Upcoming nature events in Portland

Always check with the organization/place holding an event prior to going to confirm that it is still happening!

Tualatin Riverkeepers has opened registration for their paddle events for the season. View here.

February 7-May 4 | Exhibit: Peanuts… Naturally | World Forestry Center

February 22-August | Special Exhibition: William L. Finley: Father of Oregon’s National Wildlife Refuges (Sat/Sun) | Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge

April | Arbor Month (Festival on 4/26) | Portland Parks & Recreation

April 16 | Lecture: Spring Chinook Salmon in the Willamette River | Tryon Creek State Park

April 17 | Botany for beginnners | Metro

April 17 | Weed Watcher Workshop | TSWCD/Clean Water Services

April 18 | Kids Nature Night Out: Grossology | Cooper Mountain Nature Park/THPRD

April 19 | Guided Hike: Camassia Natural Area | Clackamas River Basin Council

April 19 | Name That Tree! Get to Know the Trees in Your Neighborhood | Capitol Hill Library

April 20 | Girl Scout Day at Tualatin Hills Nature Park | THPRD

April 22 | 6th Annual Earth Day Celebration | PSU

April 22 | Blue Lake 40-Mile Loop connection celebration | Metro

April 24 | Tricks to Tree ID: Book Signing & Walk (with Ed Jensen) | Hoyt Arboretum

April 24/27 & May 4 | Learning the language of the birds | Metro

April 25 | Screening of film Project Wild Thing | Gilbert Park SUN Community School

April 25 | Park After Dark: Sounds of the Night | Tualatin Hills Nature Park/THPRD

April 26 | Earth Day Celebration at Kenton Park | Portland EARTH DAY Coalition

April 26 | Arbor Day Festival | Portland Parks & Recreation

April 26 | Spring bird and wildflower walk at Mount Talbert | Metro

April 26 | Classroom Discovery Days: Flowers and Pollinators | Tryon Creek State Park

April 26 | John James Audubon’s 229th Birthday | Audubon Society of Portland

April 26-27 | Alder Creek’s 22nd Annual Spring Paddle Fest | Vancouver Lake Park

April 27 | Spring Blossom Tour | Hoyt Arboretum

April 30 | Nature Walkabout for Families at Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge | Nature Connection (Meetup)

May 1 | Nature Walkabout for Families at Whitaker Ponds Nature Park | Nature Connection (Meetup)

May 1 | Columbia Group Inner City Outings Program – Monthly Meeting | Portland Sierra Club

May 3 | Kids Fishing Festival | Columbia Springs

May 3 | Park After Dark: Sounds of the Night | Cooper Mountain Nature Park/THPRD

May 4 | Nature Day in the Park at Vista Brook Park | THPRD

May 5-11 | Celebrate Screen Free Week | Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood

May 6 | Morning Bird Walk | Columbia Slough Watershed Council

May 9 | National Public Garden Day | Leach Botanical Garden

May 9 | Kids Nature Night Out: Nature Spy Kids | Tualatin Hills Nature Park/THPRD

May 10 | Nature Day in the Park at Pioneer Park | THPRD

May 10 | Smith and Bybee Wetlands kayak tour | Metro

May 10 | Ecological Explorations: Salamander Bio-Blitz | Tryon Creek State Park

May 11 | Sunday Parkways: East Portland | PP&R/Metro

May 11 | Mother’s Day birds and blooms of Canemah | Metro

May 11 | Book Signing and Nature Walk: Ed Jenson books on trees and shrubs of Oregon (ages 15+) | Tryon Creek State Park (no information online for this event. Ed will sign books from 12:30-1pm, guided walk from 1-3:30pm, and book signing again from 3:30-4pm. Free, no registration necessary)

May 14/24, June 1 | Wildlife tracking series | Metro

May 16 | Kids Nature Night Out: Reptiles and Amphibians | Cooper Mountain Nature Park/THPRD

May 17 | Tualatin River Bird Festival | Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge

May 17 | Children’s Nature Fair | Leach Botanical Garden

May 17 | I Heart Oregon (& Washington): 25 of the Portland Area’s Best Hikes | Hoyt Arboretum

May 21 | Lecture: Oregon’s Wolves and the Oregon Wolf Plan | Oregon Wildlife

May 21 | Evening Canoe the Slough | Columbia Slough Watershed Council

May 24 | Spring bird walk at Smith and Bybee | Metro

May 24 | Painted turtle walk at Smith and Bybee | Metro

May 24 | Family Field Trip Day: Hawks, Owls and Woodpeckers | Tryon Creek State Park

May 26 | Oaks, floods and fires of Canemah Bluff | Metro

May 31 | Smith and Bybee Wetlands canoe and kayak tour | Metro

May 31 | Classroom Discovery Days: Frogs! | Tryon Creek State Park

June 5 | Nature Night: Marbled Murrelets – Recovering a Rare Bird | Audubon Society of Portland

June 14 | StoryWalk | Friends of Spring Garden Park

June 14 | Ecological Explorations: Banana Slugs | Tryon Creek State Park

June 14 | Explorando El Columbia Slough | Columbia Slough Watershed Council

June 14 | Kalmiopsis Discovery Day | Leach Botanical Garden

June 15 | Father’s Day animal tracking at Oxbow | Metro

June 20 | Summer Solstice (guided evening walk, 7-8:30pm, free, register on website) | Tryon Creek State Park

June 20 | Park After Dark: Family Bat Outing | Tualatin Hills Nature Park

June 21 | Spring bird walk at Smith and Bybee | Metro

June 21 | Painted turtle walk at Smith and Bybee | Metro

June 22 | Sunday Parkways: North Portland | PP&R/Metro

June 24 | Twilight Tuesdays at Cooper Mountain | THPRD

June 27 | Kids Nature Night Out: Bats: Fact vs. Fiction | Tualatin Hills Nature Park

June 28 | Classroom Discovery Days: Slugs | Tryon Creek State Park

June 28 | Great American Backyard Campout | NWF

June 28 | 25th Annual Tualatin River Discovery Day | Tualatin Riverkeepers

June 29 | Bird and Wildflower Walk at Cooper Mountain | THPRD

July 18 | Kids Nature Night Out: Cat Prowl | Cooper Mountain Nature Park

July 18 | Moonlight Paddle | Columbia Slough Watershed Council

July 19 | StoryWalk | Friends of Spring Garden Park

July 19 | Park After Dark: Family Bat Outing | Cooper Mountain Nature Park

July 26 | Backyard Bats Family Program | Cooper Mountain Nature Park

July 27 | Sunday Parkways: Northeast Portland | PP&R/Metro

July 29 | Twilight Tuesdays at Cooper Mountain | THPRD

August 2 | Backyard Bats Family Program | Tualatin Hills Nature Park

August 2 | Park After Dark: Family Bat Outing | Tualatin Hills Nature Park

August 8 | Kids Nature Night Out: Mystery Night | Cooper Mountain Nature Park

August 9 | StoryWalk | Friends of Spring Garden Park

August 17 | Family Geocaching Adventure | Cooper Mountain Nature Park

August 22 | Park After Dark: Coyotes | Cooper Mountain Nature Park

August 24 | Sunday Parkways: Southeast Portland | PP&R/Metro

September 28 | Sunday Parkways: Southwest Portland | PP&R/Metro

Regular nature outings (check websites for seasonal scheduling): Nature Days in the Park and Nature Mobile from Tualatin Hills Park & Recreation District’s Natural Resources, Honeybee Hikes at Leach Botanical Garden, Story and Strolls and Guided Nature Walks at Tryon Creek State Park, Ladybug Nature Walks with Portland Parks & Recreation, Puddle Stompers at Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge, Bird Walks for adults and kids through Backyard Bird Shop, free field trips with Audubon Society of Portland volunteers, Library events with The Bug Chicks, Tadpole Tales with Columbia Slough Watershed Council, Farm Fridays at Zenger Farm, and Second Saturdays at the Water Resources Education Center in Vancouver, WA.

- $2 admission at OMSI the first Sunday of every month
– $3 admission at the World Forestry Center the first Wednesday of every month
– $4 admission at the Oregon Zoo the second Tuesday of every month
– FREE admission at the Portland Art Museum the fourth Friday of every month, 5-8pm
– FREE admission at the Portland Children’s Museum the first Friday of every month, 4-8pm
– FREE admission at the Oregon Historical Society & Museum every day for Multnomah County residents

*My friend Laura posts a monthly listing of kid and family-friendly events of natural, scientific, and cultural interest. April’s list is here.

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Wednesday photo of the week: how high can he go?

Climbing a tree

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Monday thought of the week: many different things at once

A thought:

Nature does not have to compete with technology for the attention of today’s kids. Nature only needs the opportunity to capture the imagination of youth. And if your kids return home dirty, wet and with a few scrapes and bruises they have collected along the trails, well, this is life. Time spent in nature is beautiful and dirty, boisterous and quiet, colourful and plain. It is always many different things at once, and it is always real. And in a world that is immersed in and worships the virtual, this is something for which we can all be grateful.

- Mark Yearwood, “Nature vs. Nintendo,” Full Comment/National Post (March 31, 2014)

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Wednesday photo of the week: what’s in the creek?

What's in the creek?

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Grand Opening of Outdoor Adventure at PCM on April 22

Will you be there on April 22 (Earth Day) for the grand opening of the Portland Children’s Museum’s new huge nature-based play area, Outdoor Adventure? We will, and we’re excited to share what we think with you! We’ll go no matter the weather, but we’re hoping it is a glorious day. After that, we might head to PSU for its Earth Day celebration. Check out the video below, and information about the grand opening below that (museum admission applies).

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Monday (um, Tuesday) thought of the week: close to home

A thought:

It’s important natural history isn’t seen as something that is “out there”, which you have to travel to. It’s right there in your garden. Public awareness of the natural history of the world as a whole has never been as great. But it’s important to know about species close to home.

- Sir David Attenborough, “Sir David Attenborough’s childhood memories,” Daily Mail (February 28, 2014)

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My two pieces in this month’s issue of Metro Parent

The April issue of Metro Parent is out, which means you can read two new pieces from me! First, an article about volunteering in nature for families, perfect for Earth Day month. And second, my second “Raising Nature Explorers” column, where I share my thoughts on letting kids play in nature, looking at handling sticks and climbing trees.

Current issue

You can read them in the whole issue here, or as PDFs, here and here.

Additionally, my friend Katie, who blogs at In the Midst, has a piece for this month’s NW Kids all about using nature journals to explore nature in one’s own neighborhood. Here’s the PDF!

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Get a Nature Passport to explore nature in Washington County!

Via the Washington County Visitor’s Association:

Nature Passport: Your Guide to Oregon’s Washington County’s Nature Attractions

The vastness of Oregon’s Washington County, especially when venturing beyond the urban cities, offers innumerable options for nature walks, bird and wildlife watching and a plenitude of outdoor recreational pursuits. Many of Oregon’s Washington County’s 727 square miles are devoted to pristine, rural wetlands, nature parks, wildlife refuges, verdant forests, tranquil waters and open fields, perfect spots for hiking and cycling, paddle trips, fishing, birding and wildlife watching and other outdoor pursuits.

Discover the natural wonders of Washington County with our new Nature Passport, a handy, portable guide to some of the best nature spots in the area. Order your free Nature Passport today.

Head on over here to fill out information online, and WCVA will send a Nature Passport to you, or you can pick one up at the sites in this list that are in bold:

Banks-Vernonia State Trail (Buxton)
Cook Park (Tigard)
Cooper Mountain Nature Park & Nature House (Beaverton)
Fernhill Wetlands (Forest Grove)
Jackson Bottom Weltands Preserve (Hillsboro)
L.L. Stub Stewart State Park (Buxton)
Magness Memorial Tree Farm (Wilsonville/Sherwood)
Rood Bridge Park & Lloyd Baron Rhododendron Garden (Hillsboro)
Scoggins Valley Park & Henry Hagg Lake (Gaston)
Tillamook Forest Center/Tillamook State Forest (Tillamook)
Tualatin Hills Nature Park & Interpretive Center (Beaverton)
Tualatin River (Tigard)
Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge & Wildlife Center (Sherwood)
Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks & Minerals (Hillsboro)
Tualatin Heritage Center (Tualatin)
Washington County Museum (Hillsboro)

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Upcoming nature events in Portland

Always check with the organization/place holding an event prior to going to confirm that it is still happening!

February 6-April 5 | Inside Wildwood: Colin Meloy, Carson Ellis, with a little Decemberists thrown in… | Central Library

February 6-April 13 | Exhibit: Ansel Adams: Masterworks | Oregon Historical Society

February 7-May 4 | Exhibit: Peanuts… Naturally | World Forestry Center

February 22-August | Special Exhibition: William L. Finley: Father of Oregon’s National Wildlife Refuges (Sat/Sun) | Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge

April | Arbor Month (Festival on 4/26) | Portland Parks & Recreation

April 3 | Columbia Group Inner City Outings Program – Monthly Meeting | Oregon Sierra Club

April 5 | Family Nature Explorers at Mount Talbert | Metro

April 5 | Conifers 101 Tour | Hoyt Arboretum

April 5 | Canyon Day | Reed College

April 5-6 | 34th Annual Trillium Festival | Tryon Creek State Park

April 6 | Lecture: Ice Age Floods of the Columbia River Gorge | Audubon Society of Portland

April 7 | Weed Watcher Workshop | TSWCD/Clean Water Services

April 8 | Nature Night: How Monogamous Are Birds? | Audubon Society of Portland

April 9 | Lecture: Parenting With Nature in Mind | Lewis & Clark College

April 11 | Brunch with the Birds | Columbia Slough Watershed Council

April 11 | Kids Nature Night OutL Pirates Treasure | Tualatin Hills Nature Park/THPRD

April 12 | Spring bird walk at Smith and Bybee | Metro

April 12 | Painted turtle walk at Smith and Bybee | Metro

April 12 | Ecological Explorations: Fun with Plant Phenology | Tryon Creek State Park

April 12 | Family Nature Studies: Animal Tracking | Tualatin Hills Nature Park/THPRD

April 16 | Lecture: Spring Chinook Salmon in the Willamette River | Tryon Creek State Park

April 17 | Botany for beginnners | Metro

April 17 | Weed Watcher Workshop | TSWCD/Clean Water Services

April 18 | Kids Nature Night Out: Grossology | Cooper Mountain Nature Park/THPRD

April 19 | Guided Hike: Camassia Natural Area | Clackamas River Basin Council

April 19 | Name That Tree! Get to Know the Trees in Your Neighborhood | Capitol Hill Library

April 20 | Girl Scout Day at Tualatin Hills Nature Park | THPRD

April 22 | 6th Annual Earth Day Celebration | PSU

April 22 | Blue Lake 40-Mile Loop connection celebration | Metro

April 24/27 & May 4 | Learning the language of the birds | Metro

April 25 | Screening of film Project Wild Thing | Gilbert Park SUN Community School

April 25 | Park After Dark: Sounds of the Night | Tualatin Hills Nature Park/THPRD

April 26 | Earth Day Celebration at Kenton Park | Portland EARTH DAY Coalition

April 26 | Arbor Day Festival | Portland Parks & Recreation

April 26 | Spring bird and wildflower walk at Mount Talbert | Metro

April 26 | Classroom Discovery Days: Flowers and Pollinators | Tryon Creek State Park

April 26 | John James Audubon’s 229th Birthday | Audubon Society of Portland

April 26-27 | Alder Creek’s 22nd Annual Spring Paddle Fest | Vancouver Lake Park

April 27 | Spring Blossom Tour | Hoyt Arboretum

May 3 | Kids Fishing Festival | Columbia Springs

May 3 | Park After Dark: Sounds of the Night | Cooper Mountain Nature Park/THPRD

May 4 | Nature Day in the Park at Vista Brook Park | THPRD

May 5-11 | Celebrate Screen Free Week | Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood

May 6 | Morning Bird Walk | Columbia Slough Watershed Council

May 9 | Kids Nature Night Out: Nature Spy Kids | Tualatin Hills Nature Park/THPRD

May 10 | Nature Day in the Park at Pioneer Park | THPRD

May 10 | Smith and Bybee Wetlands kayak tour
| Metro

May 10 | Ecological Explorations: Salamander Bio-Blitz | Tryon Creek State Park

May 11 | Sunday Parkways: East Portland | PP&R/Metro

May 11 | Mother’s Day birds and blooms of Canemah | Metro

May 11 | Book Signing and Nature Walk: Ed Jenson books on trees and shrubs of Oregon (ages 15+) | Tryon Creek State Park (no information online for this event. Ed will sign books from 12:30-1pm, guided walk from 1-3:30pm, and book signing again from 3:30-4pm. Free, no registration necessary)

May 14/24, June 1 | Wildlife tracking series | Metro

May 16 | Kids Nature Night Out: Reptiles and Amphibians | Cooper Mountain Nature Park/THPRD

May 17 | Tualatin River Bird Festival | Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge

May 21 | Lecture: Oregon’s Wolves and the Oregon Wolf Plan | Oregon Wildlife

May 21 | Evening Canoe the Slough | Columbia Slough Watershed Council

May 24 | Spring bird walk at Smith and Bybee | Metro

May 24 | Painted turtle walk at Smith and Bybee | Metro

May 24 | Family Field Trip Day: Hawks, Owls and Woodpeckers | Tryon Creek State Park

May 26 | Oaks, floods and fires of Canemah Bluff Metro

May 31 | Smith and Bybee Wetlands canoe and kayak tour | Metro

May 31 | Classroom Discovery Days: Frogs! | Tryon Creek State Park

June 5 | Nature Night: Marbled Murrelets – Recovering a Rare Bird | Audubon Society of Portland

June 14 | Ecological Explorations: Banana Slugs | Tryon Creek State Park

June 14 | Explorando El Columbia Slough | Columbia Slough Watershed Council

June 15 | Father’s Day animal tracking at Oxbow | Metro

June 20 | Summer Solstice (guided evening walk, 7-8:30pm, free, register on website) | Tryon Creek State Park

June 21 | Spring bird walk at Smith and Bybee | Metro

June 21 | Painted turtle walk at Smith and Bybee | Metro

June 22 | Sunday Parkways: North Portland | PP&R/Metro

June 28 | Classroom Discovery Days: Slugs | Tryon Creek State Park

July 18 | Moonlight Paddle | Columbia Slough Watershed Council

July 27 | Sunday Parkways: Northeast Portland | PP&R/Metro

August 24 | Sunday Parkways: Southeast Portland | PP&R/Metro

September 28 | Sunday Parkways: Southwest Portland | PP&R/Metro

Regular nature outings (check websites for seasonal scheduling): Nature Days in the Park and Nature Mobile from Tualatin Hills Park & Recreation District’s Natural Resources, Honeybee Hikes at Leach Botanical Garden, Story and Strolls and Guided Nature Walks at Tryon Creek State Park, Ladybug Nature Walks with Portland Parks & Recreation, Puddle Stompers at Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge, Bird Walks for adults and kids through Backyard Bird Shop, free field trips with Audubon Society of Portland volunteers, Library events with The Bug Chicks, Tadpole Tales with Columbia Slough Watershed Council, Farm Fridays at Zenger Farm, and Second Saturdays at the Water Resources Education Center in Vancouver, WA.

- $2 admission at OMSI the first Sunday of every month
– $3 admission at the World Forestry Center the first Wednesday of every month
– $4 admission at the Oregon Zoo the second Tuesday of every month
– FREE admission at the Portland Art Museum the fourth Friday of every month, 5-8pm
– FREE admission at the Portland Children’s Museum the first Friday of every month, 4-8pm
– FREE admission at the Oregon Historical Society & Museum every day for Multnomah County residents

*My friend Laura posts a monthly listing of kid and family-friendly events of natural, scientific, and cultural interest. April’s list is here.

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Wednesday photo of the week: log time

Sittin' on a log

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