Hello, I’m Brynn. I am usually the first person volunteers meet upon arriving at our events. Here’s my Depave story.
I was hooked after going to my first depaving event in 2012. I wanted more. More earth between my fingertips. More community building. More transformation before my eyes.
In the past 3.5 years, I’ve participated in various projects from fundraising, to volunteer engagement, to education, and of course ripping it up with the crew. One of my favorite roles has been my work as Depave’s Event Engagement Assistant. I welcome all who are new to our organization and reunite with our returning volunteers.
As the Event Assistant I don’t participate in the physical work of depaving. I start each event by making sure everyone is signed-in and has a name tag. I ensure volunteers know where the bathroom is (very important) and where the food/water table is (also very important). From there I speak to how their day will look, where the tools are, which crew leaders to go to for direction, and more. I do my best to ensure volunteers feel comfortable in how their day will be structured.
Once the depaving begins, I capture the fun and live-stream the a
ction online. We like to share our work with those that follow us around the world. When I’m not snapping candids, I stay close to the tables to chat with volunteers and answer questions. Stormwater runoff, pollution, native plants, and the heat island effect are all topics I love talking about with visitors.
As community members walk by, curious about our event, I have the chance to share project details and how we serve the Portland area. Through these interactions I’m privileged to witness the generosity of complete strangers. One day a random couple walking by the depaving came back to donate to our cause. It’s so powerful to see this kind of thing — this community is truly amazing!
One day a random couple walking by the depaving came back to donate to our cause. It’s so powerful to see this kind of generosity — this community is truly amazing!
Selling Depave gear is another highlight of my day. It’s exciting to see our logo walk off of the site and into the world. “Free Your Soil” travels far and wide as our volunteers take Depave wherever they go.
Local breweries, nurseries, restaurants and entrepreneurs all support Depave by donating items for us to raffle off at our events. Local businesses around Portland show their dedication to making the world a better place by helping us raise money for our projects. One of my favorite parts of our events is the Instagram contest. We encourage volunteers to take a break from ripping up asphalt to take pictures of the event and post them on Instagram (hashtag #depavepdx!) The volunteers with the best shots of the day walk away with the coolest shirt in Portland.
When all the hard work is done and the pavement is gone, I see the beginning of a parking lot transformed. Everyone is tired but there are smiles all around. We’ve just accomplished something amazing. Using our bodies, we’ve created an area that will soon be an inviting greenspace. In the process we’ve connected with our neighbors and formed a unique bond. This is an achievement that one can revisit throughout the years.
I’m grateful for those I’ve met at so many depavings and can’t wait to meet more of you this summer. Join us in creating lasting change. The feeling will last a lifetime.
Join us in creating powerful change. The feeling will last a lifetime.