Painters Hall-iday Decorations!

In preparation for our neighborhood holiday party, we decided to make all of our decorations from materials used in the Painters Hall or from around the site.

Our tree was especially charming; it was based on a craft project featured in the Nov/Dec 2010 Natural Home Magazine. It's made from days of collected newspaper, two soda cans, and a branch garnered from Paco's Aspen trimmings.

The ornaments are expired cafe coupons and paper scraps from events!

The baskets are full of trimmings and branches collected from around the neighborhood.

Happy Holidays!


Aaron Good's "Thursday Drawings 2"

Last weekend was the opening reception for Aaron Good's "Thursday Drawings 2" in our Painters Hall community center. The show was very successful, with about 80 friends and family members attending. Aaron's work will continue to be on display for the month of December, so be sure to stop in to check out his beautiful drawings. The Painters Hall is open weekdays 9am to 5pm.

Here are a couple photos from the opening:

Twenty-eight year-old Aaron Good has been active as an artist in Salem for the past fifteen years. His art was featured in a one-person show at the Salem Art Association in 2008. Very Special Arts and the National Downs Syndrome Association selected Aaron’s art for use on their holiday cards. Aaron Good has donated a number of his drawings to charity auctions during the past three years.


Urban Farmer Certification

Our educational objective for the Conservatory is simple: teach people, particularly children and young adults, how to grow their own food. In response, we started the Leslie Middle School Learning Garden to encourage students to explore the connection between the classroom and the natural environment. Now we are excited to debut our newest Conservatory program geared toward people in their 20s and 30s, the Urban Farmer Certification.

Developed in partnership with Friends of Salem Saturday Market and the OSU Master Gardener Program, the Urban Farmer Certification will allow you to learn valuable gardening skills while cultivating your own healthy, organic fruits and vegetables. With a monthly class taught by OSU-Extension Service Master Gardeners and local farmers, the course curriculum will include garden planning, seed starting, beneficial insects, composting, and chicken keeping, among others. Classes will include both a theoretical lesson and a hands-on component that takes place in our greenhouses and community garden. As a participant in the course, you may utilize a portion of the community garden for your own cultivation space. All participants will apply their acquired knowledge in their personal garden space in order to obtain the Urban Farmer Certificate.

Schedule: the last Saturday of the month, January-October 2011

Cost: $60
scholarships available and a 20% discount for FSSM members

Sign ups begin December 1st! Please call 503-315-1055 or email shannon@pringlecreek.com for more details or to sign up!


First snow!

The Leslie Middle School students' cold crops are happy and cozy in the Conservatory, and everything seems brighter with last night's dusting...


Morning walk

A couple photos from my walk in this morning, of the Guest Cottage and Fir Grove. So beautiful!


Chemical-Free Weed Control

Sustainable landscape management is an important value in our community. We were recently recognized as the first residential development to be Salmon-Safe certified, and as part of our commitment to protecting biological diversity we choose to eliminate and control invasive species using manual methods instead of herbicides.

Last weekend a group of Willamette University students participated in a creek restoration work party to tackle the Japanese knotweed growing along our stretch of Pringle Creek. Japanese knotweed is a highly invasive species that devastates natural riparian areas because it spreads rapidly and prevents the propagation of native species. Here's what the site looked like before our work party:

Our strategy for knotweed removal without chemical agents follows the guidelines devised by the King County Noxious Weed Control Program. The students carefully cut the stems close to the ground and dug up as much of the root system as possible.

The plant matter must be quarantined until it completely dies, and then we can compost it. After the students dug up the roots, we covered the site with overlapping thick canvas fabric and several yards of mulch to suppress any new growth. Here's what the site looks like after all their hard work:

We hope that our efforts will demonstrate the feasibility of herbicide-free eradication of invasive species. Japanese knotweed is a particularly resilient weed, and total eradication will likely take years of manual control. However, the hard labor is worth it because it means we will not cause further harm to the creek and surrounding riparian area. It's really easy to use an herbicide and consider the weeds "taken care of", but to consider the long term environmental impacts of weed control is a much more rewarding task.

Thanks to the Willamette University student volunteers! Also thanks to the City of Salem for their generous Watershed Protect and Preservation grant!


Fall photos

Some photos of colors around the neighborhood...


Garden action

Students helped harvest the last of the peppers, tomatoes, and pumpkins -- a little till and Shannon will plant the red clover cover crop before tomorrow's rain. First time operating a rototiller!


Leslie Middle School Learning Garden!

We recently partnered with Leslie Middle School to establish the Leslie Middle School Learning Garden. Led by Leslie teacher Consuelo Kammerer, the students visit the Pringle Creek Conservatory a few times a week to learn useful gardening skills.

Leslie Middle School students plant organic broccoli and cabbage in the Conservatory.

Throughout the fall and winter, the students are cultivating winter greens in a raised bed in one of the greenhouses, and growing garlic outside on a portion of the community garden space. The project is the first aspect of Pringle Creek's new Conservatory objective to teach people, particularly children and young adults, how to grow their own food.

In the Learning Garden students will experience the connection between the classroom curriculum and the garden environment firsthand, giving them a deep understanding of the processes involved in sustainable agriculture. We just got started and we'll post more photos as we go! If you are interested in learning more, contact shannon@pringlecreek.com

Salem Green Professionals

This is a group we think is really great: a social network in town for young professionals specifically involved or wanting to be involved in the sustainable business movement.

What's cool is that so far each tour site has been hosted by a fellow Salem Green Professional -- Painters Hall (James), Sequential-Pacific Biodiesel (Tyson), Wildwood-Mahonia (Travis), Zena Forest Products (Ben), Wandering Aengus Ciderworks (another James), and now Organic Fresh Fingers (Evann). It's an awesome group of people! To get on the email list, contact salemgreenprofessionals@gmail.com

For our November gathering, Salem Green Professional and entrepreneur Evann Remington, Founder and CEO of Organic Fresh Fingers, will provide a tour of her company's production kitchen on Broadway. Organic Fresh Fingers provides fresh, local, natural and organic, high-quality foods for kids, childcare facilities, and schools in Oregon, and can be found on the shelves of Roth's, Lifesource, and several large Portland supermarkets.

We will gather at the Kitchen and learn about the Organic Fresh Fingers business philosophy, commitment to environmental and social responsibility, their products & processes, the importance of nutrition in child development, as well as how our food choices impact the environment.

Organic Fresh Fingers has become the expert on the National School Lunch Program and why so many school districts in the U.S. struggle to feed kids fresh, healthy food – come with your questions!

Salem Green Professionals

November 4th, 2010


1010 Broadway NE -- just north of downtown Salem on the corner of Broadway and E streets (not too far from Boone's Treasury).

Please bring your own glass or cup, and something to share (food or a drink).

Salem Green Professionals is a social and educational group focused on young professionals involved or wanting to be involved in the sustainable industry. We meet once every other month at different sustainable sites in Salem for a a tour and presentation about the site’s sustainable business practices, followed by some socializing. Feel free to pass this invitation to others who might be interested.

The future is bright: Oona, the official mascot of Organic Fresh Fingers (Evann and Gavin's daughter), enjoying chocolate covered strawberries....


October photos!

Here are some recent shots from around the neighborhood. Such beautiful Fall weather right now!

Fariborz's "Round House" is almost wrapped up, here is a shot of the front.

The countertops in his kitchen just went in yesterday.

South-facing windows provide natural daylighting, views and warmth (he also has a very comfortable radiant heating polished concrete floor).

The ceiling and skylight, viewed from the first floor. Nice spot to watch clouds moving overhead.

A spontaneous wine party at the Roots Cellar. We stayed until dark!

Sun and shadows on the west side of the Roots Cellar.

Sunlight coming through the fir grove, part of 12 acres of open space, parks and trails shared by the neighbors.


Pringle Creek & Salmon Safe Event

This is a great event and will include a presentation by James Meyer, partner at Opsis Architecture, and Master Planner of Pringle Creek Community. It's an excellent opportunity to learn about sustainable design and the pressing need to reduce our impact on our watersheds.

Please join us at Salmon in the City, a free public event highlighting recent innovations in ecologically sustainable design as well as the latest research on urban stormwater runoff and the fate of salmon.

UO Portland Center -- White Stag Building
70 NW Couch Street, Portland

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Presentations from 4:30–6:00pm
Wine Tasting with Willamette Valley Vineyards 6:00–7:00pm

Presented by:
Salmon-Safe, UO Graduate School of Architecture, Metro

The event includes Nat Scholz, Ph.D., NOAA Fisheries, presenting new stormwater research; Metro, with its regional vision for greener cities and innovative, salmon-friendly design in on-the-ground projects; and presentations from UO's innovative studio collaborations bridging architecture, business and ecology, including examples of new urban ecological innovations both at home and abroad. Salmon-Safe will unveil the first certified Salmon-Safe residential development.

For more information, please contact Dan at Salmon-Safe
503.232.3750 or info@salmonsafe.org


Bradbury lecture kicks off Climate Masters training at Painters Hall on 10/12

Friends of Straub Environmental Learning Center is holding a Climate Masters Training Program at 6 p.m. on Tuesday Oct. 12 at Painters Hall. At 7 p.m. former Secretary of State Bill Bradbury will give a talk. He has spoken about climate change hundreds of times in the past few years.

Bradbury’s talk is free and open to the public. No RSVP required for the talk, but space is limited and individuals will be admitted on a first come, first served basis.

Climate Masters is a 10-week training program developed by the Climate Leadership Initiative at Univ. of Oregon. It was modeled after the Master Gardener/Recycler programs and provides participants with 30 hours of in-depth, how-to knowledge on climate science and on ways to use resources wisely and reduce carbon emissions.

All the classes will be held at Painter's Hall. After Tuesday’s kickoff, Climate Masters classes will be every Monday from Oct. 18th - Dec. 20th at 6:00. The cost of the Climate Masters program is $25. If you're interested, email Alexandra at alexandra@fselc.org or call 503-391-4145 or visit www.fselc.org.


Green + Solar Tour a great success

This year's Green + Solar Tour was the best we've had in four years -- incredible tour sites and enthusiastic tour participants -- an all-around quality event. Thanks to our sponsors for helping make it happen!

Also a big thanks to homeowners and project site tour guides, who took their entire Saturday off to share their knowledge with others. Overall we had 200 people on this year's tour! More than 90 packed in to hear Nathan's greenbuilding presentation at 9am, and ten local vendors and organizations had great conversations with tour participants out on the deck of Painters Hall. Tour sites had a steady stream of people all day. One homeowner told me he basically was talking for five and half hours nonstop, with barely a breath between. He had to eventually just eat his lunch in front of everyone!

The tour is a very effective way to advance green building in our area. Nathan Good observed that "by walking through and directly witnessing a green home, the concerns and doubts about building green morph into opportunities and aspirations." That's what it's all about....

If you weren't able to make the tour this year, here is is a glimpse of the brochure/ticket in case you weren't able to come...

If you would like to sign up to receive a Quarterly Newsletter from Pringle Creek that will let you know about events like these, you can sign up here http://www.pringlecreek.com/learnmore.htm You can also join the Straub Environmental Learning Center's monthly email list, which outlines all the programs, events and opportunities happening in Salem. http://www.fselc.org/contact.html


Salem Green + Solar Tour 2010

Be inspired by your neighbors!
Saturday, October 2nd, 2010

This year's Salem Green + Solar Tour offers an incredible lineup of nine cutting-edge projects: the first Passive House certified home in Oregon; the first net-zero energy commercial building in Oregon; an existing home solar remodel in McNary Estates; downtown's newest green commercial-retail building, WaterPlace; the first home to receive a Solarize Salem Co-op installation; the green update to Frank Lloyd Wright Gordon House; and ABC Extreme Makeover's newly-completed LEED Gold dormitory at the Oregon School for the Deaf, among others.

Architect Nathan Good will begin the event at 9am with a preview of the tour sites and a presentation on building and design -- key terms, costs, features and benefits. Tour sites across town will be open 10am to 4pm.

Each site will be hosted by an owner, architect and/or builder who will explain the green features of the project, and benefits, costs, and lessons learned. Tour participants will have the opportunity to learn about energy efficiency, passive and active solar systems, daylighting, on-site energy generation, rainwater harvesting, innovative construction systems and building materials, and a lot more.

Registration: Begins at Painters Hall at 9am, Pringle Creek Community Click here for a map & directions http://tiny.cc/paintershall or go to http://www.pringlecreek.com

Cost: $10 per car, carpooling encouraged. Bicyclists free. Organized ride leaves at 10:15am.

Special thanks to our sponsors!

Pringle Creek Community, Salem AIA (American Institute of Architects), Marion County Environmental Services, Nathan Good Architect, Wild Pear, Friends of Straub Environmental Learning Center, Tanner Creek Energy, Zena Forest Products, Solarize Salem, Lifesource Natural Foods, Barnwood Naturals, Mahonia Vineyards & Nursery, Bilyeu Homes, Spectra Construction, and City of Salem.

Hey bicyclists! what better way to travel to Green + Solar Tour sites than by bike, especially when it's free! If you're ambitious, visit all the sites. We've also put together a shorter route that focuses on sites within the City of Salem. Bicyclists can take a self-guided loop or let Patrick and Jenny lead the way with a group tour. Group tour departs Painters Hall at 10:15am.

For more information:

Call 503-315-1055 or info@pringlecreek.com

Salem Green + Solar Tour is part of a state-wide tour in 14 communities across Oregon, all happening on the same weekend. According to Solar Oregon, which oversees state-wide coordination, "the Oregon Green and Solar Tours are one of the biggest events of their kind in the nation" and "each tour reflects the unique interests of the community, yet all share a common goal: to educate the public about green and solar strategies." You can also read about the National Solar Tour overseen by the American Solar Energy Society.

Hope to see you there for this great event!