Time in the outdoors can refresh the eye and lift the spirit and the beauty of our region is that you won’t travel far to find it!
“Wild in the City” is a new book co-published by the Audubon Society of Portland and Oregon State University Press.
Mike Houck, MJ Cody and Bob Sallinger edited the impressive collection of writings and practical nature-finding ramblings.
“The book is really educational for people who enjoy our parks,” noted Cody. “But they may lack a sense for the northwest – that life-long depth that we provide in the book.”
More than 100 writers contributed to finding the ‘Wild in the City;’ authors who wrote the text, prepared the maps, sketched the wildlife drawings and really provide the ‘nuts and bolts’ of locating Portland-Vancouver Metro area parks, trails and refuges.
From Washington County’s “Fernhill Wetlands” (located near Forest Grove where flocks of geese fill the sky to the region’s eastern edge at Oxbow Park on the Sandy River that seems more wilderness than campground.
There are also well known wildlife areas – like Sauvie Island - that continue to fill us with wonder and surprise, noted Audubon’s Bob Sallinger – a dedicated naturalist who enjoyed one particular essay.
“A piece called ‘Raptor Road Trip” is all about the different places you can visit on the island – whether you hike, bike or drive or paddle - around the island. It’s simply phenomenal wildlife viewing and winter is really a spectacular time of year to get out and see wildlife.”
Whether you are a long time resident, a newcomer or just passing through the area you will fall in love with ‘Wild in the City.’
But it’s far more than a guide book.! The text also presents a call to action; a new way to look at the expanding network of connections between the wild places that we prize: a network that is now called the "Intertwine."
“The Intertwine is really a name for the region’s network of trails, parks and natural areas,” noted Metro’s Dan Moeller. He is a Natural Area Land Manager for the agency that manages much of the 14,000-plus acres of parks, trails and natural areas acquired thru voter approved bond measures.
“You can find everything from beautiful wetlands to oak woodlands to prairies to upland forests,” added Moeller. “You can find a little bit of everything and it’s really magnificent land.”
The Intertwine is growing all the time too.
In fact, recent additions include: Cooper Mountain Nature Park near Beaverton, Graham-Oaks Nature Park near Wilsonville and Mount Talbert Nature Park in Clackamas County. Each site is distinct and each offers special features.
“That’s exactly what the Intertwine is,” said Moeller. “It goes beyond bureaucracies and boundaries and it works among varied agencies, communities and cities to bring all of these parks and natural spaces together. Citizens can go out and enjoy them as seamlessly and easily as possible.”
Mike Wetter is Director of the Intertwine Alliance, a group of more than 50 public and non-profit agencies plus many private businesses.
The Alliance has created a new Intertwine website that provides maps, directions and tips so you can explore the wild places.
“You don’t have to drive an hour to get to nature,” said Wetter. “It’s right here where we live and we enjoy it as a part of our everyday lives.”
You have a rare chance to meet many of the writers who contributed to the new book, “Wild in the City – Exploring the Intertwine” at the annual “Wild Arts Festival,” on November 19, 20 at Portland’s Montgomery Park.