San Diego Zoo

Go To The Zoo For the Pandas, Stay for the Plants

The “World Famous” San Diego Zoo’s two giant pandas will return to China at the end of April. Bai-Yun, 27, and her son, Xiao Liwu, 6, are probably the Zoo’s most popular animals (maybe after the koalas). So you’ve got about a month left to see them and wish them farewell. You might be fighting the crowds, but it shouldn’t be quite as bad as the superbloom frenzy. If you’re from out of town, the zoo is a must visit. But a lot of people miss one of the most impressive things about the San Diego Zoo: the plants! In addition to all of the animals, the San Diego Zoo has thousands of plants as part of the animal habitats.… Read More

Let’s Make San Diego A Biophilia Hub

Leaders from 40 of the best large gardens in North America came to San Diego last week for the Directors of Large Gardens Conference at the San Diego Botanical Garden in Encinitas. When I opened my San Diego Union-Tribune on Saturday, I was glad to see an article about the meeting by reporter Phil Diehl, and I especially loved the headline:  “Stressed? You may need some nature.” Right up my alley. It’s worth reading. As many good things as the article covered, there were so many other great topics it couldn’t fit in. Many are the things we write about here in this blog: biophilia, bioinspiration, biomimicry, author Richard Louv’s concept of “nature deficit disorder,” the new Wellbeing Standards – I could go on.… Read More

Find Outdoor Adventure In Your Own Backyard

When we were young, finding new worlds to explore was easy. Just go out back into the canyons or woods, turn over some rocks, climb a few trees or visit the San Diego Zoo. Finding adventure as an adult is harder. Endless demands eat into precious daytime hours, leaving playtime lost to “more important” matters. When I read about a true modern-day adventurer I find myself green with envy. Take Dr. Marc Meyers of UCSD. This lucky guy is getting ready to head out on an adventure of a lifetime, one that nearly killed Teddy Roosevelt a century ago. Imagine a 1,500-mile expedition to South America traveling up the Amazon River studying the flora, fauna and the indigenous tribes you meet along the way.… Read More

Bioinspiration: Letting Nature Inspire Your Work

This week wasn’t about the usual business of green roofs and living walls. I jumped outside the box, exited my silo and spent time at events that remind me of what else is out there. I attended a Downtown San Diego Partnership workshop featuring Fred Kent of Project for Public Spaces. I first heard Fred speak at the Greening the City symposium in March 2006 at Liberty Station. It was there that I was exposed to the idea of green roofs. My passion was ignited. I went on to take a course in New York and studied Fred’s concepts about energizing, engaging and programming public places to build communities.… Read More

Jim Mumford’s Treehouse Memories

Treehouse, alternative living
Remember when you were young and your backyard was truly an oasis of adventure? Hedges became prime hiding spots for an ambush of friendly enemies from down the street. A tent set up on the grass was a fort held strong by brave young soldiers. If you were lucky enough, maybe you had a treehouse, or you knew someone who did. I spent endless afternoons playing with my school buddies building forts and planning brave escapades in the canyon in our backyard. While we didn’t have a treehouse, I always envied those kids who did. Today, some of those same kids who couldn’t shake the idea of living in a treehouse are building them….and… Read More