Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Restoration - less expensive than extinction

I had a great time today walking around Sellwood, Westmoreland and the Johnson Creek Watershed, three communities about five miles from downtown Portland.  The Springwater Corridor links downtown pdx to this area if I had a bike with me or a lot of time to walk, but instead I got there by taking the city bus 70.  I photographed  lots of pretty old-growth timber homes built around the early 1900's mixed in with 1950 ranch-style homes.
Sellwood and Westmoreland Houses
The bicycles have routes on the streets where the streetcars used to run, hopefully someday soon, there can be more bicycle dedicated routes without competition from automobiles.  I am a proponent of bicycle boulevards and Portland has a plan for the bicycle to only grow in popularity as a major  way for people to transport themselves.
Bicycle Normalcy in Portland
There is so much to investigate and explore.  I found a really neat natural area called Crystal Springs and Johnson Park where I watched Heron fishing for crawdads.  The Army Corp of Engineers, the City of Portland and residents are working on a project to enhance the stream for passage of wild salmon. Crystal Springs originates from a spring and it flows into the Johnson River at Johnson Park.
This is where Heron was working for it's meal.  I only can see good from these sorts of projects.  It gives me hope for the human species.  Heron appreciates it too, it needs healthy places to live too.  And Heron's new refurbished home and improved stream passage for Coho, Chinook and Steelhead costs only 1.5 million.  
It's a lot less than extinction, and with Portland's Bicycle Plan for 2030 and all the hard work of citizens that want a livable city now and for the future.  Restoration of city streets to bicycle boulevards is a gain for us too in reversing the destructive habitat and landscape changes made over the past 200 years.  Less cars mean less oil coming off of the city streets in the stream run-off and less CO2 to contribute to our warming planet.

I want to share with you an essay written by Kim Stafford about being an Oregon Patriot in Tough Times.  It gives words to how many a life-long Oregonians feel,  and me, a soon-to-be non-transplant from Seattle feels about living in Oregon.  Take the time to read it.  Its moving and eloquent and descriptive of Oregon.

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