the ancestral skills and knowledge we were all once rooted in, and by doing so spur regeneration for the land, community and self. Suggested donation $10.

Dress for the weather, bring gloves and a small digging tool (optional) and let us know if you have any dietary restrictions when you register if you want to try recipe samples.

Meet at 10 am at the picnic shelter at Overlook Park. We’ll end up at the Historic Oak meadow on the 3900 block of Overlook Terrace.


Sustainability Summit Recap

A message from Sustainable Overlook steering committee member and summit organizer Josh Cabot:

We want to send a BIG thank you to everyone that came out last month and participated in our neighborhood’s first Sustainability Summit.  There was so much to cover and so we just made a few first steps, but it’s a tremendous start!

A few of the big ideas that percolated out of the day included:

  • Local economy is strengthened by looping our material and monetary flows back into our immediate community.  Perhaps we can develop a directory and map, or other method, for listing all of our neighborhood’s local businesses so that residents can make informed decisions that encourage them to look locally first when seeking out goods and services.
  • As a community we need to take a more direct look at equity issues in Overlook and find ways to be more culturally inclusive.  A series of “courageous conversations”, as Cinda Jackson coined it, could be an especially direct way to engage communities of all colors and cultures here in Overlook.
  • Social Equity and Resilience (aka Emergency Preparedness) are strengthened as neighbors get to know each other better.  Block parties are great ways for each street/block to know itself and to stay coordinated as a small piece of our broader community.  While a lot of block parties already happen throughout the summer in Overlook, maybe it would be more productive and interesting to ask all blocks to try and host a party on the same day…much like the Yard Sale / Free Share that happens on the same weekend every year across the entire neighborhood.
  • We have the power to directly shape the world around us – particularly the physical environment.  Exercising thoughtfulness around the plants we put into the ground and the chemicals we use to amend our yards and gardens is especially key.  Being pesticide free as a neighborhood is entirely possible, and using native plants to transform our outdoor spaces into rich ecologies is a great first step toward that goal.  Identifying and protecting the existing natural spaces we do have on the edges of neighborhood, such as the bluff, can certainly improve Overlook’s natural beauty, but perhaps more importantly it allows us to do our part for the broader ecologic health of the region.

A more thorough summary can be found on the Summit page here.

If you have other ideas, please do share them with us!  Everything we talked about at this summit is achievable if we all lift a little bit.

If you did not get a chance to leave feedback for us about how the day went and how Sustainable Overlook is doing in general, please email comments and ideas to

I hope this helps us sustain our momentum going forward toward greater health, livability and resilience.  Now go out there and help make it happen!