Events big, little fill sustainability month

by: CLIFF NEWELL Going over the schedule for Sustainability Action Month in May are, from left, film producer Matt Briggs, city sustainability coordinator Susan Millhauser and AmeriCorps volunteer Alex Deley. Lake Oswego’s third SAM is expected to be the strongest ever.

If the old cliché is true that the third time is the charm, then Lake Oswego's Sustainability Action Month in May should be simply charming.

'Every year we get a little more traction,' said Dorothy Atwood of the Sustainability Advisory Board and one of the founding mothers of the event. 'Our partners have continued with us - the chamber, the city, the library, parks and recreation. The school district is a great media partner.'

'It's all good,' promises Susan Millhauser, sustainability coordinator for the city of Lake Oswego.

Last year SAM benefited from its association with the Lake Oswego Centennial. But this year AmeriCorps volunteer Alex Deley has lined up 27 events, large and small, for the sustainability edification of Lake Oswego citizens.

Some SAM events are standouts, especially the Deep Green Open House on May 14 hosted by filmmaker Matt Briggs, a man who talks softly but carries big ideas. The producer of 'Deep Green,' the film that has taken the world of sustainability by storm, Briggs is using his own home as a futuristic model of sustainability.

'The house is the embodiment of what the film is all about,' Briggs said. 'It actually deploys all of the things the film talks about.

Briggs' roof will be especially eye-catching because it possesses solar panels that produce a remarkable amount of energy -clean energy.

'Matt's house ties into so many sustainability things,' Millhauser said.

A media rush is expected when Briggs opens his doors, with movie cameras and TV stations on hand to film the amazing proceedings.

Yet there is much more on the SAM schedule, including events put on by children. Hallinan Elementary School was given $2,000 last year from proceeds made from the sustainability banquet at Luscher Farm. The school has used that money to make an incredible edible garden, and it will offer a public tour on May 25.

Not to be outdone, Girl Scout Troop 713 is planning to make the largest salad in Lake Oswego, gathering at New Seasons Market on May 26 and using food items that are entirely local and sustainable.

The month kicks off Wednesday evening with a solar-ready workshop at the city hall. For more information, contact Deley at 503-635-0286 or go to the city's website at