PortlandWild, my google maps mash up of the city’s extensive network of beautiful murals, special “Heritage Trees” and Little Free Libraries made it into Willamette Week’s Best of Portland 2019 as a Best of Internet!

Portland streets are filled with wonders. Often, though, they’re the kind of things you stumble upon rather than search out.

As a software developer-turned-entrepreneur that called Portland home for two years, Jeff Reifman fell in love with the little things that made the city so distinctive. Like the 300 unique heritage trees that line neighborhoods all over town, each protected by city code. Or the Little Free Libraries, those boxes stocked with free books you find on street corners. And, of course, the colorful murals that adorn the walls of miscellaneous buildings.

So in 2018, Reifman created Portland Wild (portlandwild.com), to organize all that information in one place.

“I just thought it would be fun to create a map for people,” he said. “And it would also be a little bit of a way for me to give back to Portland for my time there.”

“A Web Developer Created a Site Mapping Portland’s Murals, Heritage Trees and Neighborhood Book Shares” — Willamette Week

Here’s a sample screenshot from Portland Wild:

portland public art murals, heritage trees and little free libraries
Portland Wild – A guide to the city’s urban landscape

And here is one of my favorite murals, just off Portland’s SE Hawthorne Boulevard:

hawthorne portland murals girls wolf
Girls Riding Wolf Underwater Dreamscape

As for Heritage Trees, trees all over Portland and Oregon still need our protection. Here’s an awful story where Oregon State University allowed developers to cut down a grove of trees including a 420 year old Douglas Fir. There had to be a bribe involved IMHO. Just awful and stupid.

As early leader of the Heritage Tree effort and my 90 year old friend Phyllis Reynold’s said, even the heritage program offers incomplete protection. Developers can still develop nearby Heritage Trees even if it destroys their root system and kills the tree.

Posted by Jeff Reifman

Jeff is a technology consultant based in the Pacific Northwest. Check out Portland Wild, a visual map-driven guide to Portland's public art, its Heritage Trees and its Little Free Libraries.

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