THPRD Staffers go 'Wild', help author nature book
Next time you’re browsing at your neighborhood bookstore, you may encounter a book authored, in part, by THPRD employees.
“Wild in the City: Exploring the Intertwine,” (click here for OregonLive review) is a reference guide for anyone seeking a road map to the countless natural wonders that exist within the Portland area.
Among the 100+ authors who contributed to this must-have reference guide are THPRD Natural Resources employees Bruce Barbarasch, Scott Hinderman, Sarah Skelly, Kyle Spinks, Julie Reilly, Melissa Marcum, Greg Creager. Former employee Jo Linden also contributed.
“The book is for anyone curious about nature,” said Barbarasch, who contributed essays on Jordan Park/Jackie Husen Park and the Westside Regional Trail. “You can get just about anywhere in this book in a half-hour."
"The hardest part was narrowing down what I wanted to write about."
Sarah Skelly, Park Ranger
“It is so updated that it’s basically a new book,” said Barbarasch, estimating that 75 percent of the book’s content is new. It doesn’t read like a travel guide, he said, because it features several distinct and very different voices, including those of renowned Northwest writers Ursula Le Guin, Kim Stafford, Robert Michael Pyle and Bill Monroe.
Finding his voice was the biggest challenge for Barbarasch.
“It was harder than I thought,” he said. “You want to say ‘this is a verdant beautiful place with a babbling creek in the background,’ then you remember there are 100 people writing essays and they’re all going to want to say that.”
For Skelly, the biggest challenge was determining how to best utilize the limited space she was given to extol the park’s virtues.
"What do you choose to draw people into a park this big and this diverse? The hardest part was narrowing down what I wanted to write about."
Before writing his entry on Cooper Mountain Nature Park, Hinderman reviewed photos and spent time contemplating what makes the place interesting. His biggest challenge, he said, was doing the park justice.
“When you go to work, day after day to the same place, perhaps you stop seeing what makes a place so special,” he said. “To write this passage, I reminded myself what it is like to visit for the first time. When I encounter first-time visitors to the park now, they often express many of the same thoughts that I wrote.”
There’s no immediate worry that anyone will leave THPRD to pursue lucrative writing careers. “Payment” was one copy of “Wild in the City” and a byline crediting them for their contribution.
“I actually was surprised we were going to have our names at the bottom,” said Skelly, joking, “I kind of like to think of myself as a published author now.”
THPRD Authors/Contributions to Wild in the City:
|Bruce Barbarasch||Westside Trail|
|Bruce Barbarasch||Jordan/Jackie Husen Park|
|Greg Creager||Rock Creek Trail|
|Scott Hinderman||Cooper Mountain|
|Jo Linden||Hyland Forest|
|Melissa Marcum||Jenkins Estate|
|Melissa Marcum||Lowami Hart Woods|
|Julie Reilly||Commonwealth Lake Park|
|Sarah Skelly||Tualatin Hills Nature Park|
|Kyle Spinks||Koll Center Wetlands|
|Kyle Spinks||Vista Brook Park/Fanno Creek Trail|