The 1% Program
Given the history of our founding partners serving in the U.S. Peace Corps, Miller Hull has long been committed to
serving our communities by creating what we call "social architecture." It is a natural step to provide
pro bono services to organizations in need. In doing so, we pledge 1% of our budgeted billable hours annually
as part of the The 1% program
. The 1% program
creates a forum for “existing public interest work and pro bono architectural practice, with an ultimate goal
of increasing the quality and quantity of that work.”
To date, our time and effort has been focused both locally and internationally. Here in Seattle,
three employees have donated time to help the Seattle Architecture Foundation
and photograph local sites and surroundings for
Places + Spaces: A Tool for Educators
. This guidebook will assist
Elementary School Teachers in introducing the wonders and workings of architecture to their students.
Also locally is the design of the Technology Access Building
. Our in-house team has committed a
percentage of pro bono services for the design and concept of this administration and technology drop-in
center for underserved students of color in Seattle’s White Center neighborhood.
Nationally, two Miller Hull employees spent a week in Biloxi, Mississippi assisting those in need
after Hurricane Katrina
ravaged the city. This effort consisted of facilitating four teams
with daily tasks of tearing down and cleaning up destroyed property, and dispersing building materials
to local residents.
Internationally, two Miller Hull employees are active volunteers
with the Seattle Chapter of Architects Without Borders (AWB)
. As members of AWB, they assume a
shared project manager role, designing and documenting the second phase of a new orphanage, located
near the city of Colombo in Sri Lanka.
Stewardship - Columbia Land Trust
Miller Hull has always been concerned with sustainable building design. As a complement to this work, the firm
expressed interest in establishing a stewardship project that reflected the same care we placed on our built
projects (and the people that use them) towards the conservation of land, water and wildlife in our surrounding
habitats. Out of this was born the Miller Hull Legacy Project.
While there was never the intention of partnering with a single organization, a “natural” partnership evolved with
Columbia Land Trust that has led to four Miller Hull Legacy Projects so far.
Columbia Land Trust
is a non-profit organization dedicated to conserving signature landscapes and vital habitat
together with landowners and communities of the Columbia River region. Columbia Land Trust pledges to conserve in
perpetuity the land entrusted to them for conservation.
The first MH Legacy Project took place autumn of 2003 at Hines Marsh on the Long Beach Peninsula of Washington.
To aid the ongoing efforts by Columbia Land Trust and the Trumpeter Swan Society, volunteers restored water levels
and habitat for Trumpeter Swans and numerous other species of wildlife on the Long Beach Peninsula. Volunteers also
facilitated the restoration of Willapa Bay water quality by clearing fallen logs, stumps and invasive vegetative
debris that littered the Marsh due to the artificial drainage that took place more than two decades ago. We were
rewarded with photographs of migrating Trumpeter Swans returning to the Marsh en route to their final destination in South America.
The second Stewardship project in the Spring of 2005 involved thinning a rare woodland of white oak on a 30 acre
parcel of land managed by CLT near Mosier, Oregon. The oak had grown so dense it became a fire hazard to itself and
caused unhealthy growth amongst the trees as they competed for space and sunlight. Work involved removing, cutting,
and stacking selected dead and spindly trees, and leaving behind the healthier white oak to thrive.
The third project took place in the town of Grays River in southern Washington where
Miller Hull volunteers deconstructed and salvaged materials from an existing barn and a smaller dilapidated structure
that once served the Kandoll Farm. The Kandoll family sold the farm land to the CLT for conservation and comprises 100
acre parcel of estuarine and freshwater wetlands in under conservation by CLT that are important to several salmon species.
The ongoing conservation efforts here concentrate on reconnecting the river with the floodplain to benefit salmon and a
host of other fish and wildlife species. The removal of these buildings was identified by as necessary to fully realize
the return of the tide and restore ecological functions that belong to these wetlands. Materials salvaged included tongue
and groove red barn planks, and old metal roofing.
The most recent collaboration with CLT occurred in October 2007 when M|H volunteers traveled to a 200-acre biodiversity
reserve on the Little White Salmon River in the Columbia River Gorge, on the Washington side of the river. The
biodiversity reserve was created several years ago to demonstrate sustainable agriculture and forestry practices
while protecting and managing quality wildlife habitat. The property is mostly forested with older Douglas-fir
forests, but has a small Oregon white oak community, some spring seeps, and a beautiful view of the gorge above
Drano Lake. Work included building maintenance/reconstruction and removal of invasives from the neighboring meadow.
Stewardship - Day in the Park
On Saturday, July 29 from 9:30 to 1:00 a dozen MH employees participated in the 'Day in the Park Program' which targets City Parks
in need of restoration and attention. Our group joined Earth Share
of Washington, EarthCorps
and the Green Seattle Partnership
in tackling Carkeek Park.
Located in Northwest Seattle, Carkeek Park is one of the city's premier natural areas. Offering wooded trails for hiking, Puget
Sound views and beach access, and sunny meadows for picnics, Carkeek Park is also home to Piper's Creek, an important waterway
for spawning salmon. The day's work concentrated on removal of invasive English Ivy, preparation of sites for the planting of
native species, and maintenance of past restoration sites. This work was physical and very rewarding, with results highly visible
at the end of the day.