Wednesday photo of the week: falls hike

Wahkeena Falls hike

Image | Posted on by | Leave a comment

Urban Nature Partners PDX’s Fundly campaign needs you!


Urban Nature Partners PDX, a new non-profit in Portland that seeks to connect underserved youth to nature is currently running a Fundly campaign to raise funds. Visit their website to learn more and you can donate here.

Posted in education | Leave a comment

BOOK: Trees & Shrubs of the Pacific Northwest

Portland publisher Timber Press has field guides to Pacific Northwest wildflowers, wildlife, mushrooms, and insects, as well as the wonderful Must-See Birds of the Pacific Northwest. Now they have just published a new book covering trees and shrubs:

Mark Turner and Ellen Kuhlmann, Trees & Shrubs of the Pacific Northwest (Portland, OR: Timber Press, 2014), 448 pp.

In Trees and Shrubs of the Pacific Northwest, Mark Turner and Ellen Kuhlman cover 568 species of woody plants that can be found in Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, and northern California. The comprehensive field guides features introductory chapters on the native landscape and plant entries that detail the family, scientific and common name, flowering seasons, and size. Each entry includes color photographs of the plant’s habitat and distinguishing characteristics and a range map.

Trees and Shrubs of the Pacific Northwest is for hikers, nature lovers, plant geeks, and anyone who wants to know more about, and be able to identify, the many plants of the Pacific Northwest.

We happily add our new copy to our stack of Timber Press field guides for the Pacific Northwest!

Timber Press field guides

Posted in books, botany | Leave a comment

Regional Trails Fair, July 30

Metro will host their annual Regional Trails Fair next week, on Wednesday, July 30:

Want to learn about trail projects, plans, grants and initiatives? Attend the fourth annual regional trails fair. Visit booths hosted by dozens of organizations and share your ideas about what you want from regional trails. Sign up for a guided walk or bike ride. Free and open to all.


1 to 4 p.m. Network and visit dozens of information booths

1:15 to 1:30 p.m. Welcome and kickoff

2 to 2:15 p.m. Unveiling of 2014 regional trails map and work plan

3 to 3:15 p.m. The Infinity Loop: a new trail concept

4 to 6 p.m. Optional guided tours (registration required)

The Metro Nature Values team will also be at the Regional Trails Fair and at events throughout the region July through September to connect with friends, neighbors and community members about nature. There will be a photo booth, nature value tree and opportunities for you to share what you love about nature to help inform the future of Metro’s parks, trails and natural areas.

Where? Metro Regional Center, Apotheker Plaza

Posted in metro | Leave a comment

Monday thought of the week: we don’t really need the science

A thought:

There are stacks of studies demonstrating a link between access to quality green spaces and improved concentration and behaviour, better health and increased environmental awareness.

And yet, we don’t really need the science – do we? We know that being in green spaces is good for us. You just need to go and run around in a park for a bit and feel the benefits. You don’t need to sit around by the computer reading back issues of the British Medical Journal.

- Helen Meech, “It’s time we gave our children permission to get outside and get dirty,” The Guardian (July 16, 2014)

Posted in thoughts | Leave a comment

Photo of the week: on the trail together

Tualatin Hills Nature Park

Image | Posted on by | 3 Comments

Upcoming nature events in Portland

Nature-themed summer programs with Multnomah County Library: All About Bugs with The Bug Chicks, Deep Woods Naturalist with Red Yarn, Flying Squirrel Superheroes with Tryon Creek, and Worm Composting with the Oregon Zoo

Garden learning at Blue Lake Regional Park in the Natural Discovery Garden (July 18,19,20 and August 1,2,3,8,9,10,15,16,17,29,30,31, from 1-5pm)

Hike series with Friends of the Columbia River Gorge

Hike series with Oregon Wild (also, three OW/Outdoor Project hikes)

Canoe paddle series with Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership

Canoe or kayak paddle series with Tualatin Riverkeepers

June 26 – July 30 | Nature art show: Diana Sudyka | Antler

July 15 | Book talk: 60 Hikes within 60 Miles | Tualatin REI

July 16 | Library StoryWalk | Midland Library

July 16 | Sunset walk at Graham Oaks Nature Park | Metro

July 17 | Bat Chat | Tryon Creek State Park

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 | Storytime: Blueberries for Sal | Audubon Society of Portland

July 19 | Mount Talbert’s hidden beauty | Metro

July 19 | Sandy River Delta Hootenanny | Confluence Project

July 19 | Walk & Talk at Nadaka Nature Park | Friends of Nadaka

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

July 20 |  Nature and Plant Identification Hike | Friends of Marquam Nature Park

July 21 | Urban Grange Groundbreaking Party | Zenger Farm

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

July 26 | Classroom Discovery Days: Water World! | Tryon Creek State Park

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

July 27 | Sneak peek of Killin Wetlands | Metro

July 27 | The Big Float | Human Access Project

July 29 | Twilight Tuesdays at Cooper Mountain | THPRD

July 30 | 4th Annual Trails Fair | Intertwine

August 2 |  Central Hike with Marcy Houle | Forest Park Conservancy

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

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

August 3 | Columbia Slough Regatta 2014 | Columbia Slough Watershed Council

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

August 9 | StoryWalk | Friends of Spring Garden Park

August 12 | Lecture: The Biology, Behavior and Benefits of Bats | Friends of Fernhill Wetlands

August 13 | BYO Picnic Dinner & Evening Hike | Friends of Marquam Nature Park

August 14 | Bat Chat | Tryon Creek State Park

August 16 | Stories in the stones on Mount Talbert | Metro

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

August 28 | Scouters Mountain Nature Park grand opening | Metro

August 30 | Classroom Discovery Days: Ethnobotany | Tryon Creek State Park

September 1-30 | Swift Watch | Audubon Society of Portland

September 5 | Howl at the Moon! Harvest Night | Audubon/Kruger’s Farm

September 6 | Vulture Awareness Day | Audubon Society of Portland

September 7 | Naturalist in the park (Scouters Mountain Natural Area) | Metro

September 11 | Bat Chat | Tryon Creek State Park

September 13 | Fall birds (Smith and Bybee Wetlands) | Metro

September 27 | Animal tracking for beginners (Oxbow Regional Park) | Metro

September 27 | Classroom Discovery Days: Birds of a Feather | Tryon Creek State Park

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. July’s list is here.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Monday thought of the week: a surprising thing

A thought:

Somehow, we’ve arrived at a moment when a kid playing by himself, Internet-free and helicopter-parentless, is a surprising thing. Huck Finn may be deep in the American DNA, but he’s disappeared from the summer landscape, replaced by the boy in the bubble. No dirt, no unplanned moments, and no time for discovery.

- Timothy Egan, “Let ‘Em Eat Dirt,” The New York Times (July 10, 2014)

Posted in thoughts, timothy egan | Leave a comment

Wednesday photo of the week: pond looker

Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge

Image | Posted on by | Leave a comment

My third column for Metro Parent about kids and nature

The July issue of Metro Parent magazine contains the third (of four) of my “Raising Nature Explorers” columns. This one is titled “What Does It Mean To Be Connected to Nature?” and I share several ways that we feel connected when we get outside. You can read it either in the entire issue, or just the single-page PDF I uploaded here.

Posted in astronomy, ecology, environment, evolution | Leave a comment