Sustainable is Just the Tip of the Iceberg

We’re used to hearing the concept applied to big systems, like entire cities or countries or international efforts. Our goal is to help people incorporate sustainability into very small systems: their own immediate surroundings. Our homes and landscapes are places where we can make better choices that make a positive difference for ourselves and our communities.

You know your choices have power. We can help you wield it.

But really, sustainability is the just beginning…

Our Secret Goal is to Change the World

When we are new to a place, we naturally seek to know it, to connect with it. As Portland grows and evolves, a whole new group of Portlanders discovers and grows and evolves along with it. New or old community members, we are all braided to each other and to this place.

We aim to help people build stronger relationships with the spaces they inhabit, to align themselves with the world they inhabit. We believe that fostering greater connection between people and place is vital to humanity’s continued survival. When people and place are one, naturally we make decisions that are beneficial to both.

We believe growing your own food can help you do that. Changing your physical space through construction can help you do that. Taking care of your land and structures in a way that contributes to the place’s overall health as well as your enjoyment of it, can help you do that.

So whatever we’re helping you with, we’re not just helping you. Together, we are helping heal our world, one small corner at a time.

Meet Our Team

Karen Wolfgang

Karen was born and raised in Portland, and that is a big part of what drives her to help people find ways to connect more deeply with our community and ecosystem.

She graduated from Princeton University with a BA in Anthropology and Environmental Studies, and from Portland State University with an MA in Educational Leadership, with a specialization in Leadership in Ecology, Culture, and Learning. Karen is certified in Permaculture Design, and is proud of her role instigating various community projects, like the Oregon School Garden Summit, Centennial Neighborhood Emergency Team, and Oregon Climate Action Hub.

Independence Gardens is Karen’s way to connect to and strengthen relationships with individuals and organizations in the greater Portland area. She gets more excited about the transformational potential of edible gardens and organic land care every day.