‘Green Lents’ completes ‘DIY’ class series

See why neighbors are turning to this organization for more than simply borrowing a shovel or a saw …


Because of the rain on this day, the Green Lents Tool Library DIY Class meets just inside their front roll-up garage door.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Throughout the summer months, the Green Lents Tool Library offered a series of Saturday morning classes at their building – on SE Ramona Street, just off 92nd Avenue in the Lents Neighborhood.

“We did provide some really great classes in this series,” reflected Green Lents Co-Chair Jessica Anders, who also coordinated the “Do It Yourself Series” of hands-on workshops.

Green Lents Co-Chair Jessica Anders says the classes are a good way to meet their mission of providing education in this all-volunteer run non-profit organization.

“Together, we learned to make a wren house, worm composting bins, a bird feeder from tea cups, and a ‘Little Free Library’, such as many people like putting out in front of their homes,” Anders told East Portland News.

Even on the gloomy, rain-swept morning of September 28, folks drifted in at 10:00 a.m. – for, this particular week, the class was on how to “Build Your Own Rain-barrel”.

This workshop’s leader, Justin Littlejohn, presents the parts list for building a rain-barrel.

Class guide Justin Littlejohn said he was demonstrating how a build your own rain barrel from a kit that attaches to gutters, and feeds into a 55 gallon food-grade plastic drum.

“The secret to having a good rain barrel is to have a system that captures water efficiently, and is able to accept as much as you can provide,” Littlejohn said. “You want to measure out the square footage of roof, and find out how much it will yield. You also need a good overflow system to handle the water during heavy rains.”

As Littlejohn started explaining the contents of the kit, Anders told why they make the effort to create these classes. “We feel it’s important to bring the community together to learn from each other. Also, it helps people have more resources, in order for them to connect with neighbors, and to enhance their own homes.”

These parts go together like this,” says workshop leader Justin Littlejohn.

Each workshop hosted between five and 10 attendees – a quantity that’s just right, Anders said, for their workspace.

The series was funded, in part, by the City of Portland Office of Neighborhood Involvement East Portland Neighborhood Small Grant Program.

“The Green Lents Tool Library has more and more people signing up each week, and more tools being checked out,” encouraged Anders.

You can find out more about this free volunteer-driven service in outer East Portland for residents of the Lents, Powellhurst-Gilbert, Pleasant Valley, Foster-Powell, Mt. Scott-Arleta, Brentwood-Darlington and Montavilla neighborhood, at their website: CLICK HERE to open their homepage.

© 2013 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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