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The 2001 Procession of the Species

Saturday, April 28th

Celebrate Earth Day

As urban dwellers, many of us regularly search for ways to maintain a strong connection with nature. We have strong, passionate feelings about an old growth tree, an eagle and an otter. We care about what happens to the salmon that travel thousands of miles back to their home, and ours, in the Pacific Northwest because that connection makes us feel alive. Why are these things important to us? Because nature vibrates back to us the miracle of life. On this tiny planet, third from the sun in a system dwarfed by the infinite universe, are untold millions of diverse beings. That is a mystery and a miracle, and we're a part of it. So how do we keep this sense of awe and connection while living in our urban landscape?

The Procession of the Species is our cultural reef.

Just as an ocean reef is a magnet for the wonderful diversity of sea creatures that feed and sustain each other, we can't prosper without a reef to which we can gravitate, create, and share ideas. The Procession offers us all unique opportunities to give expression to our own creativity and to share it with everyone. Through Procession arts activities where we begin to convert our image of an animal or plant to a mask, hat, or banner, our connection with that species grows stronger. When we play a drum, dance to the beat, or fashion giant whale and sun puppets out of recycled materials, our imagination rules and we're compelled to share our creation. As Eli Sterling, the creator of the Procession of the Species in Olympia, Washington says, "We are far more willing to protect that which we create than that which we consume, and the highest form of protection is sharing." Through this process, the Procession gives expression to creative energy while fostering a stronger connection to our shared world, and it builds a greater sense of community for all involved.

You're Invited to Join the Procession of the Species

There are four major components of the 2001 Procession of the Species project - Portland's largest Earth Day event:

  • An In-School Education Program For K-12 Students
    The Procession School Education Program works in partnership with area educators, artists, and community volunteers to link classroom instruction in science, environmental education, and the arts with Procession-related activities that give students valuable opportunities to share their creativity and environmental learning with their larger community. Student projects are highlighted on this website and will also be featured at the Natural Living Fair. For more information about the School Education Program, please contact Merry Wingfield at
  • Community Arts Workshops
    Create costumes, streamers, musical instruments, and dance at one of the Procession's Community Arts Workshops, which are open to the general public in late March and April at various locations around the metro area. Regional artists teach community Arts Workshops, and they range from half-day large-scale projects such as building sculptural puppets, to one-hour drumming sessions or mask making. Most materials used for the Procession's arts projects are reused or recycled, and workshop participants are not required to have prior arts experience to sign up for a workshop. We also offer "open studio" time for people who want a place to create their own projects. For the most current information, be sure to check out the Arts Workshop schedule online at
  • The 2001 Procession of the Species
    The Procession of the Species brings the streets of Portland alive on Saturday, April 28. Once you've seen the Procession live, you'll know why in just two years, it has become one of Portland's favorite annual events. The Procession activities begin at 10 AM at Oregon Square near Lloyd Center, and at 11 AM participants will wind, gallop, slither, and hop their way across the Burnside Bridge and down SW Broadway, past Pioneer Square to the South Park Blocks near Portland State University, where the Natural Living Fair takes place. There are just three rules for the Procession: no live pets, no written words, and no motorized vehicles. Other than those, imagination rules! Pre-registration is suggested to this year's event. To register, please see the registration paragraph below, or call (503) 203-5381 for more information.
  • Natural Living Fair
    The Natural Living Fair features ideas, products, and services that people can use in their daily lives to live more earth-friendly. This festive urban country fair combines live music, food, interactive activities, and family fun to celebrate environmental leaders and innovators. The Natural Living Fair is designed as an educational forum to highlight organizations and businesses that are on the forefront of sustainability. The Fair is organized into several categories that include: food, energy, transportation, conservation, health, home & garden, clothing, and recycled products. For more information about the Natural Living Fair, please contact Susan Laarman at

Register For The Procession

Planning to participate in this year's Procession of the Species? We need to know who you are. Please e-mail us at with your name, address (with zip code), phone number, and the number of people in your group. Also tell us which element you will march under in the Procession: EARTH (plants and mammals), AIR (species that fly), FIRE (endangered species and fantasy animals), or WATER (aquatic species).

Finally, we ask that participants also send a suggested $5 minimum donation per person, which helps make this event possible. Thanks. Donations can be mailed directly to: Procession Registration, Earth & Spirit Council, 6200 SW Virginia St., Suite 210, Portland, OR 97201.

We look forward to seeing you on the streets! If you have questions about registration, or would like more details about the Procession, please visit the Procession of the Species web pages at, or call (503) 203-5381.

Volunteer & Get Involved!

The Procession of the Species is a totally unique and rewarding event, and there are many opportunities to volunteer and get involved. To receive more information about volunteering, and for our next volunteer meeting date and place, please contact our Volunteer Coordinator Sandy Hise at, or call (503) 4203-5381.

Community Support & Sponsors

The Procession of the Species is produced by the Earth & Spirit Council with the collaboration of a diverse group of nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and businesses.

Funding for the 2001 Procession of the Species project (as of 2/01) has been committed from the following sources: Metro's Greenspaces Education Program, the Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC), US Fish & Wildlife, US Forest Service, the Collins Foundation, and Hoover Family Foundation. In-kind contributions will be supplied by a growing list of community partners, including: Multnomah County Libraries, Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission, Portland Parks & Recreation Dept., the City of Portland's Bureau of Environmental Services (BES), Portland Public Schools, Oregon Zoo, the School and Community Reuse Action Project (SCRAP), Ashforth Pacific, Portland Farmer's Market, Celilo Group LLC, and New Connexion, among others.