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.
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.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (17 days)