Portland Oregon - Nature orgs to follow/work for?
September 22, 2022 6:54 AM   Subscribe

My partner and I are moving to Portland, Oregon, next year and we would like to start growing roots in the nature / native plants / eco / environmental / nature center / parks / gardening / wildlife / tree planting / sustainability space. We are both eager to land jobs of any sort at great organizations who do good work and are good to work for. Can you please suggest orgs that we might be interested in?
posted by rebent to Science & Nature (11 answers total)
Response by poster: Oh, also, if there are slack, discord, or other networks (but not forums, reddits, or blogs please) related to this topic, I'd love to learn about them - even if they are just PDX-focused channels in some sort of larger organization. No
posted by rebent at 6:57 AM on September 22

Friends of Trees is one of my favorite places to volunteer. I've also volunteered with the Tree Inventory in the past, and it was a good time and a way to make some contacts in this field.

And a self-plug-- you should check out the Rice Museum. Aside from the awesome rocks and minerals which should not be missed (geology is nature too!), we have some forested acreage where we are encouraging existing native species and planning plantings of more native species.
posted by Secretariat at 8:08 AM on September 22 [2 favorites]

And I forgot to mention the World Forestry Center, too!
posted by Secretariat at 8:09 AM on September 22

posted by aniola at 8:32 AM on September 22

Rewild Portland might be of interest. They do ecological restoration stuff but also, e.g. have classes to make baskets out of the invasive ivy.
posted by janell at 8:37 AM on September 22

Livingscape is a friendly, learning-oriented nursery that does a volunteer plant potting thing every year (precisely enough baked goods for the first group and eventually precisely the right number of slices of pizza shows up for the second group), and give everyone gift certificates for helping out.
posted by aniola at 8:38 AM on September 22

There's also the tool libraries, which all seem to focus on the homeowner crowd and thus have substantial selections of gardening tools.

There's a fruit gleaning org.
posted by aniola at 8:41 AM on September 22

Also SOLVE for cleanup-the-thing actions in town and around the state.
Friends of Baltimore Woods is dedicated to a specific strip of transitional land; they actively manage the habitat there (and have a native plant sale).
posted by janell at 8:41 AM on September 22

If you are open to working at larger, governmental organizations, both the City of PDX and Metro do a wide variety of ecological and sustainability work. (Example link to one of Metro's larger restoration projects.) They might pay better than some of the non-profits, too.
posted by Dip Flash at 10:57 AM on September 22

The Portland Audobon folks do great work, not just in birding, but are consistently great advocates for local environmental issues beyond that. They also run the backyard native plant program, encouraging folks to add more native plants to our yards. I don't know how often jobs open, but they're good for connections in any case.

For something you can likely get more quickly, take a look at openings in Portland Parks & Rec. Right now they are searching for arborists, urban forestry folks, and seasonal workers, who, depending on the park, might do a lot of garden and plant work. The city is having a staffing crunch right now and is doing lots of hiring. The jobs are typically union-represented (if not management positions) and benefits are usually pretty good.
posted by bluedaisy at 1:21 PM on September 22 [1 favorite]

The Soil and Water Conservation Districts do excellent work tracking & protecting access, habitat quality, and long-term concerns about land use and development patterns. For following Portland-area news and to get a feel for the state of things check out Oregon METRO, both their news section and their library of regional research. I think Metro also has volunteer opportunities.
posted by VelveteenBabbitt at 4:51 PM on September 23

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