Our Parks, Our Land Community
Thanks to a 100% volunteer-based summer staff, we were able to run our signature, hands-on sustainability education workshop series, "Our Parks, Our Land Community," at a handful of parks as part of Portland Parks and Recreation's "Free Lunch + Play" program. The six-part workshop series was inspired by early American ecologist Aldo Leopold's idea of the "land community," in which humans recognize themselves as members of a larger ecological community that includes the plants, animals, insects, and ecosystems with which we co-exist, even in urban settings. Kids of all ages and of diverse cultural heritage were able to explore this theme through fun, imagination-driven, science-based activities using the parks in their very own communities.
With generous support from the Portland Parks Foundation, the East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District (EMSWCD), Metro, and individual donors, we were able to reach roughly 800 people and log more than 460 volunteer hours during six weeks of programming. Thank you so much to everyone who came out to explore with us. We hope to connect with even more kids and families at more parks and on more days this summer!
Nature for All PASSED!
Last fall, CityWild joined a growing coalition of conservation groups, social justice and community organizations, elected leaders, and individuals representing working families, health professionals, and business owners in endorsing Metro Measure 26-203, "Nature for All," which voters in Multnomah, Washington and Clackamas counties ultimately chose to PASS! The funds from this measure will renew our region-wide Metro bond that ensures fish, birds, friends, and neighbors alike have access to clear air, clean water, and beautiful parks from the Sandy River to Beaver Creek.
While all of the goals of the measure are critically important, we at CityWild are especially excited for the bit that works to connect people with nature close to home and ensure that all kids- regardless of zip code or family income- have great places to play by improving access and facilities at regional parks and in communities across the region to better serve our growing, diverse populations. Congratulations to all who worked to pass this important measure and to the communities that will benefit from it over the coming years.
A Mobile Classroom is Headed Your Way
Many of you were with us last winter/spring as we launched an exciting crowdfunding campaign for our mobile sustainability classroom, the Wild Bus. After a TON of work at the talented hands of Spacecraft's Todd Isaacs, the interior of our 1969 Airstream Caravel has been transformed into a functional and truly unique classroom space. The Wild Bus features an inviting community table crafted from a locally salvaged, live edge slab of black walnut, a multilingual nature library, and plenty of storage and display space for our educational materials curios. We also have Salvage Works to thank for supporting the project with some lovely reclaimed Douglas fir, now sitting pretty in its new incarnation as bench- and counter-tops. This winter we will be wrapping up the installation of five flexible solar modules, generously acquired and installed by fellow Portland nonprofit, Twende Solar.
We are excited not only to run the classroom's electrical system with the power of the sun, but to use it as a platform for engaging kids and families in discussions and learning around renewable energy. Thank you, Twende, for all you do!
Check out our campaign to fund the Wild Bus, our mobile, environmental education classroom. We've got 28 days to raise $30k to take our mission to kids and families all over Portland! Picture this classroom pulling up to city parks, farmers markets, schools and empty neighborhood lots, bringing fun, exploration, and hands-on learning about nature to kids and families in all parts of our Rose City (and beyond!). Click here to support us!