Biomimicry Oregon gets Bullitt funding to study regional issues
By Christina Williams
Sustainable Business Oregon editor
Biomimicry Oregon is one of 12 regional networks being formed to further the study of nature and design.
Biomimicry Oregon, one of 12 regional nonprofits recognized by the national Biomimicry 3.8 organization, is working on a way to solve the region's stormwater problems by learning from nature.
The concept of biomimicry holds that engineers and designers should learn from nature and evolutionary science to solve problems. Biomimicry Oregon, formed last year, is using the Bullitt grant to fund a "Genius of Place" project, which is gathering biologists, engineers, architects and planners to look at issues of stormwater flow.
"The idea is to find a local challenge and find a local solution," said Mary Hansel, cofounder of Biomimicry Oregon and the group's volunteer convener.
Hansel gives the example of an architect or engineer designing a building foundation that would mimic the way that tree roots hold soil in place during periods of heavy rain.
The group has held an initial "bio-brainstorm" with Oregon biologists to get ideas about dealing with stormwater runoff. A workshop in January will bring together architects, planners and engineers to see how some of the ideas from biologists could be incorporated by building designers.
Biomimicry Oregon is one of the first 12 groups of regional nonprofits that is forming to carry out the mission of Montana-based Biomimicry 3.8 — the name refers to 3.8 billion years of evolutionary biology — which is a B Corporation and provides biomimicry consulting services in addition running a nonprofit institute.
Leaders from the initial 12 regional biomimicry organizations will meet for the first time in January in Texas.
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