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The value of dirt changes with location.

Start with City Hall dirt.

It’s off the market, hidden like a secret you already know. But listen to the movers and shakers and you start wondering about airborne dirt virus.

Move on to farm dirt.

No one knows dirt better than a farmer, their livelihood depends on it. They’ll tell you there’s not enough farmland, and it’s shrinking. Then they start talking about rain.

Oregon’s state dirt?

Jory soil grows wine grapes and Douglas Fir to earn the honor. We can all raise a glass, and a chainsaw, to that.

None of them compare with two examples of Zidell dirt.

First there’s the Min Zidell Healing Garden dirt.

It combines the best of all soils, growing botanical gardens and holding a secret message in the stone labyrinth edging toward the center. A part of the National College of Natural Medicine, the Healing Garden helps you cross your bridge over troubled waters.

The Zidell family knows the healing powers of dirt. They prove it on a large chunk of Willamette River front property once used for ship-breaking, now barge building. With much of the surrounding area changing from industrial to commercial and residential, the Zidell family builds their own bridge.

ZRZ, the real estate side of Zidell, evolves with new demands by cleaning upnearly a century of heavy maritime activity. River front dirt, like all land, is not a replenishable resource. Switching land use from industry to more accessible fits in with the new neighborhood.

The end result will help heal the river, connecting the clean riverside dirt of Zidell Marine to the soils of the Min Zidell Healing Garden.

When you walk the river on a summer evening and feel the rhythms of the earth around you, reflect on the Healing Garden.

When you see the effects of planned urban growth that makes room for everyone, think of the Healing Garden.

If it seems like the river and the river city are at odds with you on your walk, head to the Healing Garden and take off your shoes. Walk the labyrinth of pebbles slowly and let each rounded stone push into your feet.

If the calmness stays with you after you leave, it is the peace of the river and river city you feel.

When the hum of the city equals the calm you feel with each step, you’ll know why it’s called the Min Zidell Healing Garden.

About David Gillaspie
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