Today is the Portland vote! I support Measure 26-152 to Restore Our Natural Areas and I hope you did too, or, if you haven’t, you will today. I wrote a letter to the editor and sent it off to a few papers, but as far as I know I didn’t see it show up. Oh well, I’ll share it here:
Taking a double-canoe ride across a lake in search of birds and beavers. Dissecting an owl pellet under a tree. Rolling over logs to meet tiny creatures not always seen. These are just some of the many ways I have been able to connect my son to nature in the Portland area. What all of these learning moments and memories have in common is that they happened at various Metro natural areas, some as programs led by Metro naturalists.
Portland has been my home for three years. Regular access to nature within the city is a big reason why my family and I decided to move here. Along with various park districts other natural areas, those that Metro secured for public use offer boundless opportunities for my son to express his interest in the natural world. They are places that encourage his curiosity and develop his sense of wonder. We live in a big city, but how lucky for us that it is full of beautiful trails, forests, and wetlands. Where else can you walk, bike, or drive to places that make you feel you are many miles away from downtown buildings?
In 2010 I started sharing our nature experiences through a blog (exploreportlandnature.wordpress.com). Having encouraged other families to explore nearby nature, I support the levy to provide funding for restoration, native habitat protection, and educational opportunities for Metro’s natural areas. In order to provide my son with meaningful experiences in nearby nature, it’s important that natural areas are managed in the proper way. For the many children in the Portland area who have spent time in these places – and many more in the future, including my baby daughter – I encourage you to vote yes on 26-152.
Michael D. Barton