THE LEGEND OF BLUEBERRY LANE Just Down the Way from Blueberry Hill
“The moon stood still on Blueberry Hill and lingered until my dream came true.”
One day Bill Reed said to Lilly: What do you think about a little sustainable village in the heart of Eliot? We’ll call it Blueberry Lane.
Noticing a dreamy look, Lilly asked, And where is this land you speak of?
Right before your eyes-- beneath asphalt and deep backyards, half a block from public transportation and a major bike path to the Broadway bridge. We could create a hot pocket of Craftsman-style homes that would fit with the historic authenticity of Eliot--with edible pathways, super green--the way I’ve built homes for years.
Hmmm. Lilly had many project deadlines. But the Blueberry seed
Could a jewel be carved out of asphalt?
Lilly tentatively agreed to explore a design. Would these residents drive around the block looking for a parking place? Probably not.
Bill went to work on a solution, using his 15 years of experience solving sustainable urban living challenges--most recently at the Standard Dairy on MLK ,Elite Care at Oatfield Estates in Milwaukee,and Elite Care at Fanno Creek in Tigard.
After a few days, Bill had the answer: tucked under garages with rear access from an easement/driveway off of Rodney Street.
Would people pay for the added expense? Research said, YES. People with families want their own covered spot to unload cargo and kids. No more wasting gas looking for that elusive space on the street.
Okay. What else?
Urban community. Close to work. A place to live their values with like-minded people. A simple way to tread lightly. Space for extended families. Comfort, healthy air, big savings on energy efficiency.
Blueberry would deliver. Blueberry would grow Bill’s crown jewel out of asphalt:
People would share lives and dreams around a grassy common green filled with life and laughter. They would savor the cool breezes of an asphalt free cityscape.
The community would combine authenticity with state of the art green systems.
Blueberry would be close in, close knit, and close to zero.
Despite daunting odds, the Blueberry team forged ahead. Tweaks and innovations eventually led to the long awaited approval to break ground using the new Common Green code.
And as time blossomed organically, Blueberry morphed into a much deeper shade of green on its way to LEED Platinum pre-qualification within the LEED for Homes Pilot Program.
As word spread, more ideas came to Blueberry to make it better. To reduce costs for green building, Bill came up with his own homegrown hybrid systems, passing savings to potential buyers.
In addition to Reed Green systems such as Geo-Sun, Cool Break, Fan Central, and rainwater harvesting, each Blueberry would have a Green Screen to display real time energy usage.The family that sustains together stays together!
Now, two years after Bill Reed asked, “what if?”, Blueberry Lane has evolved into a jewel far more brilliant than its original. As more people jumped on board, Blueberry Lane took on a life of its own just down the way from Blueberry Hill, with the moon still lingering until the dream came true.
Then, more good news:
Blueberry was on track to become The Nations First LEED Platinum Inner City Subdivision of Single Family Homes. No other similar LEED Platinum project had an “inner city” location. And yet,our research told us that living close in, allowing for shorter trips by bike or on foot, would save huge amounts of time and money. This factor was critical to their home buying decision.
And we said, Yup. It’s time to live your talk.
And there are other mystics, poets or green idealists, who tell the Blueberry story this way….
Blueberry Lane was born just down the way from Blueberry Hill in a place where imaginations are ripe and memories are juicy, and the moon lingers until dreams come true. The spark of an idea about sustainability ignited the dream for a model to create a better world.
The idea of Blueberry Lane grew and grew until it gathered enough believers and sustainers and green thinkers to become a model where dreams for the good of the planet are meant to be answered.
As Blueberry meandered into new green territory--three steps forward, two steps back, behind schedule, but full of hope--“the little project that could,” kept chugging and believing beneath the light of the moon that lingered over the Lane where the thrill has clearly been found:
Where small cars are tucked away Where double porches open to the sky Where attic views of the City and the Green below inspire wonder Where you can nibble a blueberry along the Common Green path, and know you’re in harmony with nature, right in the inner city of Portland..
This is Blueberry Lane--where sustainability resides in the caring community, in energy usage, and in treading lightly within an urban oasis of elegant simplicity.
Come linger with us and make your dream come true.