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Public Forum #2
Integrating Nature and the Built Environment: A Vision For Hood River’s Westsid

Tuesday, August 15th, doors 6 pm, program 6:30 pm
Columbia Center for the Arts – 215 Cascade Avenue, Hood River

Continuing our series of public forums on the Westside Area Concept Plan. . .You won’t want to miss this one! Mike Houck, director of Urban Greenspaces Institute will be coming to talk to us about creating cities where the built and natural environments are interwoven, not set apart. He’ll come with examples from his work with the Intertwine in the Portland-Vancouver region as well as advice for how our little town can integrate urban green infrastructure—parks, trails, streams and wetlands, fish and wildlife habitat, urban forests, and greenspaces—with the built environment.  

The Residents Committee is excited about the Westside Area Concept Plan as an opportunity to bring this vision to Hood River. Livable Hood River will again be our co-host for the evening. There will be activities for kids so that parents can attend the talk plus snacks, beer and wine to make it a real evening out.

Urban Greenspaces Institute’s motto, In Livable Cities is Preservation of the Wild, conveys the conviction that, unless we create cities that are both livable and loveable, it will be impossible to protect the rural landscape and wilderness areas that have been the primary focus of the conservation movement’s efforts. Our nation’s conservation ethic has been largely predicated on the philosophy that nature is “out there” beyond the city, but too little effort has been expended to protect nature and to provide greenspaces where over 80 percent of our population lives, in the city. Mike believes that an equal amount of energy and other resources must be dedicated to making our cities more livable through protection, restoration, and management of the urban green infrastructure as has been focused on wilderness areas and more pristine environments in the rural landscape. Unless people have ready access to nature, parks, trails, and greenspaces in the urban environment, in the neighborhoods where they live, our cities will not be livable, or lovable.

About Mike Houck: Mike founded the Urban Greenspaces Institute in 1999 and has served for the past thirty-five years as Urban Naturalist for the Audubon Society of Portland. He is also co-founder of The Intertwine Alliance. Mike received his BS in Zoology from Iowa State University in 1969 and MST in Biology from PSU in 1972. Mike was a Lobe Fellow at the Harvard Graduate School of Design from 2003-2004 and is an Honorary American Society of Landscape Architects. He co-edited Wild in the City, A Guide to Portland’s Natural Areas (2000) and Wild in the City, Exploring The Intertwine (2001) and is co-editor of The Routledge Handbook of Urban Ecology (London, 2011).  More Mike bio. . . .