Jerry Greenfield honored with Heart of the City award

by: PORTLAND REIGN PHOTOGRAPHY - Kate and Jerry Greenfield moved to Wilsonville in 2009 and have become active volunteers within the city. Jerry Greenfield was recently honored with the Heart of the City award.Though Jerry and Kate Greenfield have only been in Wilsonville since January 2009, they have always considered Oregon home. And like all good stewards, they feel the need to take great care of their “home” and their community.

Jerry Greenfield was honored Aug. 8 for doing just that, when he was given the Heart of the City 2013 volunteer award during the Rotary summer concert at Town Center Park. He was presented the award by Wilsonville City Councilors Scott Starr, Julie Fitzgerald and Susie Stevens.

Each year, the city presents the Heart of the City Award to recognize and encourage individuals who embody the spirit and dedication of volunteerism, who have a history of volunteering and have made a positive difference with their volunteer efforts.

For Greenfield, 71, the honor came as a surprise.

“I was astonished. I really don’t feel worthy of it,” he said.

However, his long list of contributions prove otherwise. Some of his volunteer work includes:

  • Serving on the city’s design review board, which reviews development applications;
  • Volunteering with the Bike SMART Program and assisting the city’s South Metro Area Regional Transit program with a redesign of the Public Art Tour by Bike route and brochure;
  • Leading community bike rides during the 2013 Festival of the Arts at Town Center Park in June;
  • Volunteering to be a tour narrator on scenic trolley tours during the arts festival;
  • Being an active member with the Wilsonville Arts and Culture Council, which produces the art fair;
  • n Taking part in the city’s bicycle and pedestrian task force from 2010 to 2012;
  • Participating in Clackamas County Tourism and Cultural Affairs workshops for Wilsonville;
  • Acting as the Wilsonville resident representative to the Oregon Passenger Rail Southwest Portland Area Community Advisory Group; and
  • Volunteering since 2010 with the annual bike/pedestrian count sponsored by SMART, where volunteers count the number of walkers and bicyclists at key intersections and trails.
  • “Jerry embodies the spirit and dedication of volunteerism that is easily recognized by the variety of programs and projects that he takes part in to help make Wilsonville a better place now and for the future,” Starr said. “The community of Wilsonville is most fortunate for Jerry’s active involvement in so many activities that help to make Wilsonville a great place to live, work and recreate.”

    In 2008, after teaching English and information technology in Japan for 14 years, it was time for the Greenfields to retire. They both knew they wanted to return to their home state of Oregon, but carefully considered where in Oregon they would PORTLAND REIGN PHOTOGRAPHY - Jerry Greenfield, second from left, was presented the Heart of the City award during the Aug. 8 Rotary concert by Councilors Scott Starr, Julie Fitzgerald and Susie Stevens, far right.

    Greenfield was raised in Forest Grove and his wife in Tillamook. After spending a couple of weeks in Tigard and doing a lot of research, they agreed Wilsonville was the place to be.

    Greenfield said he was impressed with Wilsonville’s government and its outlook and planning for growth. They took an apartment for three years and have recently purchased a home in Canyon Creek Meadows.

    “Wilsonville is what we thought it was going to be,” he said. Once settled, they looked to get involved “in a quiet way.”

    “If we don’t get involved, we can’t own the kind of place we live,” he said. “I’m talking about owning the community and have a stake in it. We have to be involved.”

    As avid bicyclists in Japan, often taking 40- to 50-mile rides on the weekends, the Greenfields liked that Wilsonville was a bike-able and walkable city.

    “Ecologically it’s sensible to bike when you can, and it’s just healthy,” he said.

    So, the Greenfields took up the biking cause in Wilsonville, volunteering for the Bike SMART Program, leading community bike rides and taking part in a bike and pedestrian task force.

    Then, with a background in design, Greenfield grew interested in Wilsonville’s plan for growth.

    “I’m very much invested in helping the city keep on track as a smart-growth city,” he said. “Wilsonville shows signs of sensible design.”

    For Wilsonville’s future, Greenfield is excited about the new exotic car museum that is coming and is eager to get into the upcoming passenger-rail project.

    Greenfield is content he landed in a community that shares the same values as him and aims to continue volunteering. However, he also thinks his wife deserves some recognition too.

    “She’s done many of the same things I have,” he said. “In some ways, I feel she is more worthy than I am.”

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