Locus Focus on 11/07/11
Wild in the City
One of Portland's best known attributes is the easy access to all kinds of spectacular nature. Mountains, rivers, the Columbia River Gorge and the Oregon Coast are all within an easy drive from the city. One of Portland's best kept secrets is the abundance of natural areas in the metro area itself, including forests, wetlands and meadows close to downtown. Urban naturalist Mike Houck has been on a mission for years to protect and promote the city's hidden natural treasures. Over a decade ago he collaborated with M.J. Cody on a collection of natural history essays and nature rambles by foot, bike and boat, that introduced places where you can experience peak moments of nature right inside or close to the city. A completely new edition of Wild In The City: Exploring the Intertwine has just been released. More than 100 writers and artists donated their time and expertise to this effort ranging from local naturalists to nationally renowned authors such as Richard Louv, Ursula Le Guin and Robert Michael Pyle. On this episode of Locus Focus we're joined by Mike Houck and M.J. Cody, editors of Wild in the City, along with M.J.'s brother Robin Cody, a local author who wrote one of the essays in the collection. We'll talk about how the book embodies the spirit of our regional conservation movement, and reflects the growing recognition that our natural areas, trails, ecoroofs, tree canopy, etc. are all part of an integrated system that supports the health, biodiversity and livability of our region--that nature is truly intertwined with our built landscape.