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Biz Beat 5-8-2014

A couple of big plant sales are happening Saturday, May 10, just in time for Mother’s Day giving. The eighth annual Oregon Plant Fair will be from 9 am to 2 pm at the Alton Baker Park shelters, sponsored by Avid Gardeners Eugene District Garden Clubs and a benefit for the Master Gardener Extension Program. The 23rd annual Hardy Plant Sale will be from 9 am to 2 pm indoors at the Fairgrounds, a benefit for the nonprofit Willamette Valley Hardy Plant Group. 

May is Bike Month and the Toole Design Group is contracting with LTD and the city of Eugene to prepare a feasibility study about a bike share system in Eugene. An open house will be from 4 to 7 pm Wednesday, May 14, at the Next Stop Center, 1099 Olive. St. Formal presentations of the study will be at 4 pm and again at 6 pm. Email bikeshare@ltd.org for more information.

The city of Eugene’s Business Commute Challenge is the week of May 10-16 and it’s an opportunity for friendly competition among local enterprises to encourage employees to walk, bike, carpool or telecommute to work. Last year, 2,100 people representing 172 business teams participated. See commutechallenge.org for information and to sign up.

The 39th annual Conference on Neighborhood Concerns will be at the Hilton in Eugene May 21-24 and local businesses will be interested in hearing about trends and directions in the economy, food production, transportation, public-private partnerships and much more. Keynote speakers include urban planning expert Julian Agyeman of Tufts University, Seattle neighborhood organizer Jim Diers and author and consultant Michele Hunt. Registration is $100 but scholarships and discounts may be available. See http://wkly.ws/1qt or call 682-5277.

The nonprofit Aprovecho Sustainability Education Center in Cottage Grove is offering workshops on permaculture every Sunday this spring on a “gift-economy basis.” Participants can donate money or share skills or other forms of compensation. Permaculture training focuses on natural building, ecological gardening and farming, and sustainable livelihood. See aprovecho.net or call Jordan Chesnut at (805) 458-8361.

The Springfield/McKenzie Welcome Arch has been in the planning process for years and a 5-foot scale model of the arch is now on display at Springfield City Hall. One likely location for the full-size gateway arch will be on Hwy. 126, aka McKenzie Highway, at the east end of Springfield. The arch, similar in design to one in Glenwood that was wrecked by a flood in the 1920s, will serve as a landmark to promote the area and its natural attractions. The more elaborate new design features a drift boat on top. Email thomas.lincoln@comcast.net or call 726-1817 to help with the project.

The Eugene-based ECO Sleep Solutions is expanding to Corvallis and will have its grand opening June 1 at 113 SW 3rd St. The Eugene store and gallery are at 25 E. 8th Ave. The business, owned by Jim and Donna Byrd, specializes in organic mattresses, beds and bedding. Call 343-1022. The company also owns Accessible Bath Company.

The nonprofit Willamette Riverkeeper is now registering boaters for its 14th annual Paddle Oregon Aug. 18-22, often described as an “eco-tourism vacation.” The 98-mile guided trip by canoe or kayak down the Willamette River includes environmental education, catered gourmet meals, yoga, evening entertainment, hot showers and campsites. The cost is $699 and opportunities for crowd-sourced fundraising are available for the first time this year. The trip this year begins in Corvallis and ends at Molalla State Park in Canby, stopping at breweries and wineries along the way. Experienced paddlers only. See details at http://paddleoregon.org or see our 2010 cover story at http://wkly.ws/1qu.