Wednesday photo of the week: learning about flowers

Nature Mobile at Greenway Park

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Monday thought of the week: born naturalists

A thought:

Children are born naturalists. They explore the world with all of their senses, experiment in the environment, and communicate their discoveries to those around them.

Audubon Nature Preschool

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Upcoming nature events in Portland

Family canoe paddle outings with the Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership

Summer calendar from the Tillamook Forest Center

Ten Toe Express Walks from Portland Parks and Recreation

Hike series with the Forest Park Conservancy

Hike series with Portland branch of Hike It Baby

Hike series with Friends of the Columbia River Gorge

Hike series with Oregon Wild

Summer nature programming from THPRD

Summer nature programming from the Friends of Tryon Creek

Free Skills Series from Rewild Portland (every month)

Sept. 1-30 | Swift Watch at Chapman Elementary | Audubon Society of Portland

September 2 | Lecture: An Alaskan Fossil Adventure | NARG Paleo Meetings

September 5 | Blue Lake park day | Blue Lake Regional Park

September 5 | Vulture Awareness Day | Audubon Society of Portland

September 6 | Naturalist in the Park (Scouters Mountain Nature Park) | Metro

September 9 | Bats of the Night at TRNWR | Friends of the TRNWR

September 9 | Designer presentation for Willamette Falls Project | WF Legacy Project

September 12 | 10 Years of Trackers | Trackers Earth

September 12 | Guided Nature Walk, 9:30am | Tualatin Hills Nature Park

September 13 | International Rock Flipping Day | Everywhere

September 16 | Science Talk: Dragonflies, Wetlands, and Basic ID skills | Johnson Creek Watershed Council & Xerces Society

September 17 | Lecture: Wolves in the Land of Salmon | EcoUnite!

September 18-20 | Workshop: Nature Mentoring in Action (in Vernonia) | 8 Shields PDX

September 19 | SOLVE’s Annual Beach & Riverside Cleanup | SOLVE

September 20 | Sunday Trailways: Waterhouse Linear Park | THPRD

September 20 | Naturalist in the Park (Cooper Mountain Nature Park) | Metro

September 26 | Guided nature walk at TRNWR | Friends of the TRNWR

September 27 | Tilikum Crossing/Sellwood Portland Sunday Parkways | Sunday Parkways

September 27 | Second Annual Salmon Celebration at Westmoreland Park | Johnson Creek Watershed Council

October | Walktober 2015 | Oregon Walks

October 3 | Autumn River Paddle Trip | Tualatin Riverkeepers

October 9-10 | Parke Diem (city-wide volunteer event) | Portland Parks Foundation

October 17 | Guided Nature Walk, 9:30am | Tualatin Hills Nature Park

October 24 | Discovery Hike: Fall Park Tour | Forest Park Conservancy

Oct. 10-Jan. 10, 2016 | Exhibit – Seeing Nature: Landscape Masterworks from the Paul G. Allen Family Collection | Portland Art Museum

Regular nature outings (check websites for seasonal scheduling):
Nature Days in the Park and Nature Mobile from THPRD’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
Audubon Story Time (1st/3rd Saturdays starting May 2nd
Free field trips with Audubon Society of Portland volunteers
Tadpole Tales with Columbia Slough Watershed Council
Farm Fridays at Zenger Farm
Second Saturdays at the Water Resources Education Center in Vancouver, WA
Tillamook Tales at the Tillamook Forest Center

Did you know?
– $2 admission at OMSI the first Sunday of every month
– $3 admission at the World Forestry Center the first Thursday 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. August’s list is here.

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Wednesday photo of the week: stick handler

Stick handler

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Monday thought of the week: more than we can ever learn from books

A thought:

Earth and Sky, Woods and Fields, Lakes and Rivers, the Mountain and the Sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books.

John Lubbock, naturalist and archaeologist, in The Uses of Life (1894)

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Help kids connect to nature in National Parks! It’s so easy…

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My son at Crater Lake National Park, June 2014

We’re big fans of our National Parks, and we cherish the opportunities we’ve had to explore some beautiful places with our kids, such as Yellowstone NP, Yosemite NP, Crater Lake NP, Glacier NP, and Mt. St. Helens National Volcanic Monument. Our friends at the National Park Trust do, too.

We were delighted to help the NPT spread the word about their annual Kids to Parks Day last May – they received 633, 764 pledges from folks all over to simply get outside and spend part of their day at a park. That’s awesome!

Now the National Park Trust has been chosen as a National Park Service Centennial Challenge Project in honor of the National Park Service Centennial Year, which begins August 25, 2015. That means, to celebrate the National Park Service’s 100th anniversary in 2016, the NPT will receive funds to further their awesome school programs to give kids a national park experience. If the NPT raises $450,000 by September 18th, it will be matched for a total of $900,000, to be used for students at 60 schools across the United States.

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This is where you come in – and where you can make a difference. Can I count on you to donate $5 to the National Park Trust? That would really mean you are providing $10 toward school field trips into nature. That $10 would cover the bus ride for one student. If you can help, think of it like this: when you visit a national park some time in the next year or so, a kid is also receiving a similar experience – because of you.

Help me in connecting kids to nature in our National Parks! Donate now by clicking on the Buddy Bison image below – I just did! – and thank you for helping the National Park Trust with their mission to educate students about their country’s amazing natural treasures.

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Also, keep in mind that part of the National Park Service’s centennial celebration is the Every Kid in a Park initiative, which will provide free admission to national lands to every 4th grader and their families for the 2015-16 school year. Learn more about that here.

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Wednesday photo of the week: paddling

Canoeing

Photo: Columbia Slough Watershed Council

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Upcoming nature events in Portland

Family canoe paddle outings with the Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership

Summer calendar from the Tillamook Forest Center

Ten Toe Express Walks from Portland Parks and Recreation

Hike series with the Forest Park Conservancy

Hike series with Portland branch of Hike It Baby

Hike series with Friends of the Columbia River Gorge

Hike series with Oregon Wild

Summer nature programming from THPRD

Summer nature programming from the Friends of Tryon Creek

Free Skills Series from Rewild Portland (every month)

Nov. 12-Aug. 29, 2015 | Exhibit: In the Footsteps of David Douglas | Washington County Museum

May-August | Amazing Arthropods (programs with The Bug Chicks) | Multnomah County Library (various)

May 29-August 30 | Metro family activities at the Oregon Zoo’s Backyard Makeover exhibit (F/S/Su, 10am-2pm)) and Blue Lake Natural Discovery Garden (F/S/Su, 1pm-5pm)

July-August | Tall ship visits to ports in the Columbia River Gorge | Lady Washington and Hawaiian Chieftain

August | Outdoor Activity Month in Outdoor Adventure | Portland Children’s Museum

August 11 | Lecture: Kristin Ohlson on The Soil Will Save Us: How Scientists, Farmers, and Foodies Are Healing the Soil to Save the Planet | Friends of Family Farmers

August 12 | Bats of the Night | Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge

August 13 | Lecture: Darlingtonia’s Home: The Unique Eco-systems of the Southern Oregon Siskiyous | Leach Botanical Garden

August 14 | Families in the Field (Scouters Mountain Nature Park) | Metro

August 14-16 | Return from the Burn – A Step Back in Time Event | Tillamook State Forest

August 15 | Storytime: Little Beaver and the Echo | Audubon Society of Portland

August 16 | Family-Friendly Paddle | Tualatin Riverkeepers

August 16 | Naturalist in the Park (Smith & Bybee Wetlands) | Metro

August 16 | Seaport Celebration | Port of Portland

August 17-21 | Paddle Oregon | Willamette Riverkeeper

August 18 | StoryWalk at Midland Park | Midland Library

August 18-22 | Paddle Oregon | Willamette Riverkeeper

August 19 | Book talk: Grant’s Getaways: Guide to Wildlife Watching in Oregon | Powell’s City of Books

August 19 | Film: A Seabird Double Bill: Cormorants in the Crosshairs and Pelican Dreams | Audubon Society of Portland

August 20-26 | The Earthsinger returns to Portland in August for a week of singing about nature | various

August 21 | Families in the Field (Scouters Mountain Nature Park) | Metro

August 22 | Guided Nature Walk, 9:30am | Tualatin Hills Nature Park

August 22 | Ancient Walls: A Geological Walking Tour of Downtown Portland Building Stone | GSOC

August 22 | Fernhill Birds and Brew Festival | Friends of Fernhill Wetlands

August 22 | Rural Living Field Day | West Multnomah Soil & Water Conservation District

August 23 | Southeast Portland Sunday Parkways | Sunday Parkways

August 23 | Naturalist in the Park (Graham Oaks Nature Park) | Metro

August 28 | Bat Night | Columbia Slough Watershed Council

August 29 | 2015 Johnson Creek Clean Up | Johnson Creek Watershed Council

August 29 | Guided nature walk at TRNWR | Friends of the TRNWR

August 30 | Naturalist in the Park (Smith & Bybee Wetlands) | Metro

Sept. 1-30 | Swift Watch at Chapman Elementary | Audubon Society of Portland

September 5 | Blue Lake park day | Blue Lake Regional Park

September 5 | Vulture Awareness Day | Audubon Society of Portland

September 6 | Naturalist in the Park (Scouters Mountain Nature Park) | Metro

September 9 | Bats of the Night at TRNWR | Friends of the TRNWR

September 12 | 10 Years of Trackers | Trackers Earth

September 12 | Guided Nature Walk, 9:30am | Tualatin Hills Nature Park

September 17 | Lecture: Wolves in the Land of Salmon | EcoUnite!

September 18-20 | Workshop: Nature Mentoring in Action (in Vernonia) | 8 Shields PDX

September 20 | Sunday Trailways: Waterhouse Linear Park | THPRD

September 20 | Naturalist in the Park (Cooper Mountain Nature Park) | Metro

September 26 | Guided nature walk at TRNWR | Friends of the TRNWR

September 27 | Tilikum Crossing/Sellwood Portland Sunday Parkways | Sunday Parkways

October 3 | Autumn River Paddle Trip | Tualatin Riverkeepers

October 17 | Guided Nature Walk, 9:30am | Tualatin Hills Nature Park

October 24 | Discovery Hike: Fall Park Tour | Forest Park Conservancy

Oct. 10-Jan. 10, 2016 | Exhibit – Seeing Nature: Landscape Masterworks from the Paul G. Allen Family Collection | Portland Art Museum

Regular nature outings (check websites for seasonal scheduling):
Nature Days in the Park and Nature Mobile from THPRD’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
Audubon Story Time (1st/3rd Saturdays starting May 2nd
Free field trips with Audubon Society of Portland volunteers
Tadpole Tales with Columbia Slough Watershed Council
Farm Fridays at Zenger Farm
Second Saturdays at the Water Resources Education Center in Vancouver, WA
Tillamook Tales at the Tillamook Forest Center

Did you know?
– $2 admission at OMSI the first Sunday of every month
– $3 admission at the World Forestry Center the first Thursday 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.

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Monday thought of the week: just one father

A thought:

I’m not an expert on child development, nor do I know for certain what the right path is for kids. I’m just one father, trying to get the kids outside, and into nature.

– Rick van Noy, A Natural Sense of Wonder: Connecting Kids with Nature through the Seasons (Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 2008), p. xvi.

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BOOK: Ancient Places: People and Landscape in the Emerging Northwest

Readers of this blog might find interesting this new book from Pacific Northwest author Jack Nisbet, who has written about the nature of the region and naturalist David Douglas:

Jack Nisbet, Ancient Places: People and Landscape in the Emerging Northwest (Seattle: Sasquatch Books, 2015, 256 pp.)

Publisher’s description These are the genesis stories of a region. In Ancient Places, Jack Nisbet uncovers touchstones across the Pacific Northwest that reveal the symbiotic relationship of people and place in this corner of the world. From rural Oregon, where a controversy brewed over the provenance and ownership of a meteor, to the great floods 15,000 years ago that shaped what is now Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, this is a compelling collection of stories about the natural and human history of our region.

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