Portland Sustainable Landscapes: Toward Health and Diversity – Creating an Organizational Structure for Implementation

    Introduction An Office of Sustainable Landscapes that oversees all landscapes within the City and provides active leadership to both private and commercial property owners through the following: Public Landscapes (active urban contrived) Horticultural Management Public Landscapes (urban plant communities) Corridor Management: Transportation and Riverine Division of State Lands Tri-Met P-BoT O-DoT Multnomah County […]

What Really is a Sustainable Landscape & Why it Matters

(I’ve made earlier postings on this topic, but this piece actually predates those.  I wrote this in 2013 while still working as a horticulturist for the City of Portland Parks and Recreation as a member of a Bureau committee that was working to define ‘sustainable landscapes’ so that we could begin to make our policies […]

Losing Our Urban Landscapes: Sustainable Goals and Our Crisis in Leadership

The following is intended as a template for action or a beginning point for a discussion that is long overdue. Landscapes are more complex than most people realize.  They can go seriously awry in a very short time.  Undisturbed native plant communities are relatively stable and are able to respond on their own, as they […]

Adaptive Management and the Dynamic Maintenance of Sustainable Landscapes

  Part of the Over Thinking Series We, all of us, are part of the urban landscape.  The lack of connection, understanding of and regular involvement with our landscape, a condition which has become pervasive in modern society, sometimes referred to as NDD, or Nature Deficit Disorder, has brought us to the rather precarious place we […]

The Lower Deschutes River: the Incursion of Invasive Plants and our Failure to Responsibly Maintain Native Plant Communities

  [As I go over this post yet again, July 21, the 80,000 acre Substation Fire is still burning across canyon and wheat country here.  Included in the blaze are the 20 miles of the Lower Deschutes canyon down to the campground at the confluence with the Columbia.  Much of this burned down to within […]

Argyle Winery: A Look at a Landscape in Dundee as an Example for Those on the Trail to Xeric Design and Sustainability

I don’t usually do this, write about a particular landscape with which I have no history, so this is a bit of  a departure for me.  I’ve know Sean Hogan for quite a few years, consider him a friend and a highly influential mentor of sorts.  His encyclopedic knowledge of plants, his boundless enthusiasm, has […]

A Healthy Lawn, Drought Stressed Turf and a Meadow: Finding Our Way to a ‘Better’ Landscape

[The world is like a ball of string…pull on the loose end available to you, and you pull on the entire thing!] Portlanders, Oregonians, often promote ourselves as being ‘green’ leaders.  Cleaning up the Willamette, the Bottle Bill, preserving our beaches as public property, state mandated land use planning, bicycling, recycling, mass transit…and it’s an […]

Weeds, Politics and Commitment- When Doing the Right Thing is Outside of the Box

[There is a recurring theme in several of my postings and that is the failure of various of our local agencies and departments to responsibly care for the landscapes that they are charged with, a responsibility that is secondary to their primary mission and priorities.  The fact that this problem is so common is indicative […]

Failing Landscapes, Failing Practices: A Look at Tri-Met’s Landscapes and How We Could Do Them Better!

About a year ago I posted a series of three articles on Tri-Met’s landscapes along the new Orange Line.  They were a critical assessment of their design with many photos and explanations for my criticisms.  I had a brief correspondence with the project manager after the first two before he stopped responding.  I had asked […]