Eugene Weekly : Cover Story : 8.26.2010


Eugene Celebration 2010

Stylish Pets Take the Stage Raise the woof, meow and bray at the Pet Stroll 

Local, National, International Film mania, plus zombies, at the EC Film Fest

Yoga Slugs and Friends in France SLUG Queen Slugasana takes over the EW

Ready to Raise Some Heck, I Mean Roofs? Eugene Celebration music round-up  

Village People Habitat volunteers to build a shed

Regress, Relax, Unwind Health and Wellness Celebration

Speedy Celebration For runners, the parade happens in the afterglow

Undeath Will Not Them Part The Celebration gets its first zombie wedding


Village People
Habitat volunteers to build a shed
by Zanne Miller

Long before “sustainable” and “green” became ubiquitous marketing buzzwords, there were more than a few folks in Eugene living and doing business in a way that treads lightly on the Earth. The Sustainability Village at the Celebration, which spun off from the Celebration’s popular Community Causeway in 2007, brings together more than a few businesses and organizations dedicated to just that.  

A handful of the more than 20 scheduled booths are what you’d hope for (in a Eugene Celebration Sustainability Village — co-sponsors Point 2 Point Solutions, Next Step Recycling and BRING, which has been involved for many years — but this is the first time that the event will include a barn … er … shed raising. 

 “Building like this is the way to bring people together,” says Tim Armstrong, director of Eugene’s Habitat for Humanity ReStore, which is organizing the shed-raising portion of the event. 

Habitat for Humanity will lead teams of four to six people from area organizations in building a 6’ x 8’ shed, which will then be raffled off with proceeds going to Habitat for Humanity (tickets are $5 and can be purchased on site or in advance at Northwest Community Credit Union). 

Habitat is a celebration partner, and funds raised by the Celebration and Northwest Community Credit Union will also help to construct two houses in the Eugene-Springfield area over the next two years. 

The shed building process is “almost identical” to Habitat’s house-building process, but it’d be dangerous to build and move a two-story house, Armstrong says. “Our plan is to have the shed we build at the Eugene Celebration be the model for an on-going effort to provide building skills training for Habitat volunteers,” he says. “We plan to set up a series of clinics at the ReStore to give our volunteer builders direct experience reading plans and building a structure.”

It’s not your run-of-the-mill shed, he adds. “Someone could sheetrock it, heat it, and live in it.” 

It takes the Village People: Area businesses and organizations have signed up to fill 10 building slots to assemble the pre-fabbed shed in 12 hours (from noon to 6 pm on both Saturday and Sunday). Armstrong also enlisted his 87-year-old father Ed in helping him get the shed ready to go. Sen. Jeff Merkley, who was an executive director for Habitat for Humanity in Portland earlier in his career and who’s the Celebration Parade’s grand marshal, “might just show up and pound a nail after the parade.” A chalkboard on the site will update visitors on the progress. For perhaps obvious reasons, revelers can’t simply wander over from the beer garden and pick up a hammer, but they are welcome to sign up to become Habitat volunteers.  

While the organization has built 42 houses in the Eugene-Springfield area since beginning in a church basement 20 years ago, this is its first year participating in the Celebration and in Sustainability Village. The organization’s involvement in community events has grown since The ReStore, which sells new and used building materials that are donated to Habitat, opened on Oak Patch Road in March. 

Most of the materials will come from The ReStore, all but a handful of two-by-fours that Armstrong bought at Jerry’s. Armstrong explains that he was getting a bit impatient to finish preparing the shed, so he went to Jerry’s. A day later, someone donated those exact materials.  

“I think we will demonstrate that reuse is really the most sustainable way of dealing with excess,” he says. To really live sustainability, Armstrong says, “you have to really reconsider how you do things. The Eugene Celebration is an incredible demonstration of how we can work together.” 

Also among those new to the party (but definitely not to the ethos) this year are Arriving by Bike, which will celebrate its first anniversary in Eugene in October, and Neighborhood Leaders Council Committee on Sustainability (the volunteer nongovernmental association that brought you the Fairmount Neighborhood Farmer’s market and the Green Neighbors Bicycle Tour); Our Oceans; GMO-free Eugene; and the Lost Valley Educational Center.