Giving Pokémon GO a Go

The Challenge What do you do when you are tasked with entertaining three hungry and restless 9-year-old boys? This is the challenge that Claire Fiegener, Greenbelt’s Conservation Director, faced one afternoon. Her twin sons and their friend were jumping around because they were super psyched to play Pokémon GO. They invited me to tag along so I could see first-hand what this craze is all about. Claire and I had no clue what Pokémon Go was about, or why it has become the latest virtual craze. What is the allure that has kids and adults alike walking through the streets day and night totally oblivious Read More

Unsung “Willamette Warrior” Crew Leads by Example & Ethic

“Time in nature is not leisure time; it’s an essential investment in our children’s health (and also, by the way, in our own).” ― Richard Louv, Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder   The Put-in On the water, we’re all headed downstream… and so is our trash. Where does it go? Out-of-sight, out-of-mind? The solution to pollution is dilution? Some would erroneously believe so until you are the one to float through it, swim in it, drink it, irrigate with it, or yes, step in it, along its banks. So, who are the brave souls who clean it up? Who are these Read More

Lettin’ the Fun Flow!

Cascadia Expeditions had the pleasure of collaborating with Benton County Natural Areas & Parks and Greenbelt Land Trust to deliver an exceptionally fun experience for youth on the Willamette River. Joining after a morning of hiking, we were happy to deliver a few games and enjoy lunch river side before splitting up into teams and diving into the rafts for our float. Pointing out various interesting sites along the way, and making a few stops to install duck nesting boxes, these kids were simply pumped to be outside paddling, learning about ducks, other wildlife, ecology, and river currents, and of course…to be getting wet! The weather Read More

Weeds & Wildness

Every inch of this valley floor has aspirations to be a wetland. LIDAR images uncover veins of meander scars converging on the Willamette River from the low hills to the east and west—local tributaries like the Calapooia and Muddy Creek show similar veins. Under the overlay of fescue and orchards and suburbs and roads, a network of buried channels testifies to ancient and not-so-ancient riverbeds and creeks that shielded and nurtured the same populations of frogs, fish, and turtles we now fight so assiduously to preserve.  Greenbelt’s Little Willamette protects a side-channel of the Willamette whose waters fluctuate with the season but thankfully never disappear Read More

Start Seeing Plants

I first encountered the term “plant blindness” when I was teaching Intro Botany for biology majors at Cabrillo Community College in Aptos, CA in 2001. The term was proposed by educators James Wandersee and Elisabeth Schussler in 1998 to describe the lack of interest in plants in the study of biology http://Wandersee&Schussler_Amer.Biol.Teacher_1999. My goal as a teacher was to help my classes overcome their blindness. Since that time, I have worked to educate others on the value and importance of plants, lichens, and fungi. Do you have plant blindness? When you are looking at a scene, do you see a mass of green or do Read More