2000

Community members Brian Carlstrom and others organize the first Gorge Earth Day to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Earth Day. First Green Home Tour.

2001 – 2002

Columbia Gorge Earth Center (CGEC) becomes a project of the Columbia Gorge Ecology Institute (CGEI) while the group pursues the acquisition of 501c3 status. Julia Butterfly Hill, Elizabeth Furse – congresswoman of Oregon, and Jonnie Jackson – Chief of Cascade Band – speak at Earth Day. Feasibility study for Rebuild-it Center launched while David Skakel begins writing grants for the Rebuild-it Center.

2003

Columbia Gorge Earth Center gains its 501c3 non-profit status. Brian Carlstrom offers free retail location to David Skakel to initiate Rebuild-it Center for six months in Wind Dance parking lot. Rebuild-it Center launches. Scott Bergeron and Rebecca Stonestreet initiate Film & Lecture series. A twenty-minute cartoon is presented called “The True Cost of Food.” Ann Kramer and others attend and begin discussion after the film. This discussion leads to the founding of Gorge Grown Food Network.

2004

With generous support from the Bryant Family, Rebuild-it Center relocates to the current location in the Heights at 995 Tucker Road. CGEC Board member Nathan Salter scores big with relocating office building that is at the current location. Michael Becker becomes board president.

2005 – 2007

Gorge Grown Food Network becomes a project of Columbia Gorge Earth Center with leadership from Anne Kraemer, Bruce Bolme and Todd Dierker. CGEC initiates Friends of RiverHours project to provide support to RiverHours Local Currency Project, founded by Stacey Shawe in 2002. Jaimes Valdez becomes Board president.

2008

Redivia magazine launched as an incubated program under CGEC. David Skakel steps down as Executive Director of CGEC. Tara Keairnes becomes board president.

2009

Ben Zimmerman becomes board president.

2010

Nick Kraemer hired as Executive Director. (GO!) launches with Becky Brun as Director. Becky runs Green Drinks and starts new programs and events like cash mobs, GO! Talks networking events, and film and author events. Sense of Place Lecture Series, led by Amanda Lawrence, kicks off its first season. The 10th Enviro-Home Tour is organized and the name is changed to Green Living Tour.

2011

Weatherize Oregon Now (WON) launches as a program of CGEC with a $100,000 grant from the Oregon Dept. of Energy to help people get energy audits and energy-efficient upgrades to their homes. A $20,000 grant is received from Meyer Memorial Trust to fund a staff role to increase renewable energy/energy efficiency programs. Amanda Lawrence becomes board president. Sense of Place Lecture Series continues to grow. First annual Tod J LeFevre Sustainability Awards presented to Tod J LeFevre (he passed away in March 2011).

Programs include Film and Lecture Series, Sustainability Awards, Sense of Place and Green Living Tour. Gorge Owned Business Network continues to grow and host its own events, including Green Drinks, films and author events. In the Spring, Gorge Owned Business Network hosts the first (and only) Gorge Local Economic Summit.

2012

Tod J LeFevre Sustainability Awards presented to Linda Short and Dirt Hugger. Lindsay Miller is hired as Executive Director. Sense of Place Lecture Series continues to grow.

Programs include Sense of Place, Sustainability Awards, and Gorge Green Home Tour. Gorge Owned Business Network continues to grow and host its own events, including Green Drinks, films and author events.

2013

Gorge Owned Business Network and CGEC “merge” in the Spring, rebranding the organization. The organization is, for the first time, supported by “member supporters” — businesses, individuals, family and “affiliate” memberships for non-local businesses. 2013 Earth Day party included live music, dancing “GO! Talks” (five-minute inspirational TED-like Talks), a raffle and more. Tod J LeFevre Sustainability Awards presented to:

  • Individual: Michael Becker, Hood River Middle School
  • Business: Cascade Acupuncture Center
  • Student: Paul Cook, Columbia Gorge Community College

Programs include Sense of Place, Sustainability Awards, Green Drinks, GO! Local and Gorge Green Home Tour

2014

GO Solar project launches with a $10,000 grant from the Washington Dept. of Ecology. Almost 30 households installed rooftop PV systems through the program (Green Home Solar, Hire Electric and Common Energy were all installers). A short film produced by Manny Marquez helps raise awareness about the benefits of investing in rooftop solar.

Gorge Owned launches a new website, led by Becky Brun, Lindsay Miller and board member Shawn Hart. Tod J LeFevre Sustainability Awards presented to:

  • Individual: David Skakel, Tri-County Hazardous Waste and Recycling Progr am
  • Business: Humble Roots Nursery, Kristin Currin & Andrew Merrit
  • Students: Daeuthen Dahlquist and Erik Siekkinen

Sense of Place Lecture Series continues to grow — moves to the Columbia Center for the Arts. Programs include Sense of Place, Sustainability Awards, Green Drinks, GO! Local and GO! Solar.

2015

Becky Brun and Lindsay Miller move from staff roles onto the board, serving as president and vice president respectively. Amanda Lawrence and Rebecca Thistlethwaite shift from board into staff roles, serving as Marketing and Programs Director and Executive Director respectively. Michela Roth hired as Membership Coordinator. Sense of Place Lecture Series continues at the Columbia Center for the Arts. GO! Solar has another successful year.

Tod J LeFevre Sustainability Awards presented to:

  • Individuals: Jurgen and Susan Hess, Hess Photography and Envirogorge
  • Business: Solstice Wood Fire Cafe and Bar
  • Student: Charley Boonstra, HRVHS Climate Action Club

The first annual GOvember party and fundraiser takes place at Kickstand Coffee and Kitchen. GO! Local Map launches at GOvember, inviting people to visit local businesses and earn a chance to win prizes. Sense of Place Lecture Series continues at the Columbia Center for the Arts.

Programs include Sense of Place, Sustainability Awards, Green Drinks, GO! Local and GO! Solar.

Leaders for Tomorrow, a high school program that exposes students to entrepreneurship experience and community service opportunities, becomes a fiscally sponsored project.

2016

Courtney Christenson hired as part-time Executive Director. Strategic planning grant from Ford Family Foundation secured. Sandi Scheinberg Consulting hired to lead strategic planning, conducted over 3-4 months in the winter/spring of 2017. Lindsay Miller assists with the finalization of the plan. Tod J LeFevre Sustainability Awards presented to:

  • Individual: Heather Staten
  • Business: Rebuild it Center
  • Student: Clare Davies

Hear in the Gorge podcast launched through a larger $20,000 grant from Travel Oregon through the Gorge Tourism Alliance. GO! Solar has another successful year. The second annual GOvember party and fundraiser takes place at Kickstand Coffee and Kitchen. Partnership with the Chinook Book mobile app is a new offering to GO! Business members. Sense of Place Lecture Series continues at the Columbia Center for the Arts.

Programs include Sense of Place, Sustainability Awards, Green Drinks, GO! Local and GO! Solar. Sense of Place adds season ticket option. Provide fiscal sponsorship for Leaders for Tomorrow and Hear in the Gorge.

2017

March 2017 – Winter Recovery Cash Mob promotion held with bases in Stevenson, Hood River, and The Dalles, and businesses participating throughout the Gorge. Michela Roth resigns from Membership Coordinator position. Andy Wade joins GO staff in Fall 2017 as Programs and Development Manager. Tod J LeFevre Sustainability Awards presented to:

  • Individual: John Nelson
  • Business/nonprofit: Columbia Gorge Women’s Action Network
  • Student: Isis Stenn

The third annual GOvember party and fundraiser takes place at Kickstand Coffee and Kitchen. Sense of Place Lecture Series continues at the Columbia Center for the Arts. GO offers business members a new mission-based membership directory, community calendar, and automated membership renewal process.

Programs include Sense of Place, Sustainability Awards, Green Drinks, GO! Local and GO! Solar. Provide fiscal sponsorship for Leaders for Tomorrow and Hear in the Gorge.

2018

Secure small grant from the Mason Trust for website facelift to modernize design and improve user navigation. Development of the Sustainable Impact Series, as evolution of Green Drinks and GO Solar. Andy Wade resigns as Programs and Development Manager.

GO partners with digital media company Immense Imagery and filmmaker Rob Denning to produce GO! Local film “The Power of Choices.” Tod J LeFevre Sustainability Awards presented to:

  • Individual: Samantha and Jeff Irwin
  • Business: Analemma Wines
  • Organization: Hood River County (for Hood River Energy Plan)
  • Student: No nominees

Sense of Place Lecture Series continues at the Columbia Center for the Arts. The fourth annual GOvember party and fundraiser takes place at Mosier Company.

Programs include Sense of Place, Sustainability Awards, and GO! Local. Provide fiscal sponsorship for Leaders for Tomorrow and Hear in the Gorge.

2019

GO! celebrates the Tod J. LeFevre Sustainability Award with a short film featuring former award winners, Samantha and Jeff Irwin. GO! secures $2,000 grant from Hood River Cultural Trust which funds Sense of Place 10th Anniversary short film. Amanda Lawrence resigns as the curator of the Sense of Place Lecture Series in Spring 2019 and Sarah Fox takes over to lead the 10th season of Sense of Place. GO! launches Bridging the Gorge Conversation Series in August 2019, and hold two dinners – one in The Dalles and one in Bingen.

In October, the Board of Gorge Owned vote to dissolve the organization, siting changes in leadership and staffing, difficulty recruiting new volunteers, and a growing landscape of similarly-focused Gorge-based nonprofits and programs led the current board to conclude that it’s time to close our doors. This decision took a great deal of careful thought and consideration.

Programs include Sense of Place, Sustainability Awards, GO! Local and Bridging the Gorge. Provide fiscal sponsorship for Hear in the Gorge.

Gorge Owned Flickr Account

Gorge Owned YouTube Channel

Gorge Owned Facebook Page

Gorge Owned Sense Of Place EventBrite Tickets

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