Author: Daniel “Stretch Armstrong” Schick, 2016 Crew Leader of the Year.

I won’t go as far to say that becoming a crew leader was the single most defining event of my life, but it is definitely in the top 5. All jokes aside, joining Depave is a worthwhile adventure that will bring a lifetime of fond memories. We are a close-knit group that strives to make Portland a better place. We team up with other likeminded organizations to convert paved spaces in schools, churches, and community centers into beautiful greenspaces. However, this would not be possible without a dedicated group of crew leaders that ensure that everyone is having a safe and fun time.

Snazzy neon comes with great responsibility.

Melissa, Queen of the Drop Box, making sure everyone gets a chance to roll up.

Being a crew leader means you get to wear a snazzy yellow vest. However, with snazzy vest comes great responsibility. As a crew leader, your number one responsibility is to keep everyone safe. We do this by educating and supervising volunteers on the proper ways to Depave. Pry bars, shovels, and wheelbarrows are loads of fun, but they can be dangerous when handled improperly. Your other responsibility is to engage with community members that volunteer at our events. Through us, they learn how greenspaces can benefit their community, and maybe it will embolden them to create a plan that will improve the aesthetics of one of their shared spaces.

Jeremy, guardian of fingers and toes, knows slow and steady wins the race.

I got involved with Depave through a friend that thought this organization would be a good fit for me. They were right. And as an environmental major Depave has helped me to gain a better understanding that urban restoration and community outreach go hand in hand. However, that is just my experience.

Our desire to make this city of ours a better place brings us together.

Our crew leaders come from all backgrounds and occupations. The one thing that brings us together is our desire to make this city of ours a better place. You too, can helps by becoming a crew leader yourself. All it requires is a Saturday afternoon, and a willingness to get your hands dirty.

Learn more about being a Depave Crew Leader and sign up to attend orientation in May.

Cooper works with the mini depave crew to achieve big results.