September 25, 2015

On September 18th, Otak participated in PARK(ing) Day, an annual international event where participants turn metered parking spaces into temporary public parks! The purpose, aside from having fun, is to encourage thought and conversation about how public space is created and allocated in our cities.

Otak’s park, Where Plants Meet the Pavement, filled two parking spaces with native plants, many of which were donated by local nurseries. Our park created a safe, comfortable place for people to hang out while learning about the many benefits and varieties of native plants. We also wanted to highlight the importance of green space in creating healthy, sustainable urban communities.

Another key ingredient in creating healthy communities is the work of nonprofit organizations. Otak is lucky to share an office building with Guide Dogs for the Blind, and we frequently see staff and volunteers training dogs and handlers to help empower the visually impaired. We decided to sell the native plants in our park and donate all proceeds to Guide Dogs for the Blind. At the end of the day, we collected $405 for Guide Dogs for the Blind, and all pieces of our park were recycled, reused, or planted.

This was Otak’s second time participating in PARK(ing) Day, and we’re already looking forward to creating a new park next September!

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   September 23, 2015

Several of Otak’s water and natural resources team members attended and presented at the biennial EWRG & APWA Sustainable Stormwater Symposium last week in Portland, Oregon. This conference focuses on the current practice of stormwater planning, design, and implementation, and was co-chaired by Otak’s Tammi Connolly with Otak as a platinum sponsor. Otak principal Kevin Timmins presented with Jadene Stensland of Clean Water Services on the T.R.U.S.T. continuous simulation software which Otak helped develop. Otak’s Trista Kobluskie also presented, joining Lori Faha from the City of Tigard to discuss the benefits of integrating stormwater management facilities into the development site plan as a community amenity. The two-day symposium was capped off by a half-day bike tour, the Bike-BMP-n’-Brew Tour, which took the group on a guided tour of local stormwater BMPs around Portland. Otak’s Rose Horton hauled a five-gallon water jug in her bike trailer to test the infiltration of some pervious pavement installations. It was a fun and informative event, and we look forward to participating in the next symposium!

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   September 15, 2015

Otak’s Tempe Office participated in a volunteer effort for Habitat for Humanity, Central Arizona at their ReStore facility in Mesa, Arizona. Habitat’s ReStore operates through the sale of new and gently-used furniture, home goods and building materials. ReStore receives all goods for their five Phoenix Metro-Valley stores through donations from various establishments, corporations and individuals. All proceeds, after operating costs, go directly back to Habitat for Humanity, Central Arizona. 

Our team provided tasks that included stocking newly inventoried items, furniture assembly and general store clean-up. We are looking forward to participating in similar events in the future!

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   September 4, 2015

The Seattle Sounders and the Portland Timbers went head to head at Century Link Field on Sunday, August 30th. Several Otak employees from the Portland office drove to Seattle to join Redmond employees for some friendly rivalry.

The soccer action started with a goal in the 6th minute by Seattle’s Obafemi Martins, who took advantage of Portland’s failure to clear the ball out of the goal box. Portland had the majority of the possession in the first half, with several shots on goal, including a break away by new Portland player Lucas Melano, all of which were stopped by Seattle keeper Stefan Frei. Just before halftime, Portland goalkeeper Adam Kwarasey was called for a questionable foul in the box on Martins, leading to a penalty kick which Brad Evans converted to a 2-0 lead.

Portland’s Diego Valeri connected on a corner kick with defender Jack Jewsbury to pull back a goal in the 58th minute. Portland continued to attack throughout the second half, but could not find the back of the net and the game ended with a 2-1 victory for Seattle.

Fun was had by all!

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   September 2, 2015

Otak's Josh Owens tests the Colorado Dam Paddle Trail project.


Two breweries have released a special beer with the proceeds being donated to help fund the Bend Whitewater Park project that Otak designed and is nearing the end of construction.

To read the press release, click here.

For more information about the beer, click here.


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