Giving Back to Our Community
As a fourth-generation landscaping and garden center business, Dennis’ 7 Dees continues to grow and service our neighbors in the Portland metro area and the northern coast. Along with our passion for plants, we cherish community, education, environment, and safety. We are dedicated to exploring new ways in which we can support our deep, long-standing relationship with the community and help our neighbors grow along with us. That’s why we’ve established The Growing Grant and our Retail Fundraising Program.
Dennis’ 7 Dees Growing Grant
Bringing Landscaping to Your Project in a Meaningful Way
The Growing Grant is our way of giving back to our community each year through landscaping. It is available for non-profit organizations with projects that focus on education and/or food systems and security. This grant includes labor, plants, and material for landscaping an outdoor space; it is NOT a monetary donation. Although we recognize that this program is not ideal for everyone’s needs, we feel this is how we can make the most impact. Please submit applications by October 1st, 2022 for consideration in 2023—selection will be made by November 1st, 2022.
Our Growing Grant Projects
2021: Seth Lewelling Elementary
For our most recent Growing Grant, we partnered with Seth Lewelling Elementary to rehabilitate a wildlife habitat pond. Initially set up as a 4-H Environmental Magnet School, Lewelling Elementary has several unique features including wooded courtyards, a variety of mature trees, a small man-made creek, and a wildlife pond. Over time, the pond had fallen into disrepair, overwhelmed by weeds and invasive species. We donated landscape labor and materials, and we collaborated with the educators at Lewelling on a vision to transform the space into an outdoor, living laboratory for kids to learn about nature firsthand.
We began by clearing out the ivy, blackberries, and weeds that had dominated the space. To make the project as sustainable as possible, we reused existing hardscape materials already on site. Old stones from the courtyard were moved and set around the pond to provide a walking path from one gate entrance to the other. In the courtyard, the former pathway was repositioned to provide more direct access to the pond, and instead of stones we used steel edging and wood chips for a more stable walking surface.
An old, dead tree sat at the edge of the property surrounded by a wooden bench. We dismantled the bench to reuse the materials for new benches. We sanded and stained the wood and then took gabion cages, which are typically used for large, industrial projects, and reimagined them as bench bases—the gaps between the river rocks act as habitat for overwintering insects and reptiles!
The dead tree offered a unique opportunity—rather than removing it from the space, we chose to excavate around the trunk to expose the root architecture. We carefully toppled the tree, allowing it to fall into the edge of the pond and reveal its underground roots, just as they would appear if the tree fell naturally in a forest setting. This gave students and teachers the ability to interact with a part of the plant that is rarely seen. The fallen log also acts as an entry point for wildlife into the pond. To provide more access to the water for animals and insects, we created two river rock beaches where ducks can enter the pond, or where bees and butterflies go to drink in the summer as the pond slowly dries up. A delightful pair of ducks actually used the pond all spring and even nested on site!
Plants were positioned around the pond according to light and soil conditions—the most open and exposed area was planted as a wildflower meadow, and the shady, wet perimeters were planted with native rushes and shrubs. We primarily used native plants with a few ornamental varieties included to provide flowers in the winter to support native bees and insects. And no matter when the students interact with he pond, there will always be something blooming!
2019: Tucker Maxon School
In 2019, we put our efforts into Tucker Maxon School, which teaches deaf and hearing children to listen, talk, learn, and achieve excellence together. The Southeast Portland community is thrilled with the improvement from the once neglected street next to the school. Students, pedestrians, and cyclists can now appreciate the finished space. We built a new park in the closed street—the muddy potholed dirt road was an eyesore and danger to children and neighbors. The park includes dedicated bike and pedestrian paths, locally sourced benches, raised native plant boxes made of salvaged juniper timbers, a crushed oyster shell bocce court, and a retaining wall next to the goat pen and its charming residents.
“Dennis’ 7 Dees is due tremendous credit for making the idea a reality by generously donating the labor and expertise to bring the final project to fruition—not only were they technically proficient and able to supply the necessary fruition labor, but also the creativity and resourcefulness provided by their staff was astounding, and enabled the project to exceed all expectations. The craftsmanship and ingenuity (and good cheer) exhibited by their crew was without equal.” —Tobin Bottman, SE Pardee Street (The Bee Newspaper)
Past Community Projects & Events
Seed Today for Roots Tomorrow
Over 100 guests and sponsors gathered at this inaugural farm-to-table event to help build and fund a new endeavor at Human Solutions—a children’s Garden Program to help homeless and low-income families in Portland.
Planet Day of Service
We take pride in donating time and skilled labor to organizations in need for annual days of service. One year, we donated the installation of a drip irrigation system to Zenger Farms, an educational working farm that teaches children about growing sustainably.
Charity Golf Tournament
With the help of the community, we raised over $107,000 at this charity golf event, which set a fundraising record for the tournament!
Dennis’ 7 Dees Retail Fundraising Program
We look forward to partnering up with you to help raise money for your school or organization—just fill out the form below to begin fundraising today!
Discounted Gift Cards
Purchase discounted gift cards, sell them at full price, and keep the profits!
$25 for $21.25 (make $3.75/card)
$50 for $42.50 (make $7.50/card)
"Shop to Give Back"
Pick a day and spread the word to your community. Shop with your special code and 7% of the sales go directly to your organization!
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