Tuesday, June 26, 2007

romancing the grindstone


so, a person might ask (a person with waaayyy too much free time): "just what kinds of stuffed-with-glamor environmental justice-type stuff -- yes, stuffed-with-glamor stuff -- goes on at verde, day to day, week to week?"

and, we would reply, between sips of mead and marches on washington, interrupting our routine and far flung break-room-table debates with s. truth, c. chavez, j.o. arc, and j. kerouac (dude needs to get a life), to say:

we run a business, we serve a community

this a last week, we've devoted a good chunk of time to preparing an estimate for the Lake Oswego 10th Street Green Street Project, a big and swanky tear up and rebuild of 5-ish blocks which a lot of bioswales and other stormwater treatments. we've done this together with our steady partner, ProLandscape, a 20 year old landscape contracting and design firm. They teach us a lot, including how to prepare a bid.

Other A-List tasks for this week include buying tools, buying educational signage for our Hacienda CDC installations:

...invoicing, irrigation system stuff (this is my favorite thing in the world, barely edging out singing off-key, or the onset of allergy season), lawyers/guns/money, and this damn blog

(excuse me, i gotta go, t. rex has had too much to drink, and he and madame curie are about to make a mess of the place...)

Monday, June 18, 2007

trees or exercise

so, now, it's time to address, I guess, something that many a-blogger has contemplated, in other words:

an unread blog - akin to talking to yourself/a falling tree in empty woods; or like exercising, working on a project in solitude, in anticipation that said project will one day be observed

staggering. the mind boggles, and then quickly gets bored...

so and ok, that's enough of that.

last Saturday, we participated in/sponsored a local event, Explorando el Columbia Slough, a Latino-focused outreach event put on by the Columbia Slough Watershed Council. Verde's offices are located in the Columbia Slough Watershed, a watershed that's home to a heavy concentration of Latinos.

This was cool, especially because Nursery Crew Members Pedro Moreno, Jesus Nunez, and Nestor Campos tabled the event, sharing information about the Verde Native Plant Nursery with their neighbors and community members. Using project photos and brochures, they put their outreach training to its 1st community use, building the connection between environmental protection and the community's economic needs.

Good & Bye

Monday, June 11, 2007

your average rigmarole

you know how you meet somebody, somebody new, at a party or at a bus stop or at a support group/arraignment hearing? and s/he asks you, "so, what do you do?"

(more times than I care to remember, this question has been greeted with laughter of the "did-it-have-to-be-that-loud" variety by whatever friend happens to overhear la pregunta...)

the short story is, we saw this new economy growing, this sustainable development thing. we noticed it wasn't just the treehuggers or policy wonks doing the pushing and growing, it was the development agencies and the chambers of commerce - groups whose green interests tended more toward the dollar than the earth. we saw new jobs, new businesses, new money.

and we thought, "damn if they're going to grow this economy without us."

us: the brown, the black, the red, the people without money and without connections, the last hired, the first fired, the economically marginalized, the people working (more than one) jobs which are low paying, unhealthy, and that offer little/no chance to build skills or a career.

Today, I'd also like to say goodbye to someone, to Jose Luis Velasco, one of the Nursery's 1st two crew members, who came on board when we'd no equipment, no contracts, no garage, no website, just some good folk, some seed funding and a whole lotta fast talking. Jose's going to back to Cali, to be close to his parents, and I just wanted to thank him for all the time and hard work he gave over these last 2 years, and wish nothing but good things for him and all he cares about



Tuesday, June 5, 2007

verde joins the 20th century

so, as we like to say around here, poco a poco - little by little we grow something from nothing, and so it is today as we take an important step, shooting our organization straightforward to the late 1990s: the launch of our website.

nobody can do everything, but everybody can do something, and our website would not be possible without the time and effort of 3 very important partners:

thanks to Bridget Gregory/The Frause Group, a Seattle- and Portland-based marketing firm which provided probono consulting services, for helping us reduce our big-to-us story to a manageable size, and helping us find a web designer.

thanks to Isaac Phillips, a web designer who took our words, pictures and ideas, transforming them into a good-lookin' and easy-to-use site we could call our own, and doing so for a graciously provided discounted fee.

and, thanks to Technical Assistance for Community Services, a Portland-area nonprofit corporation. TACS has served the nonprofit community in Oregon for over 25 years, providing training, consultation, information, and resources that nonprofits need to do their work better. Verde received a mini-grant from TACS's Small Organization Support program, in part to design and implement Verde's website.

and, thanks to you, of course of course, for checking us out, we hope you like our story

dassall/eso si que es/much obliged...