Mushrooms will save the world.

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I went to the UERC (Urban Ecosystem Research Consortium) on Monday with SOLV and learned some pretty amazing things about restoration ecology and programs around the Portland area.  One keynote speaker was Dr. Steven Handel, a professor at Rutgers University, who spoke about his restorative work in Brooklyn, Staten Island and Orange County CA, among other projects.  He highlighted a project at Fresh Kills Landfill in Staten Island and his hand in its restoration to a natural area.  It was really exciting to hear about a project so close to home and that his work was being recognized by some of the most important restoration ecologists in the world.

Another keynote speaker was Paul Stamets, a mycologist aka mushroom scientist.  He shared some of his research with us; much of it has taken him over thirty years to catalog and prove.  He showed some videos that a friend of his has piloted the research for; it shows the cells in mushrooms moving.  Whoever thought I would be psyched about mushroom cells??  He convinced us that mushrooms will indeed save the world after he announced to the crowd that mushrooms were some of the first organisms on earth, clocking in at 35 feet tall.

I am now on a hunt for cool mushrooms and hope to be equipped with my camera as the spring starts and things start growing again; above are some photos I took while out with Green Team this week at Beaver Creek.

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