For those not already in-the-know, Saturday May 4, 2013 is the tenth annual World Naked Gardening Day. All over the world—but especially in Europe, not surprisingly—advocates of the bare naked lifestyle will be stripping off their skivvies and heading out into the garden to hoe the beds, plow the fields and clip the shrubbery.
In the words of the World Naked Gardening Day's organizers:
All that's involved is getting naked and making the world's gardens—whatever their size, public or private—healthier and more attractive.
For all our brazenness, Americans have an international reputation for prudery: are we too shy to try naked gardening? There may be some shrinking violets among us but with Portland's penchant for naked bike rides, naked gardening shouldn't be outside the comfort zone of a hardy Portlandian. We do, after all, have the largest naked bike ride in the world. And warm weather is predicted for Saturday.
But is it legal? According to Sergeant Pete Simpson, the Portland Police Bureau's Public Information Officer, there's a City code for that. City code 14A.40.030 (Indecent Exposure) states: "It is unlawful for any person to expose his or her genitalia while in a public place or place visible from a public place, if the public place is open or available to persons of the opposite sex."
He adds that if someone calls about a naked neighbor pulling weeds in their own yard, the police probably wouldn't get too worked up about it. Not that you couldn't get arrested under City code, he adds. But, he admits, "...we don't deal with it very much. Most indecent exposure arrests happen when people are urinating in public."
The Portland police force has some experience dealing with hordes of naked people, for many reasons, not the least being our annual Portland Naked Bike Ride—just one of many naked bike rides world-wide—coming right up on June 18, 2013. Last year, the Portland ride reputedly had nearly 4,200 riders (and thousands more entranced observers).
So how ready is Portland, home of the "Keep Portland Weird" movement, to adopt World Naked Gardening Day? An informal poll of my friends on Facebook indicates a certain enthusiasm among the gentlemen for the ladies to give it a go. As for me...you go first!