FPC Director, Renee Myers, Brings Lessons from Forest Park to Borneo!
Forest Park, one of Portland’s own crown jewels, was in the international spotlight this month as the Forest Park Conservancy’s Executive Director, Renee
Myers, joined an Oregon delegation of local officials, educators and environmental experts on a visit to Kota Kinabalu,
the capital city of Sabah in Malaysia and one of Portland’s newest sister cities. The delegation was led by Tom Hughes, Metro Council President.
Invited by U.S. Ambassador to Malaysia Joseph Y. Yun and his wife Dr. Melanie Billings-Yun, the intent of the trip was to share and explore ideas and inspiration
ranging from environmental protection and conservation, to economic and social innovations and impacts.
As one of the largest forested urban parks of its kind in the world, Myers shared the history, vision and environmental restoration of Portland’s Forest Park along with the Greater Forest Park Conservation Initiative (GFPCI) – a landmark partnership FPC has formed with a diverse group of government agencies, nonprofit organizations and citizen groups. The GFPCI is a collaborative action plan involving many unique stakeholders that is designed not only to restore and protect Forest Park’s 5,200 acres, but its surrounding ecosystem comprising a total of 15,000 acres.
“The two cities share a deep interest in environmental protection and there’s so much we can learn from one another,” said Myers. “It’s also quite an honor that we’re getting international recognition for the forward-thinking measures that Portland has taken to not only protect greenspaces like Forest Park, but for the unique approach we’re taking to restore it now for future generations to come.”
While in Kota Kinabalu, Myers and Portland officials also learned about the environmental efforts taking place in this part of Malaysia–with visits to the city’s Shangri-la Rasa Ria Nature Reserve, the Centre for Renewable and Appropriate Technology, Mount Kinabalu National Park, Malaysia’s first World Heritage site, and Lok Kawi Wildlife Park as part of a packed itinerary. The group met with local dignitaries including the mayor and Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment, along with forestry, green power and wildlife protection experts and officials.
This trip was possible thanks to funding from the US Embassy and the Sabah Collaborative.
Renee Myers and Dr. Jamili Nais, head of
Sabah Parks on a hike up Mt. Kinabalu.