Inspired by the work of BDS employee Brandon Rogers, the Citywide Green Team would like to give you your own baby plant during April 2018. It’s a small way for us to thank you for your sustainability efforts each and every day. The only catch: you need to promise to water it.
Where to find your plant
Planting stations can be found in locations around the City. Get one while supplies last or get on the waiting list. Spider plants grow quickly so you won’t have to wait long.
City Hall – Contact: Susan Barr, Janine Gates, or Heather Saby
Congress Center – Contact: Bill Crawford, Ethan Cirmo
Columbia Square – Contact: Icie Ta
400 SW 6th Avenue and Pioneer Tower – Contact: Elena Estrada or Pam Mavis
1900 SW 4th Avenue – Contact: Brandon Rogers (BDS) or Kyenne Williams (BPS)
North Kerby Yard – Contact: Tawnya Harris (CityFleet) or Rich Grant (PBOT)
WasteWater Treatment Plant – Contact: David Olsav
Why keep indoor plants?
Your baby plant will be doing its small part to improve our indoor air quality by absorbing commonly found air pollutants like benzene and formaldehyde. Eliminating harmful pollutants in our air is a key City environmental performance objective. See how we're doing at www.portlandoregon.gov/bps/scg-dashboard.
This Sustainability Hero inspired us to find a way to bring everyone a plant
“Plants bring people together in really interesting ways. People connect on a personal level and come alive,” explains Brandon Rogers, a city planner with the Bureau of Development Services. Brandon has been giving plants to his colleagues at the City in what is both a social experiment and an effort to improve indoor air quality.
In the spring of 2017, Brandon was walking around the offices when he noticed some particularly healthy spider plants with hundreds of little babies ready to be rooted. So, Brandon did just that and started giving them away. Soon he purchased pots and soil and even found a free surplus AV cart at PSU which he set up as a mobile plant station.
Brandon’s project has really taken root, helped along by Kate Green, Green Team member and colleague. They’ve given away 100 plants and counting! For Brandon, it is satisfying to see how caring for plants is social and relaxing. And he's happy knowing that indoor plants, especially spider plants, clean the air, removing toxins like formaldehyde and benzine. His advice to others: “Follow your heart. Start small. Share your ideas with others and collaborate.”
In his personal life, Brandon has also made some big changes. In 2012, after reading a book on food production, he became a vegan. Brandon wanted to minimize animal suffering and reduce his carbon footprint. He recalls that at first it was very hard. “About two weeks in I dreamed of a six-foot high pile of sliced tri tip covered in cheddar cheese.” By now, though, Brandon sleeps easy and feels great about his food choices.