Nature in My City: A Photo Essay

As practitioners of ecological planning and restoration, we know a lot about the value of nature in urban areas. But how much do we really know about the ways in which people value (or don’t) nature in their home cities? We wanted to begin to explore this question by asking people in the cities that house some of our Bioregion offices one simple question.

City Song-The Green Refrain
By Tanaira Cullens

A flower grows from the concrete, breaking through the stereotypes we’ve cast upon her soil.  A crack and a few spring showers bring this landscape to life.  Black medic, white plantain and chicory dot the vacant lots but there is no life here?  

The bacteria slide down the roller coaster of riffles and pools in restored streams adjacent to train tracks and apartment buildings, exiting the ride just before stream turns to river and river to bay.   

Some say, that a white roof or a green roof gives an offering to the asphalt god of the urban heat island, bringing cool temps to cities imperiled by asthma, lung disease and diabetes. 

Street trees, planted by many hands, line avenues that were barren, but this is not ecology? 

Fox and possum, bat and bird call these streets home I’ve heard, but this is not diversity? 

A city built on a filled wetland fills with scientists and slowly digs into the past because the herons and the turtles, the fish and the beavers, the frogs and the crickets are calling.  

I’m stalling, for I have news to share on behalf of cities everywhere. 


Urban planning, resilience and sustainability are bringing together people and pasture, urban farms and forested trails, corner stores and fresh food, boulevard and wetland not just for today, but for the future.  

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