Our Changing Planet: Sustainability & Urban Planning in Portland

Learn why Portland is one of the most eco-friendly cities in the U.S. Delve into climate change and local ecology, while helping conservation efforts through hands-on opportunities.
Program No. 23853RJ
6 days
Starts at

At a Glance

As a pioneer in environmentally conscious public policy, Portland, Ore., is the perfect laboratory to understand how cities are finding solutions to their own challenges of global climate change. From 19th-century buildings retrofitted with the latest energy-efficient technology to a local pollinator sanctuary that is protecting honeybee populations, you’ll see a promising future in Portland today. Explore some of the city’s 12,500 acres of green space alongside experts to discover how Portland blends urban development with environmental best practices to reduce its carbon footprint. Delve deep into local ecology, while helping maintain the International Rose Test Garden and forest trails as you do your part to help conservation efforts and protect our planet.
Activity Level
Let's Go!
Walking up to two miles per day. Terrain varies from city streets to garden pathways. Be prepared for slight inclines and declines in walkways. You may need to stand for up to 30 minutes at a time. Downtown bike ride is up to 5 miles in length on paved city paths and roads. Service projects involve sustained physical work outdoors.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 10 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Help maintain the world-famous International Rose Test Garden and take a field trip to a pollinator sanctuary to study hives up close.
  • Ride some of Portland's 385 miles of bikeway to learn firsthand why this city has the highest rate of bike commuters in the country and how that has made an impact on the city.
  • Enjoy a presentation on sustainable agriculture and then take your learning to the field at a farmers market and during a “Meatless Monday” meal.

General Notes

This program is part of “Our Changing Planet” series, exploring the solutions to the challenges of global climate change in communities around the United States. Learn more at www.roadscholar.org/planet. For a similar program with more of a general destination focus, please see, "Signature City Portland" (#18533).
Suggested Reading List
View 11 books

Click here to provide website feedback
Website Feedback