by Carla Eisner, SHNA Board Member, Sustainability Committee Chair
After months of planning and site preparation, volunteers from the Sylvan-Highlands Neighborhood Association and the Odyssey School community teamed up on November 18th to install a native plant rain garden on the Odyssey campus. The project was funded by a Neighborhood Small Grant award from NWNW and ONI.
In the fall of 2016, Odyssey School, a History Focus Option Program of Portland Public Schools, opened its new location in the East Sylvan School building. With most students living outside the Sylvan-Highlands boundaries, SHNA was eager to welcome the school to the neighborhood and to build a relationship with families, faculty and staff. The creation of the garden was a collaborative effort between SHNA, Odyssey parents and staff and PPS.
18 adults and 12 children planted an assortment of shrubs, perennials and grasses. They also set tree stumps, laid stones and placed a bridge. The garden will provide both students and adults a learning opportunity to understand the roles native plants play in the health of our ecosystem. We look forward to watching the garden flourish. Special thanks to Boskey Dell Natives for discounted pricing on plants, West Multnomah Soil & Water Conservation District for garden planning, and Sylvan Starbucks for warm coffee.
Neighbors and the school community are invited to attend a dedication celebration planned for early spring. There will be a presentation concerning the benefits of native plants for wildlife habitat and stormwater management. Stay tuned for more details.