Misson & Motto

Motto: In Livable Cities is Preservation of the Wild

Mission: To ensure that parks, regional trail systems, greenways and greenspaces are integrated with the built environment in the Portland-Vancouver metropolitan region, and to promote urban greenspace efforts nationally and internationally.

Our motto, In Livable Cities is Preservation of the Wild, was chosen as a corollary to Henry David Thoreau's aphorism, "In wildness is the preservation of the world." Our motto conveys our conviction that, unless we create cities that are both livable and loveable, it will be impossible to protect the rural landscape and wilderness areas that have been the primary focus of the conservation movement's efforts. It is our belief that the nation's conservation ethic has been largely predicated on the philosophy that nature is "out there" beyond the city, and that too little effort has been expended to protect nature and to provide greenspaces where over 80 percent of our population lives, in the city. We believe strongly that an equal amount of energy and other resources must be dedicated to making our cities more livable through protection, restoration, and management of the urban green infrastructure as has been focused on wilderness areas and more pristine environments in the rural landscape. Unless people have ready access to nature, parks, trails, and greenspaces in the urban environment, in the neighborhoods where they live, our cities will not be livable, or lovable. It is the Institute's mission to ensure our cities have abundant and equitable access to nature, parks, trails and greenspaces.