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The City of Portland, Oregon

Portland Parks & Recreation

Healthy Parks, Healthy Portland

Phone: 503-823-7529

1120 SW Fifth Avenue, Portland, OR 97204

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Nature Homeschool

Spring and summer bring so many opportunities to connect to nature right outside your door! We will be adding lots of exciting resources to this page. Please visit this site frequently for new information.


Parenting Resources

If you are new to being a parent AND teacher, you may be feeling a lot of pressure. Here is a helpful resource that is both inspiring and low-pressure.

Prescribing Nature for Health   |   Dr. Nooshin Razani   |   TEDxNashville

Dr. Razani describes how she was able to connect her children to nature, and why it’s important.


Portland Nature Guides

Get familiar with some local plants and animals! Enjoy these easy-to-use guides near your home, on your street, or in your local park. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, all parks, natural areas, and trails remain open for use. Please follow ALL public health guidelines and maintain 6 feet of physical distancing with other park and trail users, including PP&R staff who are outside working. For COVID-19 related information on closures and postponements, please visit portlandoregon.gov/parks/covid-19.

Portland Nature Guides  
Nature illustration of a bee Top 14 Bees of Portland

Check out our kid-friendly guide to the 14 most common bee species in Portland. How many will you find outside your door? Look closely at flowers. Some bees are tiny. Some are green and shiny. Some nest in the ground.
nature illustration of a yellow and black butterfly Top 15 Butterflies and Moths of Portland

Check out our kid-friendly guide to the 15 most common birds in Portland.
photograph of a small bird poking out of a hole in tree Top 12 Birds in Your Neighborhood

Check out our kid-friendly guide to the 12 most common birds in Portland. Learn how to help protect them!

overhead photograph of a small tadpole

Amphibians of Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge

Did you know that Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge has an education pond called “Tadpole Pond?” Salamanders start laying eggs in Tadpole Pond in January, and frogs start laying soon after. January through March are good times to see eggs. April through June are good times to see frog tadpoles and salamander larvae. How many creatures will YOU see in Tadpole Pond? Tadpole Pond is closest to the North Parking lot at Oaks Bottom, located at SE Milwaukie and SE Mitchell). Walk down the trail and stay to the right. The pond is about a half mile from the parking lot. Make sure to practice social distancing at the pond. Always stay at least 6 feet from other people.
Trees on your Street

Did you know that every street tree in Portland has been mapped by Portland Parks & Recreation's Urban Forestry team! Type in your address here and learn about the trees you see everyday.
 
Photograph of a tree planing crew in safety vests next to a freshly planted tree. Take a Tree Walk in your Neighborhood

Take a tree walk at a school in your neighborhood. School children have planted arboretums (tree museums) all over the city! 

Teens and Young Adults

10 Ways for Teens to Connect to Nature during Quarantine
portlandoregon.gov/parks/article/760558


Nature Homeschool  

We are developing some exciting resources for you to use at home. Nature Field Guides and Journals are tools for children to get outside and explore right from their front door. The changing seasons offer new plants and animals to observe. As each new seasonal workbook is created, it will be added to this website.

Our materials are:

  • Designed for children and teens to do by themselves - Journals are made for self-directed learning; your children will be motivated by their own curiosity. 
  • Low tech - Do your children need a break from online learning? Our resources will get them outside with nothing more than paper, art supplies, and their own curiosity.
  • Local - Topics covered focus on the plants and animals here in Portland. Your children will be able to find them right outside your door.