By the end of September, about when the Patriots clinch the AFC East (OK, maybe that’s a little optimistic… but not by much), the East Bayside neighborhood should be a field of golden brown. Here’s a neat announcement I received this afternoon from City Hall:
Tomorrow, the East Bayside Neighborhood Organization (EBNO) in collaboration with the City of Portland and Art at Work will host a sunflower planting session throughout the neighborhood. More than 20,000 Aztec Sun sunflower seeds have been distributed to East Bayside’s eight hundred households for planting in their yards and gardens. The flowers are expected to bloom in time for Meeting Place East Bayside Neighborhood Open House September 29th.
As a part of Meeting Place, an arts-based community development project with Art At Work and the City of Portland, EBNO members have been knocking on doors, meeting their neighbors and providing sunflower seeds for the communal planting. The communal planting is part of a larger effort to improve the sense of community within the neighborhood and enhance their quality of life by getting to know and building relationships neighbor to neighbor. Aside from people’s gardens, sunflowers will be planted in open spaces, vacant lots and along sidewalks. Come September, the neighborhood will be a sea of yellow. The Aztec Sun grows to approximately three feet.
Meeting Place, which through multidisciplinary arts projects has engaged four neighborhood organizations, East Bayside Neighborhood Association, Bayside Neighborhood Association, West End Neighborhood Association and Libbytown, to help increase civic engagement while also reducing social and political tensions that can exist between neighborhood associations, community leaders, the arts community and municipal government.