PBG maintains a strong connection to the natural world and will use this to help educate and spread information about humanity’s duty as a steward of the environment. Our use of urban green space and our commitment to a sustainable future will help us further the green goals of Portland’s public spaces.
Disassociation from Nature
Nature illiteracy is becoming more prevalent in our society because we’re so disconnected from the natural world. It’s crucial that we bring people of all ages together to learn about how we can all work together to protect the environment. These learning spaces and opportunities are hard to come by and often exclude marginalized groups. Schools in underrepresented urban areas don’t always have the ability to access green space or natural areas. PBG offers the opportunity to build a space where everyone can interact with nature without needing to leave city limits.
Nature is complex and completely reliant on functioning cycles, but our native landscape is struggling—the cycles are losing momentum. Our urban areas have compacted soils beyond recognition, and our suburban areas have transformed native landscapes to English gardens. While there may be an interest in gardening and planting the usual suspects, there’s a lack of programming that teaches about the importance of ecological cycles and the relationships between different species. Public and private gardens need to recreate the cycles and complex relationships between plants present in nature, or plantings won’t survive long.
The Horticulture Dilemma
Taking something out of its natural context and planting it in a garden doesn’t necessarily mean it will perform in the same way. There are so many variables that can lead to different growing conditions—soil pH, nutrition, drainage, sunlight, etc.—that cultivation won’t always be successful. Plants live in communities that have been forming for millions of years, which is why they can be picky about their needs. Horticulture can’t really be successful without doing the proper legwork to understand what will do well where.