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Retrofitting an old camper into a mobile classroom to bring sustainability education opportunities to Portland area kids and families.
Retrofitting an old camper into a mobile classroom to bring sustainability education opportunities to Portland area kids and families.
62 backers pledged $12,104 to help bring this project to life.

About

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WILD BUS: Kids' mobile sustainability education classroom

$12,104

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The Idea: Fund the Wild Bus!

Thanks to two generous donors, we have the bones for the Wild Bus: an 18 foot, 1969 Airstream Caravel. It's been gutted to the frame, has a new axle and subfloor and is ready for phase 2 of its transformation into a mobile indoor/outdoor sustainability education classroom. We're raising $12,000 to do a green renovation and retrofitting, which will include exterior repairs and polishing, electrical, insulation and a simple interior build out. Interior features will include a built-in community table with seating for 12+, storage for educational materials, an urban nature reference library suited for kids of all ages (and their grown-ups!), and shelving for our hands-on learning materials. An all-weather exterior awning will extend our learning engagement space into the outdoors and after that, the city is our proverbial oyster! 

When the Wild Bus renovation is complete, CityWildPDX will be able to increase the reach of our mission by bringing sustainability education workshops and hands-on nature fun to as many kids and families in Portland and the surrounding communities as possible, especially those that are underserved. We are currently exploring options to make the Wild Bus wheelchair accessible to better serve all members of our community. 

The Future Wild Bus, ready for renovation!
The Future Wild Bus, ready for renovation!
Wild Bus floorplan
Wild Bus floorplan
Wild Bus interior mock up 1
Wild Bus interior mock up 1
Wild Bus interior mock up 2
Wild Bus interior mock up 2

Who We Are

We are CityWildPDX, an Oregon non-profit founded by me, Britt Crow-Miller, an environmental geography professor with three young children. Our mission is to inspire curiosity about the natural world through fun, exploration, and hands-on learning for kids and families.

We value creativity, getting our hands dirty, nature as our teacher, and, above all, curiosity. From curiosity comes learning, from learning comes respect, and from respect comes stewardship and advocacy. Everyone should have the opportunity to learn about the natural community they're a part of and connect to nature, especially in cities.

What We're Doing

Through our high-quality, science-based, age-appropriate programming we offer the diverse communities of the Portland metro region the opportunity to rethink and strengthen their connection to the nature all around us. We offer classes and hands-on workshops and with our mobile Wild Bus classroom we'll be able to bring that programming directly to the communities that aren't currently being served.

Sample workshops include: 

  • Intensive small animal//insect study 
  • Finding our place: People, plants and animals of Cascadia
  • Exploring Portland//Exploring our Senses 
  • Urban critter tracking 
  • Neighborhood tree mapping
  • Introduction to urban nature journaling 
  • Wild plants of PDX
  • Cool not Creepy: ​Echolocation in bats and moths 
  • The seeds we eat

Wild Bus Visit Sites:

  • City and regional parks
  • Community centers
  • Neighborhood festivals and events
  • Preschools and head starts
  • Farmers markets
  • Public events
  • Vacant lots
  • Wherever we're invited!

Why You Should Support the Wild Bus Project

If you're in the Portland area, you can support the development of a community asset that will serve our entire city and region. If you're outside the area, you can still vote with your dollars to support creating the kind of future that serves us all by helping to instill a strong environmental ethic in the next generation of decision makers. When one child connects to nature, it helps create a better future for everyone.

Risks and challenges

Retrofitting work is new to us and we plan to rely on handy friends and family members to help with the renovation of the Wild Bus. We will need to call in experienced professionals for some of the more technical work, but we hope to do most of it on our own and with the help of volunteers.

Our plan is to use recycled and green materials for the interior remodel by partnering with groups like the ReBuilding Center in North Portland and SCRAP PDX. There's some chance we won't be able to find the appropriate materials used and will have to buy a few things new, but we hope that won't be the case.

These projects always take longer than expected, so running over schedule with our renovation is a risk.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Acorn-level Support

    Just as acorns sprout into giant oak trees, even small donations contribute to the grand result we hope to achieve with our mobile classroom. To say thanks, we'll send you a die-cut CityWildPDX decal to stick on your favorite water bottle, phone, or computer.

    Includes:
    • Die-cut CityWildPDX decal sticker
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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Fern-level Support

    Ferns are ancient plants that spread one wind-swept spore at a time, just as our impact grows with each supporter. Pledges at this level are thanked with one of our recycled cotton totes, great for books, groceries, or an urban adventure.

    Includes:
    • Die-cut CityWildPDX decal sticker
    • Recycled cotton CityWildPDX tote
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    5 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    Hands-on Workshop: Nature bookmaking

    Books are a powerful medium not only for imparting knowledge about nature, but for sparking curiosity about diverse perspectives on the world around us. Join us for a Wild Bus original parent/child bookmaking workshop. We will gather in the Wild Bus to brainstorm a shared nature-focused theme to inspire our stories. Then, we will go out to explore our neighborhood for inspiration, and reconvene for hands-on fun bringing our stories to life in book form. When our books are complete, we’ll share tea and snacks along with our creations, and learn how each parent/child team brings a new perspective to our shared theme. (All materials provided by CityWild; 2.5 hours; all ages welcome; Workshop to be held Saturday, 7/20 at 1pm).

    Includes:
    • Wild Bus parent/child workshop: Nature bookmarking
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    Limited 2 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Steller's Jay-level Support

    These beautiful birds are ubiquitous in Western Oregon and Southwest Washington and are fun to watch as they pound open seeds and acorns with their beaks. Pledges at this level will receive a super soft eco-blend CityWildPDX t-shirt, available in a range of kid and adult sizes.

    Includes:
    • Die-cut CityWildPDX decal sticker
    • Eco-blend CityWildPDX T-shirt
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    9 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    Raven-level Pledge

    Ravens are highly intelligent and curious creatures that have co-existed with humans for thousands of years. Not only will a donation of $75 help move us toward our goal of inspiring a raven-like curiosity about nature in our communities, but it will score you a limited edition white logo CityWildPDX eco-blend hoodie.

    Includes:
    • Die-cut CityWildPDX decal sticker
    • White CityWildPDX logo eco-blend hoodie (limited edition)
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    Limited 4 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Rose-level Pledge

    We love our City of Roses and we love $100 pledges to the Wild Bus! All pledges of $100+ will be marked with their very own hand painted rose on the Wild Bus Rose Wall. We're in talks with a few local tattoo and mural artists now and will announce who we're working with in early April. Keep the rose for yourself or donate in honor of someone who inspired you to love the outdoors or who you want to inspire.

    Includes:
    • Die-cut CityWildPDX decal sticker
    • Eco-blend CityWildPDX T-shirt
    • Your very own rose on the Rose Wall
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    6 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Coyote-level Pledge

    You may not see them regularly, but coyotes are all over the Portland metro area, even in the most densely urbanized zones! These amazing animals are living right on the edge of the urban-wild interface and offer us so many opportunities to consider our interlinkages. Pledges at the Coyote-level and higher will get a pair of tickets to the Wild Bus launch party, with music, food, and an exclusive tour of the Wild Bus before it hits the streets.

    Includes:
    • Die-cut CityWildPDX decal sticker
    • Your very own rose on the Rose Wall
    • Eco-blend CityWildPDX T-shirt
    • 2 tickets to the Wild Bus Launch Party
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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    6 backers
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Black bear-level Pledge

    The Black Bear is Oregon's only remaining species of bear. Surprisingly, their fur is not always black and can also be brown, cinnamon, bluish and sometimes white! Black Bear-level pledges are thanked with a custom, hands-on, 1-hour nature exploration workshop for you and 5 of your friends (plus kiddos!)

    Includes:
    • Die-cut CityWildPDX decal sticker
    • Your very own rose on the Rose Wall
    • Eco-blend CityWildPDX T-shirt
    • Custom 1-hour curio-workshop for up to 6 people
    • 2 tickets to the Wild Bus Launch Party
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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    4 backers
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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Douglas Fir-level Pledge

    The Douglas Fir, also known as the Oregon Pine, is a Pacific Northwest icon. Pledges at this level will be thanked with a custom, 2 hour, hands-on curio-workshop for up to 12 people, plus all the CityWildPDX gear you can handle.

    Includes:
    • Die-cut CityWildPDX decal sticker
    • Recycled cotton CityWildPDX tote
    • Your very own rose on the Rose Wall
    • Eco-blend CityWildPDX T-shirt
    • Custom 2-hour curio workshop for up to 12 people
    • 2 tickets to the Wild Bus Launch Party
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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    0 backers
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    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    Columbia River-level Pledge

    The Columbia is the lifeblood of our bioregion, central to the wellbeing of the humans, plants and animals that coexist here in Cascadia. Pledges at $5,000 and up help to sustain the work and increase the impact of CityWildPDX and the programming delivered to our communities by the Wild Bus. Pledges at this level will be thanked with a 1-hour interactive seminar on "Finding Nature in the City" with CittyWildPDX Director, Dr. Britt Crow-Miller. for up to 30 guests.

    Includes:
    • Die-cut CityWildPDX decal sticker
    • Recycled cotton CityWildPDX tote
    • Eco-blend CityWildPDX T-shirt
    • Your very own rose on the Rose Wall
    • Custom 2-hour curio workshop for up to 12 people
    • 2 tickets to the Wild Bus Launch Party
    • 1 hour interactive "Finding Nature in the City Seminar"
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    1 backer
    $

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Funding period

- (17 days)