Nearly two years to the day after project partners held a kick-off community meeting at the VUE in 2016 to explore the idea of establishing a collaborative office building for environmental organizations, last week a groundbreaking took place in downtown Corvallis to celebrate the emergence of an innovative new building for just this purpose. Two years ago we asked the group of community leaders “What do you think about creating a building that would unite organizations working towards common goals for our region’s land, water, and people? Is this a concept that has value to you? Do you see this being beneficial to us?” And what we heard that day, and honestly, that we have heard every day since is ‘yes’ resoundingly ‘yes’.
Through a strong partnership with local builder Alan Ayres, five of the region’s prominent environmental organizations are launching a new building that will house organizations committed to the vitality of our region’s lands, waters and people, today and for generations to come. Since 2016 Greenbelt Land Trust, Benton Soil and Water Conservation District, Cascade Pacific Resource Conservation and Development, Corvallis Environmental Center, and the Institute for Applied Ecology have been working side by side on this project.
We started out in this project with all of the reasons that our individual organizations would benefit from co-locating. Gosh, it would be nice to share the cost of a printer lease with another group. Or, won’t it be great (mind blowing, even!) to have meeting and conference rooms of our own, so we don’t have to rent? What about IT services, couldn’t those be share, too? Early on, these were the subjects of emails and meetings over coffee between our groups.
Reduced renal rates, shared printer leases, meeting rooms, IT, kitchen, server systems, reception, restrooms, teleconferencing systems. These are all a big part of how why this project launched – the cost benefits of co-locating.
And, yes – this is all important. But, we quickly realized that there is so much more. In this endeavor, this building to be, we have an opportunity to leave a legacy.
This building isn’t just about reducing our individual rental costs or streamlining operations. Those are certainly two very important factors, but this project also offers us a platform to ‘think big’, and deepen the impact of our collective conservation programs. Each organization will retain its individual identity and mission, but we will also have an opportunity to explore collaborative programming and partnerships. There’s also just something to be said about being able to walk down the hall and visit partner staff from another organization.
The building itself is designed and built by respected local builder Alan Ayres, whose work can be appreciated at several local businesses, including Sky High Brewing Company and Soft Star Shoes. With 75% of all construction materials sourced within a 30-mile radius of the site and a comprehensive sustainability design plan, the building will be a leader in energy efficiency. With an opening date projected for 2021, the partners will be using the next 3 years to continue to refine their partnership goals, pilot collaborative programs, and finalize interior design elements.
This innovative project represents several individual groups merging our creativity and intention together. Our building is also merely a stone’s throw from Shawala Point, where the Marys and the Willamette River, our life-giving waters, flow together.
What better way to recognize our coming together through this effort than by gracing this partnership and building with the name ‘The Confluence’?
The Confluence is a center for education and stewardship.
The Confluence is a gathering place for all.
The Confluence is a home for nature.
One day, not too far away, we will all be saying ‘I’ll see you at The Confluence’. And decades down the road, children will grow up knowing The Confluence as a place for nature and community. We are only at the beginning of this story, and it is a story that will be shaped with the help of our community.
Let’s celebrate the fall harvest at Bald Hill Farm! Greenbelt Land Trust and the Corvallis Environmental Center invite you to enjoy the beautiful scenery and a host of fun fall activities at Bald Hill Farm.
Come on out for apple pressing and apple cider tasting, guided nature walks for kids of all ages, apple cider donuts, pumpkin decorating, face painting, outdoor games, and more!
We are excited to have When Picks Fly play live, old-time string band music!
This event is free, open to the public, and great for the whole family, so bring your kids and a picnic lunch to enjoy at the Farm.
Please RSVP by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or call the GLT office at (541) 752.9609.
** Walking/biking map to the event can be found below.
WALK: Park at Benton County Fairgrounds, Oak Creek Dr. parking lot, or Reservoir Rd. parking lot, and walk to the Bald Hill Farm farmhouse.
BIKE: Bicycle in- it’s a beautiful ride to the Farm!
DRIVE: Free but limited parking is available. Walking and biking are encouraged. Follow event signs along 10 m.p.h farm road. Farm road entrance near: 6780 NW Oak Creek Dr., Corvallis, OR 97330
FOOD/DRINK: Complimentary fresh-pressed apple cider, healthy snacks, and apple cider donuts available. Feel free to bring a picnic lunch and a lawn chair or blanket to sit on.
Stay for the whole event or for just a while. We look forward to seeing you at the 2nd annual Fall Harvest Family Day!
THANK YOU, SUPPORTERS!:
*Please keep your furry friends safely at home – pets, other than assistance animals, are not permitted in this part of the Conservation Area.