This past sunny Monday we had over 60 volunteers make their way out to spend their Memorial Day morning at our clean-up event in Peace Memorial Park. Thanks to our partnership with SOLVE, volunteers were equipped with trash bags, gloves, litter grabbers, and lots of sunscreen to help us clean up a total of 1,200 pounds of trash.
Peace Memorial Park was established as a public place to honor victims of war, both military and civilian. Since Lloyd EcoDistrict joined in partnership with Veterans For Peace, the vision of the space has expanded to honor the intersection of conflict, climate and social justice. Members from the local Veterans For Peace chapter joined us later in the day accompanied by guest speakers, an open mic, and member Nancy Hiss who wrote “peace” in different languages with chalk around the park. They also took the opportunity to bring attention to their “Leave No One Behind” mural project, where the organization works to uplift the stories of veterans who have been deported.
Our Memorial Day clean-up also kicked off the first day of Portland’s Rose Festival Porch Parade, which welcomes more than 400 homes and gardens this year to its city-wide event. Lloyd EcoDistrict partnered with local artist Irene Ramirez to make her beautiful chalk artwork an essential part of the Porch Parade. Irene worked throughout the clean-up to add pollinator and rose-themed chalk artwork throughout the park.
Irene seeks to make her artwork accessible and likes keeping it messy and human. With chalk, she’s able to create artwork that’s imperfect and allows her the ability to be a little bit looser with its creation. She enjoys having the chance to beautify the neighborhood with her art and contribute to Portland’s Rose Festival, the Porch Parade, and activating the Peace Memorial Park space
What ended up being one of our most successful clean-ups yet was only all that more rewarding as volunteers were able to get out and make connections outdoors with us while remaining safe in the pandemic. Come join us for our next clean-up this summer on June 26th, with more information here. As we continue through this week with Portland Porch Parade, make sure to come visit Peace Memorial Park to see the beautiful chalk artwork before the rain washes it away.