On Saturday, September 8th, adults and youth got their hands messy with paints and colored pencils at Cully Park to vision and create artwork for Cully’s upcoming Wayfinding System.
[Sent on behalf of Verde board co-chairs Desirée Williams-Rajee and Juan Muros]
Dear Verde Community,
On behalf of the Verde Board of Directors, we are excited to share our decision to hire Tony DeFalco as Verde’s next Executive Director, effective July 1. Our founder, Alan Hipolito, will take on a new role, Director of Special Projects, starting on that same date. We will celebrate Alan’s leadership and many accomplishments at the Cully Park celebration on June 30 (Stay tuned for more details).
A key milepost in an exciting journey -- today, Living Cully (via Living Cully Plaza LLC, a limited liability company comprising Habitat for Humanity Portland/Metro East, Hacienda CDC, and Verde) took ownership of the Sugar Shack.
This kind of great result doesn't happen without important contributions from many, many organizations and individuals, including the Living Cully Partners, Craft3, the Portland Development Commission, Oregon Community Foundation, Meyer Memorial Trust, the many contributors to Living Cully's first crowdfunding campaign, and numerous other critical participants.
A special shout out to Tony DeFalco, Living Cully Coordinator, who did tremendous and tireless work from the moment the for sale sign appeared on the building, pushing that mythical rock up the hill until he actually reached the top. We're fortunate to have such talented and dedicated folks working for Verde and Living Cully...
Great news, and another welcome and humbling payoff for hard work by many, many people and organizations.
Today, we are pleased to share that we have secured a $500,000 federal grant to develop Cully Park. These funds will support development of the soccer field, and are being provided by the National Parks Service's National Land and Water Conservation Fund Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership Program. Cully Park is 1 of only 10 awards in the nation, and 1 of only 2 to receive the maximum grant amount, a recognition of the power of our community-based model for Park development.
It is important to express our great thanks to Portland Parks & Recreation and to the State of Oregon Parks & Recreation Department. Nonprofits, like Verde, cannot apply for these grants -- Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership grants are available only to state and local government agencies as well as to certain federally-recognized Indian tribes. So, please join us in thanking the City and the State for pursuing these funds for Cully Park, and for their continuing partnership and unwavering support.
1.8.2015. THANK YOU to all of you who donated, got the word out or got friends and family to donate to Let Us Buy the Sugar Shack! We raised $54,194 and surpassed our $50K goal on December 18. We’ve received verbal commitments of an additional $10,070 in contributions as well. Over 500 people and organizations contributed. This is an amazing outpouring of support from the community and we are heartened by it.
So, what’s next?
The sale is still moving forward. We have until January 25 to complete our due diligence. We are still completing our due diligence, including building inspection and appraisal. We’ve been supported by the Cully Blvd Alliance in paying for these costs. THANK YOU Cully Blvd Alliance!! We have been and will continue to engage with community members and potential tenants of the redeveloped site to identify community-serving uses like healthy food, recreation, childcare, health care along with green infrastructure to create environmental benefits at the site.
1.5.2015. Happy news to report -- Living Cully welcomes new staff in 2015: Anna Gordon (Living Cully Communications/Outreach Coordinator), and Cameron Herrington (Living Cully Anti-Displacement Coordinator).
Anna comes to us from Living Cully Partner Hacienda CDC, where she built a stellar track record working within the Hacienda community serving residents, youth and the broader Cully Neighborhood. She speaks English and Spanish, and lives in in the Cully Neighborhood.
Cameron has been the Not in Cully intern for the past year, and is finishing his Masters in Urban Studies at PSU focusing on the impacts of displacement. He speaks English and Spanish.
Together, Anna and Cameron mean a tremendoues increase in Living Cully's ability to engage community, communicate our work, preserve affordability and raise income. Anna is housed at Verde and Cameron is housed at Habitat for Humanity Portland/Metro East.
Please join us in welcoming these great folks to our collective work...
10.29.2014: This winter, Living Cully -- together with Clean Energy Works , MACG, Energy Trust of Oregon, Multnomah County Health Department and Portland Housing Bureau -- is supporting neighborhood stabilization and offsetting the pressures of gentrification in Cully through the Cully Weatherization 2.0 project. Cully Wx 2.0 builds off of 2010's Changing the Climate in Cully project, led by MACG.
After intensive neighborhood outreach, the project partners will launch a pilot weatherizing up to 100 single-family owner-occupied homes-with a focus on low- and moderate-income households and communities of color-to advance the benefits of carbon reduction, energy savings, workforce development and positive health outcomes.
To find out if you qualify for the Cully Weatherization 2.0 project, please contact the project coordinator at the Native American Youth & Family Center via email ( email@example.com) or by phone (503.288.8177 ext. 299).
8.6.2014. Good additions and changes happening at Verde as our FY15 enters its second month:
Alyssa Kocsis continues growing with and within our company, transitioning to the Verde Data Coordinator position. Long-time friends of Verde might recall that she began working at Verde in early 2012 as the Landscape Program Assistant, and then became Verde's first Training Liaison (our point person for crew member training). As the Data Coordinator, she collects, organizes, analyzes and shares data to support Verde and Living Cully, building off a year of work with Ecotrust to develop an in-depth data collection, evaluation and dissemination model, with an emphasis on GIS presentation. Congratulations Alyssa!
Maria Jimenez has been hired to serve as the Verde Program Assistant. Maria began working as an Intern at Verde in early 2014, referred through the Immigrant & Refugee Community Organization’s Workforce Experience Intermediary Project. She quickly became a great and valuable part of our team, and we are happy to say that we have hired her as a regular Verde employee. As the Program Assistant, Maria supports Cully Park, Outreach, Verde Landscape, and organizational administration. Welcome Maria!