Metro, the Portland-based agency that works with the community to provide classes and recreational workshops in the area, sponsored a turtle walk Saturday morning. Community members at the event had the opportunity to learn about the various species of turtles that live in the greater Portland area.
They gathered at Smith and Bybee wetlands, one of the largest urban wetlands in the country. The wetland area is about 2,000 acres and it has a pungent past. Oregon Metro estimates about 15 million tons of garbage was dumped there.
The leader of the tour, Sheilagh Diez, said the event is important to connect community members with the natural areas that surround Portland.
“I think these are important because it’s part of knowing your place and understanding the world,” Diez said. “I think it allows us a very different way to connect to our space and become members of this broader community.”
The turtle walk was part of a larger initiative by Metro to teach classes and bring more community members into the wetlands. In 2013, a levy was passed that appropriated additional funding to the organization.