No one can say Portlanders don’t love their beer—or their trees.
Last weekend 175 trees were planted along the streets of northeast Portland, thanks in part to a local dive bar’s affinity for Rainier Beer.
“I just love that a bar can help plant trees,” says Mara Hamilton, Manger of Billy Ray’s Neighborhood Dive, a tavern just down the street from Friends of Trees on NE Martin Luther King Blvd.
“It makes me even happier that trees are getting planted in our neighborhood.”
As part of Rainier’s Tabs for Trees contest, Billy Ray’s collected more custom red can pull-tabs last year than any other bar in Oregon or Washington.
To honor the bar’s accomplishment, Rainier Beer sponsored Friends of Trees’ planting event last weekend in the Boise, Humboldt, Eliot and King neighborhoods. Another Northeast neighbor, New Seasons, also sponsored the planting.
More than 150 volunteers came together Saturday to plant all the trees, including six high school students from Portland Opportunities Industrialization Center (located in Humboldt). Earlier in the year, these and other POIC students went door-to-door to sign up their neighbors for trees, so they’ve been involved in the entire process.
Many residents received free street trees, thanks to a grant from East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District.
“Friends of Trees loves to host this event every year to welcome our neighbors and celebrate all of the new trees planted around us,” said Andy Meeks, Development Manager at Friends of Trees. “We sincerely thank New Seasons, Rainier Beer, POIC, Portland’s Bureau of Environmental Services, the East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District and also Billy Ray’s Dive for their support to make it possible.”
As for Billy Ray’s, the tavern is already busy collecting tabs for the next contest.
It’s hard work, but somebody’s got to do it.