Growing up in North Carolina, I always enjoyed spending time in the woods, observing nature. When my family moved to Oregon in 1987, I was suddenly exposed to an entirely new set of plants and animals - so different from the ones in the mostly deciduous forests of the Appalachian foothills. It just made my interest grow that much more. I've lived in Portland since 1998, and I love it! Portland has all the perks of city life, yet it remains closely connected to nature because of the rivers, parks and natural areas within and around the city.