Urban Dwellers and Neighborhood Nature Research

What are the benefits of small-scale natural areas in our neighborhoods? Take part in research that explores your experiences with and thoughts on watershed health projects like rain gardens, Green Streets and habitat restoration that are in the Mt. Tabor to the Willamette River area, between SE Hawthorne and SE Powell Blvd.

Your participation in this study will help researchers find out more about the benefits of small-scale neighborhood oriented nature. This study is being conducted by Sarah Church and Dr. Maged Senbel of the School of Community and Regional Planning at the University of British Columbia.

You must be willing to be interviewed at a location of your convenience during the summer of 2011. If you would like to participate, please contact Church at churchsp@interchange.ubc.ca, or 208-310-2841.

Come Mingle, Eat and Elect New Board Members

Elections for the Sunnyside Neighborhood Association will be held Thursday, May 12, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., during the regularly scheduled monthly meeting. The event is a potluck and a chance to get to know your neighbors and board.

Four board members will be chosen. Board members Jane Pullman, Chuck Lawrence and Michele Gila will not be seeking another term. Tim Brooks, a longtime board member who is co-chair of this year’s Belmont Street Fair, will be seeking re-election. Other known candidates include Josh Palmer, a neighborhood volunteer and enthusiast and Karen Hery, also a neighborhood volunteer and founder of the Sunnyside SwapShop and Playspace and The Roost.

Join us on Thursday to learn more about the candidates and to thank the outgoing members for their years of service.  Bring a dish to share. Those in the neighborhood who would like to vote will need:

— a current driver’s license or Department of Motor Vehicle ID card

— current voter registration card

— a bill or official correspondence addressed to the individual residing in or owning a business within the SNA boundaries.

Hope to see you there!

Bring Your Stuff to Dump & Swap at St. Stephens Church April 15-17

The annual Useful Goods Exchange held at Sunnyside Environmental School for the past four years and the long running Sunnyside Neighborhood Clean Up have merged to become the Sunnyside Swap and Spring Clean Up. This combined effort to reduce, reuse and recycle will all take place at the Saint Stephens Catholic Church gym and parking lot Friday, April 15 – Sunday, April 17.

Drop off of useful goods begins on Friday 6-9pm through the main doors of the gym and continues on Saturday 9-4.   If you drop off your useful goods on Friday you will receive free entry to the swap on Saturday.

Collection of bulky waste and recyclables (see list and costs below) takes place on Saturday 9-noon in the church parking lot.

Swapping happens all day on Saturday 9-4 in the gym.  $2 admission donation per family.

Rummage Sale: All items not swapped on Saturday are part of the rummage sale on Sunday 10-1.   All items in the rummage sale are free 12:30-1 on Sunday. Remaining items at the end of the rummage sale will be given to charities.

All money raised during the clean up is collected by the Sunnyside Neighborhood Association as a community fundraiser.  Proceeds of the swap and rummage sale are split one third to the Sunnyside Neighborhood Association,  one third to the Sunnyside Swap Shop Co-op and one third held by the Sunnyside Swap Shop as a starter fund for next year’s event.

For more information, including what to bring and items that can’t be discarded at the clean up, please visit www.sunnysideswapshop.org.

Please Vote; Help Sunnyside Environmental School Win $10,000

Sunnyside Environmental School is one of three finalists in the Umpqua Bank Build Your Block Grant Challenge, a program the bank runs to help improve neighborhoods where its branches are located.

SES has proposed the creation of a rainwater capture system in the fall and winter to help sustainably irrigate its gardens in the summer. The school hopes to create a demonstration project with educational components to water its vegetable garden area and teach neighbors how to do the same.

A 2500 gallon cistern will be located in the SES garden at 34th and Taylor. Rain barrels and other rainwater projects will be developed and installed by the community. Educational signage will be developed by the community and placed near the cistern.

To celebrate the unveiling of the completed project, SES will host a neighborhood gathering and invite people to build rain barrels for their own homes. Money from the challenge will offset the cost of these rain barrels so that more neighbors can afford to install them. Together, we will learn about the importance of storm water reduction and rainwater harvesting!

Starting March 21, anyone may go into Umpqua, 3557 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland, OR 97214, and vote for this project. There will be postcards available listing all three projects, so stop by and learn about the good ideas. Voting closes April 15th, and the winner will be announced April 18th.

If you would like to be involved in installing this project or planning community outreach and education, please contact heidimcnamee@gmail.com.

Neighbors, Help SES Harvest Rain Water

Umpqua Bank is sponsoring a “Build Your Block Challenge” to select one neighborhood improvement project to fund.  Sunnyside Environmental School invites you to celebrate the rain with us and hopes that our project will be chosen for funding!
Portland gets about 40″ of rain a year. Much of that ends up polluted and in our sewers, and isn’t available to us when we need it most…the summer. Our school is creating a rainwater harvesting system, which will water the school gardens and highlight other ways to capture and reuse water.
We will create educational materials and host a neighborhood rain barrel building event to help the greater community capture and use water!  If you are interested in helping us plan or implement this idea, please contact heidimcnamee@gmail.com.
Let the rain kiss you.
Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops.
Let the rain sing you a lullaby.
–Langston Hughes (excerpt)