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Author: Veteran Depaver, Ray Lipin

Hi Depave enthusiasts! We are gearing up for our 10th season of ripping up pavement and building community. We have 6 straight depaves this season and are looking forward to busting the prybars out with old and new partners & volunteers. For those of you with a green thumb, we will host planting parties in the coming fall at several of our recently depaved sites. Depave is also partnering with Recode and Greywater Action to host several Greywater Workshops throughout the summer. Space is limited…Sign up right here! If you want greywater information NOW, check out the September 2016 blog post “Green Your Garden with Greywater” by Depave’s legendary Ted Labbe.

The 1st Depave of the season was Russellville Grange Hall on June 11th at 12105 NE Prescott. We removed about 1,000 SF of pavement and will be installing a stormwater facility with native plantings (this fall)! I didn’t know the history of granges before researching for this blog. I won’t harangue you with the full history lesson, but granges were created following the civil war era to enhance farming practices and benefit local communities. Here was one mission statement, “It’s a fraternal organization that encourages families to band together, to promote the economic and political well-being of the community and agriculture.”

The Russellville Grange began in 1906 with this mission statement in mind. The grange has adapted to these modern times and now rents space out for community events. A host of weddings and family events have taken place at Russellville Grange Hall over the years. However, despite being close to Parkrose High School, many people drive by the grange without giving it a second glance. Hopefully the addition of a beautiful new stormwater facility (in addition to other improvements the owners are doing, like a mural) will help attract attention!

The Russellville Grange

The 2nd Depave of the summer will be Faithful Savior Lutheran Church on June 24th at 11100 NE Skidmore. The church has a big congregation and an even bigger parking lot! The southern lot has long been a cause of concern for the church due to consistent flooding during major storm events. Depave will be tearing up 2,600 SF of pavement and 1,800 SF of sod to install a massive raingarden in the parking lot to curtail the flooding, capture a ton of runoff, and cut down on stormwater fees. Our long-time partner, East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District is sponsoring this project as well as Russellville and Woodmere Elementary. Hope to see you there!

Faithful Savior Lutheran Church

The 3rd Depave of the summer will be Woodmere Elementary on July 8th at 7900 SE Duke. Woodmere is definitely not lacking in the pavement department! We will be rectifying that by removing about 1,200 SF of asphalt. The renovated space will be converted to a learning garden for the children. Since I knew nothing about Woodmere Elementary, I read a few online reviews. Parents raved about what a hidden gem this school is! Woodmere Elementary bridges the gap between language/cultural diversity and education. New parents/students are treated like family, and student test scores reflect this positive attitude. I’m happy we are partnering with Woodmere Elementary because they are such a lynchpin for the local community!

Woodmere School

Our 4th Depave of the season will be a phase 2 project at Lent School on July 22nd at 5105 SE 97th. We depaved at Lent School to create an amphitheater in 2015, and now we’re back for more! We will be removing 2,250 SF of pavement to be converted into a nature playscape. Lent School is an awesome partner for Depave. Behind the school, it’s all asphalt as far as the eye can see. Additionally, Lent School is privileged to have some truly dedicated parents and nearby residents making many positive changes to the grounds here – the garden on the north side is top notch! Now they are taking on even more, and I’m sure it will be an awesome addition! Hopefully we can finagle the free ice cream truck to come out like they did last time!!

Lent School (2015)

The 5th Depave event will be at Ascension Catholic Church on September 9th at 743 SE 76th. We will be tearing up a whopping 3,200 SF of asphalt and later installing two long rain garden islands in the parking lot. Despite converting so much pavement into rain gardens, the church will not lose any parking spaces, as the lot is massive. The congregation won’t have any trouble parking, and they will have two lovely rain gardens to admire. This project highlights the fact that with a little effort and ingenuity, regreening projects are often possible in urban environments without sacrificing functionality. Thanks to our longtime partners at the Bureau of Environmental Services for awarding this project a Community Watershed Stewardship Grant to support this effort. Hope to see you there!

Ascension Catholic Church

The 6th and final Depave of the season will be at Hillsboro’s Multicultural Market (AKA M&M Swap Meet) on October 7th at 346 SW Walnut Street. Metro awarded this effort a Nature in Neighborhoods grant to fund this project, and Clean Water Services is providing tons of additional support to help us make lots of great improvements here. This will be a combo depave and landscaping party, with tree planting as well. There will also be additional work happening, including improving the outdoor cafe, creating outdoor vendor areas, and a mural. Lots to get done!

This will be a great project for us because we love breaking out of our typical Portland stomping grounds. In fact, this is our first ever project in Hillsboro! We’re excited to support this well-loved community hub (similar to the Portland Mercado) that provides space and valuable resources for primarily Latino immigrants to incubate a wide variety of businesses! Regreening the property is typically the last consideration where money is concerned. Luckily, Depave is here to help with the support of our sponsors. We hope to see you there!

Hillsboro’s Multicultural Market

Join us to depave this summer – check out our upcoming events here.