Jardin Portland aims to sow green business seeds
By Christina Williams
Editor, Sustainable Business Oregon
Rendering: The Jardin Portland amphitheater
What could have been a tidy rose garden tucked away in Guadalajara's central park has evolved into a plan to showcase Portland's sustainability prowess and a handful of companies are hoping the exercise will translate into a new market.
The Jardin Portland Foundation has developed a plan and is busily raising money to build out Jardin Portland — a development designed to demonstrate, educate and showcase sustainable practices such as stormwater management, green building and urban design.
The one-acre space located within Guadalajara's sprawling Bosque de los Colomos park, was given to the Portland-Guadalajara Sister City Foundation for a Portland Park or Jardin Portland.
The garden's plans include a replica of Pioneer Courthouse Square, a mini Multnomah Falls and a latest-edition green building, designed by the Portland office of Ankrom Moisan Associated Architects, to serve as a hub for education about sustainability. There's already a Portland-esque rose garden planted on the site.
"We said, 'Let's integrate this into what Portland is really all about,'" said Ron White, a small business consultant and leader of the Jardin Portland project.
The project has a budget of $1.5 million with $250,000 raised to date.
But beyond the park project, the foundation hopes to facilitate business relationships that will encourage sustainable development in Mexico and help Portland businesses sell products and services.
"From our perspective Guadalajara is a great green building market," said Ted Spear, a senior consultant with Green Building Services and a member of the Jardin Portland board. "And this project is a good opportunity to engage that market and open up some doors."
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