America's WILD READ Gets Wild in the City of Portland

"Wild in the City" book cover // Photo Credit: Courtesy of Island Press

What does it mean to be an urban naturalist? Is it possible to connect to nature in a meaningful way while living the city life? Just how much of a challenge is it to live a lifestyle that integrates the natural and built environments?

Two native Oregonians and one Boston transplant have asked themselves these same questions, having dedicated all or part of their careers to bringing the answers to light. Leveraging their first-hand knowledge of efforts in Portland, Oregon to create a balance between the natural and built environments, the moderators April’s WILD READ will lead readers on an exploration of the city’s green spaces. M.J. Cody and Mike Houck, editors of “Wild in the City, Exploring The Intertwine” (OSU Press, 2011) will share insights into how this remarkable city can serve as a national model. Bob Sallinger, who directs the Audubon Society of Portland’s conservation work when not climbing into peregrine falcon nests on Portland's bridges, will highlight how to creatively co-exist with urban wildlife.

“Wild in the City” becomes the sixth book featured as part of the America's WILD READ online discussion group, a project of the National Conservation Training Center's (NCTC) conservation library. It is hosted by the Friends of the NCTC, and has emerged as one of the Internet's liveliest opportunities for book lovers and authors to meet over conversation about conservation.

M.J. Cody will launch the spring discussion the week of April 16, having spent much of her career writing for television and travel magazines. Cody grew up along the Clackamas river where green infrastructure was the norm, rather than the exception. She will be followed by Mike Houck, founder of the Urban Greenspaces Institute, where he focuses on sustainable design and access to nature. Bob Sallinger will bring his passion for the outdoors to the conversation by exploring both the joys and challenges of living with urban wildlife. Houck and Sallinger will close April’s WILD READ by exploring the Portland's region's efforts to better integrate the city's built and natural landscapes in ways that benefit human and ecosystem health.
Additional details about next month's literary travelogue can be found at

Later in 2012, "America's Wild Read" will feature themes ranging from fish stories to women's voices, with authors Terry Tempest Williams and David James Duncan, as well as Time magazine senior correspondent Michael Grunwald’s discussion about “The Everglades: River of Grass” (by Marjorie Stoneman Douglas) and his own book “The Swamp: The Everglades, Florida, and the Politics of Paradise.” 2012 will also bring a discussion of Rachel Carson's bestseller "Silent Spring" on the 50th anniversary of its publication in 1962.

 -- published --  April 17, 2012
 -- photo credit --  Courtesy of Island Press

Search the e-Journal Story Archive for more NCTC news.