Nature In Our Backyards

NIOB (Kind of Like NIMBY!)

“Sound urban planting practice includes a significant proportion of native vegetation, because natives require less maintenance and water than exotic counterparts, and provide places for native birds and animals to live.” — A Green City Program, Planet Drum Books, San Francisco, 1989.

Presently we are not only concerned about RVNA, we are concerned about the health of the Willamette River and our regional watershed in general. Additionally, we are very aware of the Western Wildlife Corridor and migratory fish in the river.

For this reason, we ask these questions:

  1. How can we minimize our negative impacts and maximize positive contributions to our neighboring natural area?
  2. How can we naturescape our yards and integrate them into the wildlife corridor?

Backyard Habitat Certification program

Working with the Back Yard Habitat Certification Program, we encourage neighbors to:

Did you know water is an essential element in creating nature-induced habitat? Birdbaths, can save lives in dry, hot months; however they are too deep for bees. Bees become thirsty when gathering pollen, but they need resting places so they can drink and not drown. Try this functional and stylish DIY bee waterer, found [HERE].

What more can you do to help RVNA?


[permission to us Naturescaping Art, resource naturescaping-concept-art.jpg ?]

Naturescaping is the practice of designing yards and landscapes that mimic the processes found in nature. A thoughtfully naturescaped yard reduces energy costs and the need for water, fertilizer, and herbicide. Naturescaping is also a great way to attract wildlife. A naturescaped yard can look like a classic formal garden, a beautiful woodland, or anything in between. (Definition from Ashcreek Naturescaping).

You can hire Ashcreek Forestry to do the planning and work! See URBAN & HOME NATURESCAPING on this [PAGE].

Make a Rain Garden

Here is an interesting article: A Rain Garden to Inspire Students and Future Conservationists on Washington Nature website.

Make a Pollinator Garden

Here is a lovely new guide on How To create a pollinator garden! [LINK]

Attention: Swimming Pool & Spa Owners!

Pool Owners: De-chlorinate pool/spa water before draining. DO NOT dump chlorinated pool/spa water into stormwater grate or catch basin, sewers, or into any stream or culvert — This is a fine-able offense! De-chlorinated water can be discharged to a yard, but it cannot run off to a neighbor's property or into the street/public storm water system.

Here is a link to the US Forest Service paper entitled Using Vitamin C To Neutralize Chlorine in Water Systems [LINK]. The process produces chloride in small amounts, but it does not produce enough to significantly increase salinity of the water.

Pool & Spa reference sheet: Pools, Spas, and Clean Rivers, by City of Portland: [LINK.

If you do not have a pool, but you observe a pool owner dumping their pool water off their property, or if pool water runs off onto your property or a neighbor's, call this hotline: 503-823-7180. Provide the date, time, location, source of water and hazardous material if known. A Bureau of Environmental Services Enforcement Officer will investigate the situation. [Will link to relevant city code].

Definitions (in progress!)


The Portland Plant List (200+ pages) is an extensive, concise reference to native plants in and around the Willamette Valley. It also lists and rates many invasive plants. [LINK]

We'll annotate this list as time permits. Contributions welcome.

End Notes

Many of the non-governmental organizations listed on our Confluences page deal with the issues listed above! [LINK]

See David Suzuki's A new kind of NIMBY: Nature in My Backyard [DEAD LINK].

There may be technical assistance for residents on tree planting. Can you get a free saplings? Is there any Tax incentive for planting certain trees? [need LINK]

To be continued...