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Parks & Recreation

Healthy Parks, Healthy Portland

Phone: 503-823-PLAY (7529)

Fax: 503-823-6007

1120 SW Fifth Ave., Suite 1302, Portland, OR 97204

Explore Your Natural Areas

Explore Portland's Natural Areas by getting up close with plants, animals, water, and wetlands.

It's a great way for children, teens, families, and adults, to learn about nature together. 

Join Environmental Education in a new inter-generational program - ecology lessons in different natural areas! Children, teens, and adults learn ecology firsthand through hiking, investigation, educational games and experiential activities. Each class meets at a different natural area and teaches a different nature concept. Participants will travel in groups of 10-15 people, led by a trained naturalist from PP&R Environmental Education. Lesson topics include native plants, beavers, forests, water insects, frogs, and more! See our site and topic schedule for all the details!

Help us spread the word!! In the left-hand column you'll see flyers for each individual class. Click on the link of the park you'd like to promote. You'll then see a printable PDF document with all the information about the class. Print and hang on a bulletin board at your favorite coffee shop, community organization, school, etc.

Classes are Saturday mornings once a month (sites & topics & times vary so check the schedule!) Participants do not have to attend every class - each class has its own activity number. Sign up for one class, or sign up for them all! 

All classes are intergenerational and are designed so children (5+ yrs), teens and adults can learn ecology together. (Youth under 14 yrs must register with an adult.) Adults are also welcome to come on their own, but should be aware that children & youth might be present too!

Each class meets at a different location and covers a different nature topic!
Please note the meeting spot for each class listed in the online description. 

***Please register EACH INDIVIDUAL PERSON who will be attending!***

  • WHAT TO BRING TO YOUR CLASS - Warm jacket, Rain coat/pants, rain boots (grass is usually wet!), hats and mittens, snacks and water for each participant
  • OPTIONAL ITEMS - Binoculars, field guides, magnifying lenses, backpack to hold everything so your hands are free
  • WHAT TO EXPECT - Hands-on exploration and learning, active-yet-educational games (for all activity levels), science-based investigations, light-to-moderate hiking, and interaction with local ecologists and naturalists

HOW TO REGISTER - Take a look at the schedule of dates, locations, and themes by clicking here. Then just click on the activity number for the class(es) you're interested in! Don't forget to register EVERY person who will be coming so we have enough staff and supplies! 


Schedule and Themes

Details of the Explore Your Nature Areas series for Spring 2016.

A Bird's Eye View - Nov. 19 - Whitaker Ponds

Help us spread the word! Print some out and hang them up at your favorite community board!

How to Build a Bird Blind - November 2016

Check out how we plan to build a bird blind at Whitaker Ponds Natural Area!