While this blog generally consists of posts sharing photos of the week, quotes about nature, and upcoming nature events in the Portland area, occasionally I share thoughts on a children and nature topic or provide content for other websites. This is a collection of such writings/posts (book reviews are elsewhere).

Jan. 2017 – Super Nature Adventures Blog: Taking Time for Nature “Wherever You Happen to Be”

Aug. 2017 – Foundation Beyond Belief: Humanist Perspectives: Connecting Children to Nature (a updated version of a blog post I did for FBB in 2011)

Spring 2017 – I submitted two entries for the Intertwine’s DayCation website and app: West Metro Nature Play and East Metro Nature Play

January 2017 – in the winter issue of Metro’s Our Big Backyard, I was interviewed for an article about nature and health (full PDF of issue, article is pp. 3-5)

Dec. 15, 2016 – Children & Nature Network: ERRAND TIME AS NATURE TIME: Finding a Way to Give Your Kids a Daily Dose of Vitamin N

Oct. 27, 2016 – Keen Blog: Family Adventures in the City

April 2016 – PDX Parent: Native Nature: Mixing history and the outdoors at the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge

February 2016 –  I was interviewed for the podcast Nature Kids Radio, listen here

November 2015 – imagine childhood: …nature walk: portland, or

June/July 2015 – Metro Parent: Row, Row, Row Your Boat

April 2015 – Metro Parent: The All-Natural Playground

August 2014 – Metro Parent: Running Wild in the City: Outdoor Adventure at the Portland Children’s Museum

July 2014 – Metro Parent: Raising Nature Explorers: What Does It Mean To Be Connected to Nature?

Apr. 2014 – Metro Parent: Raising Nature Explorers: Sticks and Trees are Just Fine

Apr. 2014 – Metro Parent: Give Nature a Helping Hand: Green Volunteering for Families

Jan. 2014 – Metro Parent: Raising Nature Explorers: Outside Every Day

Oct. 2013 – Intertwine Adventure: Discovering Marshall Park

Jun. 2013 – Intertwine Adventure: Canoeing on The Willamette

Jun. 2013 – Intertwine Adventure: Raised On Nature – Wide Eyed at Tualatin Hills

Jan. 2013 – EPNA: Being too quick to judge…

Nov. 2012 – EPNA: Kids playing without screens, or, Why would you bring video games to a park?

Jul. 2012 – EPNA: In which I ask, “Why even go outside?”

Mar. 2012 – EPNA: Gaming is the end of real play

Feb. 2012 – The Bug Chicks: Fridays with Friends: Guest Blogger Michael Barton

Nov. 2011 – Foundation Beyond Belief: Humanist Perspectives: Connecting Children to Nature

Nov. 2011 – EPNA: Nature Rocks Ambassador posts: Getting outside with your children should not be a tedious affair. Simply put, just get outside!Keeping essential exploring tools handy makes nature play a more natural part of the dayWays to extend outdoor experiences beyond outsideNature in your neighborhoodWho explores nature for a living? Learning from naturalists and biologists; and We are all connected: Chemically, ecologically, and evolutionarily

Oct. 2010 – Go Explore Nature: Favorite Places to Explore Nature in Portland

Other posts of interest:

My series of interviews with folks in the Portland region who work to connect children to nature

Cartoons about children and nature

“Calvin and Hobbes” says a lot about children and nature

Our 15 minutes: Muddy Boots segment on Oregon Field Guide!

My kids and I on Grant’s Getaways!

Book reviews for this blog

Book reviews for Portland Book Review


All writings and photographs on this site are, unless otherwise noted, © Michael D. Barton.


3 Responses to Writings

  1. Alan St. John says:


    I just discovered your website and love it. What a wonderful resource for families in the Portland area!

    I’m the author of “Reptiles of the Northwest”, and see that you included my book on your suggested reading list. Thanks! I’m writing to ask if you’ve ever talked with an “old-timer” who mentioned there being native rattlesnakes in the Portland area during the 1800s when it was first settled? Way back then, before people interrupted the natural fire cycles, oak savannas were more widespread. With all of that open, sun-bathed, grassy environment, prior to Euro-settlement, the Northern Pacific rattlesnake inhabited most of the Willamette Valley where ever there were rocky south slopes. In fact, the ridge in downtown Salem where Bush Park is now located was called “Rattlesnake Hill” in the mid 1850s. I also have records indicating that rattlers ranged northward in the valley to Mount Angel and the Molalla area—-quite close to Portland. Hence, I’m wondering if originally that species might have occurred on Rocky Butte, Mount Tabor, and the hills around West Linn? I asked Mike Houck and Jim Davis about this, but they hadn’t heard of any such historical rumors. And I’ve been trying to get ahold of Tom McAllister, who’s old enough to have perhaps known some of the last surviving Portland pioneers, but have so far been unsuccessful in getting his contact info.

    If you’ve ever heard of rattlesnakes being encountered in the Portland vicinity in old days, I’d appreciate it if you could let me know details.

    Thanks so much,

    Alan St. John

    Bend, Oregon

  2. Pingback: Canoeing for families in Portland |

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