A ‘Letter to Nature’ in Portland

C40 Cities
2 min readJul 8, 2021

Nature breathes life into our cities. As part of a new campaign to highlight the importance of urban nature to our everyday lives, C40 has invited mayors, artists, cultural influencers and other thought leaders from cities around the world to write a ‘Letter to Nature’.

The first in our series of letters is from Mayor of Portland Ted Wheeler.

“Dear Nature,

You are so important to Portland!

  • You provide clean, cool air and fresh water for wildlife and people.
  • You provide shelter from storms and protect homes, businesses, and roads with places for flood waters to safely flow.
  • You provide homes for the thousands of birds, animals and fish who live and migrate through your rivers and forests.
  • You benefit our health and offer serenity and a respite from urban life.
  • You create community through opportunities to walk, bike, roll, swim and gather together.
  • You help us feel connected to ourselves and to each other, and we feel connected to you.

We know that you can also help us be resilient to climate change — if we help you.

  • We will weave nature into our urban neighborhoods from rooftops to streets.
  • We will update our environmental and river overlay zones and other tools to protect your rivers, streams, wetlands, flood areas and tree canopy from additional unmitigated development.
  • We will continue to protect and care for our parks so Portlanders have places to recreate near their homes, like Forest Park, Waterfront Park, Powell Butte, Leach Botanical Garden, Thomas Cully Park, and Whitaker Ponds.
  • We will continue to try to mitigate the damage we have done in the past.
  • And we will support community efforts to enhance and restore your systems so you can function properly.

As you nurture us, we commit to care for you so we can survive and thrive together.


Portland (via Mayor Ted Wheeler)”



C40 Cities

C40 is a leading global network of cities taking bold and ambitious climate action to deliver a healthy, equitable and sustainable future for all.