When descending into Portland, Oregon by air, take a look down from the plane and notice the abundance of green – trees are everywhere. According to Popular Science Magazine, Portland is known as America’s #1 Greenest City. However, Portland did not receive this title just for their trees; the City of Portland and their citizens have made it a priority to put the environment first. Half its power comes from renewable sources, a quarter of the workforce commutes by bike, carpool, or public transportation, and it has 35 buildings certified by the U.S. Green Building Council.
While you are at IIMC this year, you can easily take advantage of Portland’s finest eco-friendly activities and experience what the #1 Greenest City really has to offer. Even if you are not attending IIMC in Portland, your municipality can join our national Go Green Initiative today and we’ll donate a tree on your behalf!
Tip #1 – Transportation: Free and Eco-Friendly
As soon as you step out of the airport you will have the option to experience your first eco-friendly activity, the efficient TriMex light-rail, which connects the Portland International Airport (PDX) to the Oregon Convention Center 300 times a day. The convention center is located within the city’s Free Rail Zone, allowing passengers to travel for free within the downtown area. In addition to the TriMex light-rail, getting around in the downtown area is also just as simple. Hop on and hop off the Portland Street Car all day long and easily travel between the cultural attractions of downtown, Rose Quarter and the Llyod District for free. If you want to go beyond the Free Rail Zone, simply pay an extra $2 on the Street Car and enjoy the galleries and restaurants of the Pearl District and the boutiques of Northwest Portland.
Tip # 2 – Dining out and Food
Portland has one of the best culinary scenes, which includes bursting flavors from some of the finest locally grown ingredients. Make sure to bring your appetite and embrace some of the best farm-to-fork dining options. Located within minutes from the Oregon Convention Center, be sure to check out The Farm Café which uses sustainable and locally sourced produce, fish, and poultry on their menu. Blossoming Lotus is a healthy spot satisfying vegan and raw cuisine with truly cosmopolitan flavors: Jamaican jerk tempeh, pad Thai and lasagna with seasonal vegetables and tofu ricotta. In the mood for Pizza? Visit Nostrana and experience how the James Beard “Best Chef” nominee Cathy Whim creates Pizza with solely Oregon ingredients.
Tip # 3 – Tax-Free Shopping
Yes, one of the benefits of this green community is no sales tax, take advantage of the extra savings by shopping in Portland. Travel downtown where you will find Macy’s and Nordstroms, as well as a growing number of independent retailers. Hop on the Portland Street Car to the Pearl District where you will find cutting-edge art galleries, designer boutiques, and Powell’s Books, the world’s largest independent bookstore in Portland’s Pearl District. Just east of the Oregon Convention Center, you will also find the Llyod Center, Oregon’s largest shopping center.
Tip # 4 – Outdoor Activities
After going to the Llyod Center, balance out your reality and find Mill Ends Park, the world’s smallest dedicated park at 24 inches in diameter. If you are shopping in the pearl district, grab a cup of coffee and sit and relax at Tanner Springs, a thriving wetland and a living example of Portland’s eco-consciousness. If you tend to be more of the active type, you can certainly take an urban stroll around town. Waterfront Loop is just a short stroll from downtown hotels, the / loop is a three-mile route that offers walkers unparalleled views of downtown Portland and the river.
Tip # 5 – Giving Back and Going Green
In the spirit of Portland being the Greenest City in the America, pledge your support to Go Green! Local government agencies across the country use an average of 154 million sheets of paper per year on their legislative process for their meetings – this is equivalent to 64,000 trees a year. Stop by the Granicus Booth #115 and pledge your support to Go Green with Granicus and give back a tree. You will receive a tree seedling at our booth to take home and plant in your community. As long as you make the pledge, Granicus will plant a tree on your municipality’s behalf as part of the plant a billion trees initiative.
Together, Granicus and IIMC members can go green and make a positive impact on our environment one tree at time!
- Municipal Clerks Go Green with Granicus, Plant a Billion Trees
- IIMC Portal – Get Live Updates and Tips to “Go Green”!
This article is part of our IIMC 2012 series, which can be found here.