Laura O Foster


Laura O. Foster

Author, Pacific Northwest guidebooks

In 10 years of contract work for Metro, the Portland-area regional government, I wrote about zoo animals, recycling of used paint into new paint, pesticide-free gardening techniques, alternative transportation programs, and histories and conservation practices at newly acquired natural areas.

A few links to that work:

Tour script of a walk through Graham Oaks Nature Park in Wilsonville, Oregon

Articles on the Willamette Narrows and Chehalem Ridge natural areas in the Fall 2012 GreenScene, Metro’s quarterly newsletter (now called Our Big Backyard)

In 2012, I developed the walking routes for explorations of three Washington County towns and wrote accompanying points of interest for each: Cornelius, Forest Grove and Hillsboro. This was Metro’s Vamanos! project, to encourage residents to use walking routes for work and recreation.

Oregon’s innovative paint recycling program: “Metro is a national paint stewardship pioneer.”

Other projects

Hidden Lloyd


Go Lloyd encourages walking for employees of the many firms in Portland’s Lloyd District. This walk—perfect for a noontime exercise break—showcases some of this district’s less pedestrian-obvious streets. 2012



Roaming Hillsdale

Roaming Hillsdale

Josh Kadish, a Portland attorney and Hillsdale resident/booster, asked me to develop a walking tour of this, one of the town’s hilliest neighborhoods and one with a great commercial center. The result is an arty little guide, with beautiful linocut illustrations by Portland graphic designer Michael Kelley.





I’ve blogged for Powell’s Books over the years. Here are a few essays:

The Ordinary and the Meander: Two of Life’s Free Gifts. April 11, 2016. Thoughts on the freelance path, and enjoying the dead-ends and creative people met along the way.

Embracing My Irrelevance. Dec. 13, 2010. Written after a humbling book event at a local Costco.

Isn’t Enough as Good as Feast? Oct. 3, 2006. Inspired by the shameful income disparity gap between CEOs and the people who actually do the work.

At the last link are several other essays, mostly in the spirit of urban wandering but also about things such as unsavory choices inherent in high veterinary bills.


Unsavvy Traveler: Women’s Tales of Comic Catastrophe, Seal Press, 200)

In this anthology, I have an essay about a language mix-up in Frankfurt, Germany.


Midlife Clarity: Epiphanies from Grown Up Girls

When employed as an editor at Beyond Words, working for publisher Cindy Black, I edited this anthology.

"In rich, ripe essays and poems, more than 30 grown-up girls share the ah-ha! moments when they "got it."...The editors are to be commended for bringing out these stories that promise to resonate with many a grown-up girl."
—Napra Review