Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Everyday, everyday, that's the theme this year, a (perhaps-too-briefly) considered notion for routine application, producing anticipated and unanticipated effects - direct and side...

but, hey,
Everyday = All We Got, and that's surely and enough-of-the-time quite a bit, and for us here at Verde it means that we continue slouching toward some greater something or other


So, here's some fun that we had, not that very long ago in someone's perspective, tho we've certainly experienced
4 things per day each and everyday since then so maybe it's been a lot longer than that, depending on the shoes you wore during those 67...
On January 17th, we participated in a sunday matinee by Portland's own Teatro Milagro.
Informed by Spanish and Latin American art and artists, Miracle's signature works celebrate the vibrancy of Latino aesthetic, blending movement, dance, and music with poetic language to create visually stunning and visceral theatrical experiences.

The original production, El Ultimo, explored issues of environment, culture, race and class, set in South America. Teatro Milagro approached us about participating in a bilingual environmental fair in their lobby, after the show - they didn't have to ask us twice, and we called our partners at Friends of Trees, Hacienda CDC, and SOLV to participate in the fair with us, and we bought tickets (graciously discounted by Teatro Milagro) and arranged transportation for more than a dozen participants in Hacienda CDC's Expresiones program, an after-school program for middle school students living on Hacienda CDC's affordable housing properties. 82 people attended the show and the fair...

Check out the scene:

Mapuche Forest Spirits

TM Actor
Omar Vargas

Verde Outreach Worker
Pedro Moreno

Pedro with Expresiones students, sharing information on Verde's activities and the connection between protecting the environment and making a good living

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Turnstyled, Junkpiled

happy new year, my favorite one, I've been remiss, and/so I've lots to share with you. Let's start with November, not too long ago, really, only, ummmm, 2 months:

[my dear, you have to believe me, I know I can do better, I can change, I'm trying to change, you have to believe me, I know I can do better, I know I can change, I know it seems like I keep making the same mistake over and over and over and over again, and over again, but this time is going to be different, I promise, just wait (wait?!), you'll see...]

well, so november was a mi-t long time ago, or just as far away as the blink of an eye, depending on how long you've been alive, or what's happened to you between then and now (and ain't it something how feats of snow can make even an unfranchised convenience store look like a beauty queen...)

thus and then, I'm leaning toward the blinking perspective.

thus and then, in November, we had a very nice and important event, a City of Portland Council hearing to approve a 5 year tree planting contract with Friends of Trees and Verde, a program named the Grey-to-Green Urban Canopy Project & Community Tree Planting Campaign.
This would be good work, and give Verde the chance to hire more people to work at Verde Landscape and Verde Nursery.

But, the really exciting thing about this hearing, held on November 26, was the audience, the people who offered testimony - Verde Landscape Crew Members, and our brothers and sisters from the Latino community, the African-American community, the Native American community. A hoped-for-something-realized - the brown, the black, the red, all testifying in support of an environmental policy precisely because this policy (and future ones like it) offer known job, job training and entrepreneurial opportunities to their communities.

We'd very much appreciate it if you check it out on this video; the contract portion starts at 2:40:45, and the good procession runs for about 25 minutes.

We'd very much appreciate it if you stop watching when that big-eared goof with the thrift store vest and polyester pants starts running his mouth...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Did It All For You

ok ok computer fine fine fine!! we have to change the website, we know this, ok ok fine fine fine!!

(we're having a strategic planning session on Monday, Board and Staff and Advisors, and that'll affect Verde's structure and message and mission so we might as well wait until that's all done before we make any updates)

But, just because we're technological lunkheads doesn't mean we haven't failed to fail (a fruitless diagramming exercise there), and it does mean that we have somehow let down our own predictions of backsliding

Recently, Verde Landscape took a nice step forward, working alongside more established and experienced landscape contractors, securing installation work and the opportunity to train Verde Landscape Crew Members in new skill areas.

Project 1 was an office landscape remodel for NW Housing Alternatives, where 2 Verde Landscape Crew Members worked alongside 2 Crew Members from ProGrass. Verde and ProGrass began working together earlier this year, and this was our first project together, and we look forward to many more opportunities. ProGrass was a formal subcontractor to Verde, and also helped Verde Landscape prepare the bid (and a big thank you to Jason King, LA, for preparing the landscape plan, and to NWHA's Maggie Palumbo, for reaching out to Verde in the 1st place):

Project 2 was a parking lot landscape installation for the East Multnomah Soil & Water Conservation District, where Verde Landscape Crew Members worked alongside Crew Members from ProLandscape, a long-time Verde partner. This was our first chance to work together, with Verde as a formal subcontractor to ProLandscape on the job. Thanks to the folks at the District for supporting Verde as we create environmental job and job training opportunities for low-income people.

Well, that's all, see you later, lots of good stuff happening we hope and think, good stuff about to hope we think and happen, going home again soon which of course cannot and must be done, the past is never dead it isn't even past, good-night-misses-calabash-wherever-you-are

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Automobile Noise

Good Morning Beautiful:

Early showers in Portland, the ground softens, the roots let go easier, windshield wipers stretch themselves and groan..., and thoughts turn to a friend whose windshield wipers won't turn off so everyday she prays for rain

So the times for a change, for transition, for going to bed late and getting up early, for leaving things behind and moving forward moving on, for completely remembering but not returning completely to your February self, and Verde moves. We'd like to share with you, whoever you are and if you are, an August experience:

For several days, together with our partners from SOLV's Team Up for Watershed Health and the Portland Rock Gym, Verde Landscape Crew Members put their working-on-steep-slopes training to its 1st use at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry.

SOLV's Steve Kennett, Portland Rock Gym's Ken Ristau,
and Verde Landscape's Jose Velasco get things started

Getting it just right

Protecting the Rope and the Tree


Verde Landscape's Jesus Nuñez Sr double
checks Jesus Nu
ñez Jr's setup

And, we're happy to say, other than some serious run-ins at the end with very angry, very persistent and numerous representatives from the bee world, everything went smoothly and good work was done. Check out the show:

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Grand Central Lush Life Raggedy Ann

Here's a question: Have you ever let something just haaang out there - like returning somebody's phone call - let it hang out there so long that with every passing it day it just made less and less sense, and became more and more embarrassing, to make that call?

Like, you knew you should, and you probably had some stuff you wanted to say, in a good way, but you felt kind of like a joke?

Well, today, we pick up the phone, we push the buttons, we sweat and gulp our way thru the ringing in our ears, and say we're sorry we're such a joke, but we really did mean to call but we fell in love with an elbow and anyway we think we have something good to say...

When the summer started, we had a fun day, our 3rd time at the Columbia Slough Watershed Council's Explorando el Columbia Slough. It's an annual celebration and outreach event for the area's Latino community, and Verde was out in force with 6 Landscape Crew Members present to share information in Spanish and English with their friends, neighbors, and community.

Jesus Nunez Sr discusses photos of Verde projects

Pedro Moreno talks about native plants

The Adventure of Samuel Martinez

As for you and me and this blog?

Really, we should stay friends, it's-not-you-it's-me, let's keep in touch,
I swear I'll do better in the future, sometimes I just get a little stuck in my own world

Friday, May 23, 2008

Pictures of Matchstick Men

Almost June, Almost June, they say the sun will come out soon(er or later), but we've heard that before and pay what it's due

you know what? we're busy, very busy,
almost too busy, almost too much work for our workers, too many workers for our trucks, too many people living in a secret world...

who cares and why care? ______________________________________________________________________ last saturday, saturday may 19th, was a very good day: mulch was made, blackberry roots were dug, native plants were freed, stinging nettle did its thing, and somebody managed to inhale over 10 cookies-in-a-15-minute-span-while-also-stashing-another-five-in-her-hat.

Verde and Hacienda CDC participated in SOLV's Down by the Riverside event along Beaver Creek, a Verde-SOLV restoration site in Troutdale. But, Expresiones is the main story, 20+ middle school students from Hacienda CDC's affordable housing learning about the environment outside their neighborhood:

about the connection between stormwater at their apartments and the water in Beaver Creek:

and about different ways to protect the environment and make a good living at the same time...

And, how to get their hands dirty:

Expresiones student digging blackberry roots to protect native plantings

hauling mulch

Learning about native and invasive plants

An exciting day, the first of many to come, so thanks to everyone who helped out, esp. SOLV's Steve Kennett for bearing the extra heat that comes with running the grill so the growing kids can get fed
(don't answer that)

Friday, April 18, 2008


Portland is cold, yes, very cold, unseasonably/irredeemably cold, wetter-than-ezra, even the long-time-locals are grumpy.

But, aqui a Verde, our gear is good, our feet are dry, and we're out in it.

Recently, we finished a project for our good friends at Our United Villages, at their project-known-as The Rebuilding Center. Brothers and Sisters with us and others in the so reasonable as to be life-affirming idea (a.k.a. Shouldn't Poor Folk and People of Color Make Some of the Green Money?), their Rebuilding Center was recently remodeled, a remodel which included 4 new stormwater planters to slow and filter on-site stormwater runoff...

They reached out to us for a Corrective Action, fixing up their stormwater facilities after a period of deferred maintenance. This is a very common thing - stormwater facilities are still pretty new, and maintaining them is a new responsibility for many property owners, a responsibility the City of Portland expects them to meet.

2 things are especially cool here:

1. When we spoke with the Rebuilding Center about the City's expectations for stormwater facility maintenance, we found that everything the City was telling the Center, we'd learned about in our Weekly Classroom Training on Operations and Maintenance Plans, provided by Jason King from Greenworks, so we knew what the City wanted to see and what we needed to do. Hell Yes!
Operations & Maintenance Plan Training

2. Check out these very nice before and after photos, which provided good feelings to all concerned (Verde, Our United Villages, the City, Neighbors)

Ooh, look, sunshine...