Final-entryway-for-Emerson1Emerson Garden

Click here to send an e-mail to Sybil Kelley, the Site Manager for Emerson Garden.

For more information, Emerson’s website is here.

Emerson Garden is a narrow city lot located in Portland at 822 NE Emerson Street. It was placed in trust with OSALT on October 22nd, 2008 by Multnomah County to remain as a community-based garden for future generations.

The site is a typical old residential lot in NE Portland. That means, among other things, that it is contaminated with lead. This is very common on sites where older houses have stood.

OSALT has two objectives for this site.

The first is to provide a community garden space for the neighborhood. That has been Sybil’s dream since she first contacted the county in 1995, beginning what would become a much longer process than anyone would have anticipated. Her persistence paid off in October of 2008 with the transfer of the land to OSALT. The coming months will see the neighborhood included in the planning and development of this much needed community garden.

As a research and education organization, OSALT also plans to conduct a closely monitored research program on this site involving the decontamination of the soil so that food can safely be grown here. Working with Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, GeoEngineers, and Groundworks Portland, we hope to demonstrate a more sustainable low-technology alternative to traditional “dig and haul” approaches to decontamination of inner-city property that can be replicated at similar sites throughout the country. This will make it much more practical for neighborhoods to recover some of the abandoned sites blighting their communities and put them to beneficial use by and for their neighborhoods.

We are happy to be working with a number of partners on this project:

Multnomah County’s “County Digs” Program, managed by Commissioner Jeff Cogan
Groundwork Portland
Oregon Tradeswomen, Inc.  PARR Lumber’s NE Portland store