Paco's photos

Paco, who takes care of the landscaping for the entire neighborhood using all-organic methods, enjoys snapping photos when he sees something beautiful (which happens frequently here). This is a shot he took yesterday in the wetlands.


New Planters in the Glasshouses

Paco just built three new planters in the Pringle Creek Glasshouses, and
Nicole (Urban Farmer) is ready to put them to good use! She will grow
lettuce greens and herbs for Painters Hall Café and Farm Stand sales in the
community. Shangri-La and Leslie Middle School are continuing to use their
benches in the Conservatory for their gardening programs as well.


Solar-powered electric car charger

Check out a post about our BLINK network electric vehicle charger -- tied to Painters Hall's 20.2 kW solar system (a net-zero energy building). We hope to eventually have an EV community car share program to plug in here too. Which EV on the market do you think is best? Post your thoughts or let me know. We have our eye on Eugene's Arcimoto and Portland's Greenlite Motors.


Pringle Creek in Metropolis Magazine

Susan Szenasy, Editor-in-Chief of Metropolis (the stunning magazine of architecture and design), attended our presentation at Greenbuild Toronto last month, and wrote about it in the November issue's "Publisher's Notes." She picked up the key message we were trying to communicate: great, sustainable design is more than just energy efficiency or "doing with less" but rather about having more -- more of the features that improve our lives, the simple joys that typically come at no cost. Scroll through our Greenbuild PDF of the presentation here and thanks to Jackie (my lovely wife) for modeling in the magazine photo!

Painters Hall Cafe on urbanspoon.com

Check out this incredible review on urbanspoon. Sounds staged but it's 100% real I swear.
"October 31, 2011
It's in the heart  of...........
by Chuck  Bradley (797  reviews) 
Pringle Creek Community, a  fledgling green development on the old Fairview Home property off Strong RD  SE. The ancient and towering smoke stack from a bygone day looms above the  building where the painters, who maintained the many buildings on the then  state owned facility, worked and stored their equipment and supplies. The  décor is an eclectic mix and includes large tables for big groups or intimate  tables and conversation groupings with easy chairs, couches and coffee tables.  The walls are festooned with "fine art prints" by Wayne J. Parker and an  interesting fish sculpture created from keys and key-ring disks. The table at  which my bride and I sat was fashioned from a section of Oak hardwood floor,  no doubt salvaged from one of the old buildings since deconstructed on the  property.
The restaurant has 
access to two huge depression era green houses  that the developers have restored. Their goal is to provide all the fruit and  vegetable ingredients they use from indoor and outdoor gardens on site.
Our  server, Holly, was new and very eager and helpful.
It boasts "Natural &  Organic Food & Drinks in a LEED-Platinum, net-zero energy Café". The menu  is currently in seasonal transition and is rather limited but very healthy and  good. My bride chose a half Whole Wheat Pita Chicken Salad Sandwich and a cup  of Lintel Soup. Both were excellent. Her cup of Soup was almost as large as my  bowl of Minestrone. I had a whole Caprese; fresh Mozzarella, fresh Tomato and  Basil on Cascade Baking Company French Bread and drizzled with Balsamic  Vinegar and Spices and a fresh Pear and Mixed Greens Salad with Onion, Walnuts  and Feta Cheese. Yum!
The Sandwich prices are: $5 for a whole or a half  with a cup of Soup. Soup is $5 for a bowl or $3 for a cup. Salads are $3.  Fresh brewed Coffee was $1.
Painters Hall Café offers high quality food and  service for an extraordinarily low price. We don't think you can go wrong  here."


Paco's photos

Paco took a photo of these two little Tree Swallows near the creek this morning. So many birds all around right now -- last week I saw no fewer than 30 Robins all together, between the Pacific Yew and the Fir Grove.


Happy Halloween!

Super Remy and Ninja E get ready to take on the world!


Urban Farmer Certification Class Tour

Last weekend Urban Farmer participants toured several classmates' wonderful home garden spaces, checking out the organic gardening principles discussed in class.

Kristi's organized and bountiful tomato operation.

Susan's gorgeous peppers (above) and beautiful sunflower/bean trellis (below).

Megan and Andrew's pumpkins!


Salem Green + Solar Fair 2011

Are you interested in increasing the value of your current home? Would you like to learn what green-building leaders in the region have done with their homes? Want to talk with experts and owners about design, products, and strategies to help get you there?

Join us Saturday, October 1st for:
Salem Green + Solar Fair 2011
Brought to you by Salem AIA, Pringle Creek Community, Marion County Public Works Environmental Services, and Solar Oregon

The focus of this year’s fair is on increasing the value of your home through green renovation & remodeling! Join 14 other cities across Oregon for this annual event!

We will begin with a presentation by President and Founder of Green Hammer Construction, Stephen Aiguier, who has remodeled and built several high-performance LEED Platinum and Passive House certified homes. Stephen will profile his most recent green home renovations, energy strategies, products, design considerations, and ways to increase existing home value for the long-term. 

Following Stephen’s presentation


MIG Farm Dinner!

Jackie and I went to the Minto Island Growers Farm Dinner last week and it was awesome! David Rosales and crew created a delicious all-veg multi-course dinner at the MIG Farm Stand, served family-style. Such a great group of people at all the tables, mostly CSA members, very elegant and classy, and a ton of fun. Can we do this every weekend? Awesome job Chris and Elizabeth! And to Sally for putting it together! Thank you for bringing an event like this to Salem. We hope there will be more! PS: if you would like to join the MIG CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) Program, visit their website. Painters Hall is one of their south Salem drop sites!
Dinner guests applaud Chris, Elizabeth, and David

Some of Minto Island Growers organic farm operations in the background

Intimate and fun, and perfect weather


Urban Farmer wanted!

Pringle Creek Community is seeking a part-time Urban Farmer to maintain and expand our urban farming operations and related educational programming in the neighborhood. This includes a large intensive garden with 6,000 square feet of glass Conservatory, as well as 2 acres of organic orchards, blueberries, and community gardens, and additional acreage.

The position's primary responsibility will be to produce food for Painters Hall Café and farm stand sales through manual fieldwork, crop cultivation, planning, production, harvesting, and selling of produce. Other duties and responsibilities include: maintaining gardens, orchards, and Conservatory for productivity, yield, beauty, and interest; maintaining and repairing Conservatory and irrigation infrastructure; exploring potential community beekeeping and urban chicken keeping program; engaging volunteers and community partners in farm production activities; providing farm-related educational tours and activities; and assisting neighborhood organic landscape maintenance program.

Required qualifications: gardening or farming experience, preferably 2 years or more in organic or chemical-free agriculture; ability to work independently and as part of a team to achieve goals successfully; knowledge of (or willingness to learn) Conservatory operations, maintenance, repair, and basic carpentry. Preferred qualifications: experience teaching youth in a farm setting; demonstrated interest in issues related to food security and sustainable agriculture; ability to work creatively on a low budget; passion for sustainability and for challenging yet rewarding work in an outdoor setting.

Accepting applications until September 9th, 2011. We may not be able to respond to all candidate applications.

Please send resume and cover letter to James by email.

Update: thanks everyone, we found someone awesome! Nicole McDavid is now our Urban Farmer and is taking care of the Glasshouses and gardens. Stop by to say hi! and come try her produce in Painters Hall Cafe.


Favorite Salem secret (again)

Kelsey Wilson was just featured in the Statesman Journal Young Professional spotlight, and said her "favorite Salem secret" is "Pringle Creek Community. It's the perfect place to ride bikes, have a picnic or go for a walk."
Thanks Kelsey! You aren't the only one who loves this place.
Julia McFerron told the Statesman Journal that Pringle Creek was her "Favorite Salem Secret" last year too, and we have a lot of friends that come here just to enjoy the 12 acres of natural open space and well-designed streets -- like living in a park. It's beautiful, as you can see from these photos taken in front of the Root Cellar, gardens, and creek by Katie Brown Photography.
Thanks Kelsey! We're glad you like coming here!

Today's Young Professional: Kelsey Wilson
August 21, 2011
Name: Kelsey Wilson
Age: 29
Residence: Salem
What I do at work: Public Affairs Manager at Vox Public Relations Public Affairs. I am responsible for



Painters Hall Cafe is an awesome place to have lunch -- have you discovered it yet?

To see the menu (which includes organic blueberry gelato, espresso drinks, and great food), visit http://paintershallcafe.blogspot.com  seriously the best gaspacho this side of Seville...

The best place in Salem to sit outside, have lunch in the shade, and listen to the birds sing.

Organic greens, incredible bread, home baked chicken, fresh fruit, balsamic dressing.... all this for $5


Painters Hall mentioned in Statesman article on WOU

We received a brief mention in today's Statesman Journal, as Painters Hall was the first LEED Platinum building in Salem. Congratulations to Western Oregon University! Link to Statesman Journal article
WOU hall becomes first Polk LEED Platinum building
Justin Much
Statesman Journal
August 4, 2011

The newly anointed nexus on the Western Oregon University campus just officially earned its green stripes.
Ackerman Hall, which opened in September, achieved Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum certification through the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).
The Hall’s builders aimed for the Platinum rating from the onset, while its architect, Kurt Haapala, also prized the building’s


Open Houses!

With three new LEED homes under construction, priced $240K to $340K, we are having some scheduled Open Houses for those of you interested in making Pringle Creek Community your home. We will giving tours beginning at Painters Hall four times a month on either Thursdays after work (4 - 6pm) or Sundays in the afternoon (12 - 2pm).

Our next Open House will be Thurs 8/11, Sun 8/14, Thurs 8/18, and Sun 8/28. Stop by if you have any questions or want to experience what living here is all about. If possible, let us know you plan to visit either by email or phone 503-315-1055 so we can look for you and introduce ourselves.


New cottage homes for sale!

We have three homes currently under construction this summer, priced between $259,500 and $329,000. The first (the Alder) is already spoken for, and has a young family (Keith and Alicia + boys) moving in September 1st!

The Coho combines smart modern design with a traditional craftsman look. It is designed by Architect Ross Chapin.
The second home (the Coho) is now available for sale, and it is going to be awesome -- 20ft lofted ceiling above the kitchen and living space, 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, custom cabinetry and countertops, ultra-efficient ground-source heating and cooling for remarkably low utilities, LEED® Platinum certification, and a warranty for materials and workmanship through 2021.

The Coho is 1,271 square feet with an additional detached garage (with a greenroof -- the master bedroom looks out onto it!). The Coho combines the best of smart design with that timeless craftsman look – front porch, private nooks, wood windows you love to open, and traditional lines and trim. It will also have a beautifully-landscaped common pathway courtyard just off the front porch, and french doors opening out to a private backyard space adjacent to a 10-acre park and ball field.
The master bedroom of the Coho (left) currently under construction, looks out onto this awesome greenroof!
Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified Beech custom cabinetry.
Custom Eco-stone countertops made form 75% recycled materials.
No-VOC adhesives and paints for healthy indoor air quality.
Home fire suppression system for total fire protection and safety.
100% FSC lumber and advanced framing techniques.
Double-pane U.30 Sierra Pacific Aluminum-clad wood windows.
Highly insulated – R49 ceiling, R38 floor, R26 walls.
Ground-Source Heat Pump for ultra-efficient heating and cooling.

If you would like a walk through, let us know, I'd be happy to show you around! Or call James at 503-315-1055 to set up a time to visit. Check back for more photos!


Watch Shannon on TV this weekend!

Catch Shannon on cable TV this weekend talking about the Painters Hall Zero Waste program and our 100th EarthWISE certification! Watch the video below and learn more about the free EarthWISE program here. The commercial is showing on MNBC, TBS, CNN, A&E, TNT, Discovery, ESPN, HGTV, and the History Channel throughout the weekend!


Zena Forest Products kiln-dried beer tap handles

Check out this video on urban tree salvage and Widmer Brothers brewing tap handles. The Oregon White Oak blanks are kiln-dried out at our friend Ben Deumling's place -- Zena Forest Products.

Learn more about Ben here or read about the floors he did for us, and some urban forest salvage of our own on page two here. Ben also made some tap handles for Wandering Aengus Ciderworks, also out in West Salem. You can find their cider on tap at Venti's downtown.

Tour de Pringle Creek

What an awesome bike race Sunday! Organized by Capitol Velo Bicycle Club, racers sped through our neighborhood streets (the one and only time of the year when high speeds are ok on our streets) and along Fairview Industrial Drive in hopes of winning cash prizes and notoriety -- riders came from across the state. This was serious intensity circuit racing, high speed over the course of 75 or 90 minutes! Competitors enjoyed the technical cornering and design of our streets, which made their laps way more challenging and interesting than typical circuit speed races. Who needs to go to France when we have the Tour right here? Also great food provided by Minto Island Growers (if you are craving the fresh berry shake, you can go to their stand on River Road S. during the week) and James the Waffle Guy. And the all-natural sports-drink company Orbana provided race fuel and free samples to racers and spectators. Thanks to all of the sponsors, Upper Echelon, Bike Peddler, Scotts Cycle, Santiam Bicycle, Orbana, and Lulay's Car Connection and of course Capitol Velo for all their work, and Oregon Bicycle Racing Association. See photos below and check out the video of what it's like to actually ride in this race...

Racers for the Men's Pro Race blast off
Jackie shows off the incredible menu of Minto Island Growers Farm Food Cart!
Minto Island Growers Farm Food Cart mother & daughter serving it up fresh.
Sage (racer and one of the event organizers) enjoys a well-deserved fresh strawberry shake.


Weeding without chemicals

Paco's strategy for weeding without chemicals includes BBQing them with his flame thrower. A quick blast of high intensity heat literally boils the plant's cells and tap root. It is most effective in gravel or paved areas where the torch won't burn nearby plants that you want to keep. Children: do not attempt this at home!!


Summer is here!

Wow it actually feels like summer!
Today was so beautiful, I thought I'd walk around and take some photos of what's new around here...

Urban Farmers adding to their garden plots and getting ready.
Painters Hall is a perfect place to hang out, drink some iced tea, and get refreshed.
We are pouring the foundation of the Coho cottage today! It's the second house currently under construction.
This Coho is a 3BD / 2BA LEED Gold home, perfect size at 1,300sqft. 
The garage greenroofs are really amazing this time of the year. There are more than 30 different plant species up there! Watch out for bees and ladybugs.


James Meyer & Opsis featured in Portland Architecture

A lean, green studio: talking with James Meyer of Opsis Architecture

By Brian Libby at http://chatterbox.typepad.com/portlandarchitecture

Though the Great Recession has not been kind to the architecture and construction industry, Opsis Architecture may serve as proof that the combination of skills - collaboration, innovation, humility, ingenuity - can still propel certain firms to prosperity.

Not among the biggest or smallest firms in town, Opsis remains busy with a host of public and private projects across the region. In particular, the firm - which Meyer formed with Alec Holser and Jim Kalveledge (all were colleagues at Yost Grube Hall) in 1999 - has made its name with several school projects over the years, both K-12 and colleges. Though the firm has yet to design a major building in central Portland, they've long been on the cusp. They were one of three finalists for Portland State University's new building on the Urban Center plaza two years ago, for example, and produced an arguably far more compelling design than the ultimate winner, Yost Grube Hall. But as Meyer notes, the variety of projects, and the future in which they are designed, is what gets him excited.

"We’re doing food service, theaters, basketball courts, media centers, offices. Even as you start thinking about new working environments, we’re intrigued by that conversation related to all of these projects going on."

Among the most recent Opsis projects is the Pringle Creek housing community in Salem. A 32-acre development, Pringle Creek is first mixed-use LEED-rated community in the United States, blending of the residential and commercial communities are developed to enhance livability. The community integrates


Statesman covers Morningside Annual Meeting at Painters Hall

Morningside Neighborhood Association Meeting
31 May 2011
By Cindy Ulshafer from the Statesman Journal

In the renovated Painters Hall in the Pringle Creek Community on May 12, the 35th annual meeting of the Morningside Neighborhood Association was buzzing with lively discussions.

Chairwoman Pamela Schmidling called the meeting to order and introduced the speakers. Angie Hedrick from Salem's police department urged everyone

Spring News & Update

We just released our Spring Newsletter! You can read all six pages here. If you'd like to receive these updates updates automatically, send us an email and we'll get you signed up! (it might go without saying, but we manage our own list, never share it, and you can exit at anytime).



Tim with Spectra Construction working hard! Vertical strips behind him keep the siding off the wall allowing any moisture to drain away instead of be trapped. This is called a rainscreen -- helps protect the life of the wall and prevent mold growth typically found in conventionally built wall systems. Rainscreens are now code for new construction in Oregon!


Urban Farmer Certification: Irrigation Basics

Last Saturday, the Urban Farmer Certification class gathered in Painters Hall to learn about the science of water and its role in plant propagation. Instructor Val Tancredi of Stettler Supply Company led the class in a discussion of the benefits of drip irrigation, and then directed the class to the garden where they installed the entire drip system for the 5000 sq. ft. space.

Contact Shannon at shannon@pringlecreek.com if you would like more information on the Urban Farmer Certification, or to join the wait list for next year!


Leslie Middle School Plant Sale

Leslie Middle School students are hosting another great plant sale in the greenhouse, starting Monday, May 16th and running until Saturday, May 21st. All plant starts, including tomatoes, marigolds and peppers, are $.50. Stop by anytime 9am-4pm M-F and 9am-1pm Saturday! All proceeds go toward building raised beds in the Leslie Middle School garden.

Contact shannon@pringlecreek.com for more information.


Framing walls

FSC plywood, 2x4s and 2x6 wall studs!


Morningside Neighborhood Association Annual Meeting

Morningside Annual Meeting happening right now! Great group of concerned citizens working to make Salem neighborhoods better.


Concrete pour

Moving forward with the Alder house, concrete pour today!