SEPTEMBER 30th, 2017 — Columbia Slough Creek College, Part 2


In 2017, Creek College is hosting two symposiums on the Columbia Slough in collaboration with NAYA (Native American Youth and Family Center) and the Columbia Slough Watershed Council. 

Our second symposium is Saturday, September 30th, featuring new classes along with and a panel discussion at the end of the day. All events are free and open to the public. 

Sign up below for our classes and an opportunity to participate in environmental education and restoration activities through our partnership with Columbia Slough Watershed Council.  

Classes will be on-site at the NAYA Family Center, 5135 NE Columbia Boulevard.

Learn more about classes, barters, panelists and schedule for our Sept 30th symposium below. 


Columbia Slough Creek College is open to participants of all ages!

Classes and Projects


traditional plant medicine

Taught by Clay River


A workshop exploring the medicine that surrounds us. Participants will learn about traditional plant knowledge through harvesting from our surroundings and making tea together. Everyone will be able to take some of the harvest home with them.



What wants to happen?

Taught by hannah krafcik and emily jones


How does discomfort with uncertainty inhibit our experience of an environment? How do socialized movement patterns create chasms of separation, foreclosing on the possibilities for our engagement with place, community, and even our own bodies? This movement-based workshop will cultivate uncertainty: What happens if we radically shift our focus? Through sensory walks, movement explorations with eyes closed, and experiments in “attending to” an environment with a redistributed hierarchy of the senses, we will begin to uncover possibilities for instant composition—the emergence of the poetic in a particular place. What wants to happen?



memory reservoir: visual poetry & the watershed

taught by catie hannigan


Geographer Yi-Fu Tuan writes:

…space is transformed into place as it acquires definition and meaning… it is by thoughtful reflection that the elusive moments of the past draw near to us inpresent reality and gain a measure of permanence.

(Space and Place: The Perspective of Experience)

Through this lens, this class aims to reflect on how we may associate memories with landscapes and landscapes with memories— personally, collectively, and historically. Specifically, we will engage with the map of the watershed, and how this natural formation may mirror our own internal reservoirs. 

A variety of texts will be available; genres ranging from (visual) poetry, philosophy, and science, which explore water and watersheds and what it means to be a human among them. Other materials will be photographs, maps, and of course the site of the Columbia Slough. Through a variety of materials, we will juxtapose human experience with water by writing, drawing, tracing, stenciling, journaling, documenting, playing, etc. and hopefully through art we will transform space into place!


allied megafauna.png



Taught by PEG BUTLER


A walk and exploration considering relationships, connections and ecological thinking. What does it take for us to shift our identities enough to think of ourselves as integral parts of the natural world? If we’re not born or educated into that way of thinking, it takes practice. Maybe this form of art is called ecological practice, considering and trying on connectedness and seeing if it sticks. Art sometimes exaggerates, reduces, has humor or depth; all tactics for planting seeds of ideas. And, in art, as in ecological systems, the edge is where the richness is. We’ll consider these topics while interacting with the other natural systems that we meet during a walk around the pond.

After a walk, students will create installations from found objects. The installations will be Thank You Projects in acknowledgement and recognition of the connections that we've made and become aware of during our explorations.




9am: Opening Ceremony with NAYA

9:30–10:30: Traditional Plant Medicine

10:45–11:30: Restoration Activity

11:45–12:45: What Wants To Happen?

Lunch 1–1:45: Lunch

2:00–3:00: Memory Reservoir: Visual Poetry & The Watershed

3:15–4:00: Restoration Activity

4:15–5:15: Am I Hiker or Am I Forest? A Thank You Project

5:15–6:15: Panel Discussion

Restoration activities

For this session we will be removing invasive species with Portland Parks & Recreation Coordinator Yoko Silk.

Join Portland Parks & Recreation and the Columbia Slough Watershed Council to remove invasive English ivy and blackberry, and help create a learning area for environmental education programs at Whitaker Ponds. Portland Parks & Recreation and the Columbia Slough Watershed Council hosts hundreds of school age youth at Whitaker Ponds throughout the year; creating a new gathering area close to the trail will benefit many classes and groups for years to come. In addition, clearing invasive species encourages native plant regeneration, creates more habitat for wildlife, and improves erosion control and water quality. Gloves and tools will be provided!



Sign up here for the full day, individual classes, or panel.

For questions, comments, or concerns, contact us here!

PANEL: The Arts and Sustainable Practices

Yoko beach.jpg

yoko silk

As a Stewardship Coordinator for Portland Parks & Recreation, Yoko is able to connect volunteers of all ages to parks and natural areas in the Columbia Slough watershed (North and Northeast Portland). Yoko joined PP&R in 2010 as the lead teacher for the Jr GRUNT program with the Environmental Education department, and has over 17 years of youth work and outdoor education experience, including time as an environmental educator, a backpacking instructor and raft guide, and as a caseworker at a crisis shelter for homeless and runaway teens. Yoko has a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies, and a minor in Music from the University of Oregon. She is passionate about connecting people to nature and is committed to serving under-represented communities and creating opportunities for people of all ages and backgrounds to engage in nature in meaningful and impactful ways. In her free time, Yoko enjoys gardening, playing cello, juggling, rock-climbing, and rafting.


adam kuby

Based in Portland, Oregon, Adam Kuby has been creating landscape-based, ecologically responsive public art commissions and installations for the cities of Seattle, Portland, Vancouver, BC, Calgary and others. His work has also exhibited work at thew American Academy in Rome, the Duke University Museum of Art, the Ackland Museum of Art, and the Public Art Fund. 

His works are collaborations with the built and natural worlds that foster a sense of connectedness in our increasingly fractured environments. Each site or project is a chance to explore the friction between human form-making and its counterparts in the “natural” world. His works don’t require a static setting. Instead they thrive on interactions with the world around them and enlist and incorporate the elements of time, change, decay and erosion as part of their formal and conceptual existence. 

Kuby's past experience in landscape architecture, urban forestry and zoo habitat design informs his art practice, having worked in the landscape architecture offices, the Central Park Conservancy and the Bronx Zoo. He studied landscape architecture and ecology as an undergraduate at the University of Pennsylvania, and received a M.F.A. in sculpture from the University of North Carolina. 



Ka'ila Farrell-Smith is a contemporary Klamath Modoc visual artist based in Portland, Oregon. She works as a professor in the Indigenous Nations Studies at Portland State University and is Co-director for Signal Fire artist residency program. Ka'ila has recently been selected for an upcoming installation responding to the theme Water in the West, which will be on display for 2018-2019 at the High Desert Museum in Bend, Oregon. Her work has been exhibited at Out of Sight 2017 + 2016, Bridge Productions, the Alice Gallery, Institute for New Connotative Action, Linda Hodges Gallery, Vancouver City Hall, Museum of Northwest Art, Tacoma Art Museum, WA; Missoula Art Museum, MT and Medici Fortress, Cortona, Italy; and in Oregon at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, Gretchen Schuette Art Gallery, Blackfish Gallery, and is in the permanent collection of the Portland Art Museum. Ka’ila has recently been selected for Golden Spot awards to attend internationally renowned artist residencies at Caldera, Djerassi, Ucross, and selected for the new Institute of American Indian Arts A-I-R program. Ka'ila Farrell-Smith received a BFA in Painting from Pacific Northwest College of Art and an MFA in Contemporary Art Practices Studio from Portland State University.



Toby Query has been a Natural Resources Ecologist with the City of Portland’s Watershed Revegetation Program since 1999.  He is also the founder of Portland Ecologists Unite!, a monthly discussion group working to increase the resiliency of the community of ecologists by learning and sharing from diverse viewpoints. He manages several hundred acres of forests and wetlands in the city.  Toby has researched the great green macaw in Costa Rica, the spotted owl in Oregon, otters in Ireland, and is currently trying to understand the transformative power of earthworms.