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Kailash EcoVillage adds street and public patio art

by: RITA A. LEONARD - Kailash residents Martha Shepherd and Matthew Hammond create mosaic tables for the public patio in the neighborhood project in Creston-Kenilworth.“Kailash EcoVillage”, a sustainable residential community in the Creston-Kenilworth neighborhood at S.E. 37th and Cora Street, added a colorful street painting and two mosaic-tiled tables to their public patio on Saturday, May 25.

The site, in front of the co-op's large community garden, also features a covered notice board, informal “stump” seating, and a poetry pole. Resident Vince Green created the koi pond design to honor property owner Maitri Ersson, founder of Kailash EcoVillage, who reportedly loves koi.

Project Coordinator Pandora Patterson revealed, “After several meetings, we planned a public street painting of a koi pond with lily pads and lotus flowers at the intersection. However, since we were unable to get approval from all the neighbors, we adjusted the design to an oval about 10 by 30 feet, and painted it in our driveway instead.”

The event was manned by volunteers under the aegis of the Village Building Convergence, which was responsible for the first such project, Sellwood’s Share-It Square, over a decade ago.

One crew worked on painting while Kailash residents Martha Shepherd and Matthew Hammond created the table mosaics. Mike Hoffman designed and installed the street-side notice board earlier this spring, while published-poet Emily Newberry manages the Poetry Pole. Newberry also led guided tours of the complex, pointing out lush gardens, a new orchard and cinder block food composting area, and a new residential building that will accommodate eight more shared living units.

“The new building on this nearly two-acre lot will open up rentals for some of our wait-listers,” commented Patterson. “It’s being built to passive solar standards, with extra thick insulation in walls and floors. We’ll be installing solar panels on another existing building soon. Many residents here are artists, and all share our principles of sustainability.”

Newberry added, “Ole & Maitri Ersson, owners of the property, set up Kailash EcoVillage in 2007 as an experiment in sustainable community living. We constantly try new things, and are currently applying for certification as a backyard wildlife habitat. We have several birdhouses and mason bee houses, and water our gardens completely with recycled rainwater. Surplus vegetables are shared with the community and various charities. We also plan to build an observation tower on top of the main building.”

The painting party was scheduled on what proved to be a rare sunny day in May. Volunteers were invited to a community lunch with residents, and admired the peaceful setting. For more information on this particular project, call 503/213-3122 or go online to: www.kailashecovillage.com