Introducing the District’s Climate Change Internship

West Multnomah Soil & Water Conservation District has been selected to host a Portland State University (PSU) Institute for Sustainable Solutions (ISS) Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) Climate Change Intern.

The ISS is partnering with the LSAMP program to provide funding for climate change and climate/disaster resilience related internships for the 2021-2022 academic year for historically excluded students underrepresented in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines. The LSAMP Program, a program of the National Science Foundation, has worked since 2009 to increase retention, graduation, and post-graduation success among historically excluded students majoring in STEM.

About the Climate Change Intern
Emma Russell, the Climate Change Intern, is an undergraduate senior at PSU studying Physics. Emma has enjoyed participating in research at PSU’s Climate Science Lab, studying air pollution in Portland and the Pacific Northwest 2020 Labor Day wildfire event. Emma is using her research experience to strengthen the understanding of climate change. Overall, her main study interests are atmospheric science and climate change. The intersection of physics and the environment helps explain changes in all of the earth’s systems, which is important as the climate is actively changing. It is becoming increasingly important to prioritize the incorporation of climate mitigation practices, and Emma is excited to assist with that implementation into the District’s conservation efforts. Outside of studying, Emma is passionate about rock climbing and spends most of her free time out on the rock.

Internship Objectives
The District developed the Climate Change Internship to improve resilience and climate action in our service area, especially for those disproportionately impacted by the changing climate. The plan of action includes researching and accumulating climate change data on its impact to the region, including how it will affect forest health, wildfire risk, native and invasive plant populations, and water resources. In addition to collecting research information, the internship will search for tools that can assist with climate mitigation and resiliency, including promoting soil health, sequestering carbon, incorporating Indigenous land management practices, selecting seed lots, measuring carbon sinks, and mitigating the urban heat island effect. Lastly, the District will strengthen its relationships with new and existing partners that are beneficial resources for various climate change actions to collectively work towards increasing climate resilience. The information gathered during this internship aims to incorporate a climate lens into the District’s conservation planning process.


Our 2021 Conservation Awardees

 

URBAN COOPERATOR AWARD: Joel Hanawalt

Person standing in forest waving at cameraJoel has a vision of a restored Deer Creek Watershed. He has brought his neighbors together on a project, partially supported through OWEB funding, to which Joel has contributed considerable amounts of time on monitoring, removing invasive plants, and planting native plants along Deer Creek.

RURAL COOPERATOR AWARD: Jennifer Rose Marie Serna, Wapato Island Farm

woman in pink tshirt holding basket of rose petalsWe recognize Jennifer’s leadership in conservation and dedication to soil health practices, regenerative farming, skill sharing, and support for her farming community. We are also grateful for the time she dedicated to helping serve on our Long Range Business Plan Advisory Committee. (Read more about Jennifer.)

NON-PROFIT PARTNER AWARD: Neighbors West Northwest

blue white black illustrated logoNeighbors West Northwest (NWNW) stepped up flexibly, nimbly, and thoughtfully as new fiscal agents for the Westside Watershed Resource Center when the center had an unexpected need to quickly make that change. Filling this gap allowed important programming that serves our District residents to continue without skipping a beat, including the Stormwater Stars program, Native Plant Swap, the Southwest Portland Tool Library.

VOLUNTEER AWARD: Xuan Sibell, Budget Committee Member

woman in pink shirt kneeling in gardenXuan has been a dedicated member of WMSWCD’s Budget Committee since 2013. Additionally, she has been an active volunteer over the years with events and programs that WMSWCD supports with staff time and funding, such as the Tryon Creek Watershed Wide event and the Multnomah County Master Gardeners.

GOVERNMENT PARTNER AWARD: Portland Bureau of Environmental Services, Mitch Bixby, Botanic Specialist (ED/RR)

man in hard hat and rain gear by shrubMitch’s deep expertise, infusion of energy, dedicated perseverance, and well-coordinated efforts spanning many important natural resource issues affecting our region has, and continues to have, a broad impact in our District work and mission. Mitch has been working on EDRR with WMSWCD for almost 15 years, and Portland Bureau of Environmental Services continues to be an important partner.


2021 Annual Meeting & Registration

All are welcome to attend our 2021 Annual Meeting that will be held online via Zoom. The Annual Meeting will begin at 6:00 p.m. Please register online.


Urban Conservation Planning and Collaboration: Highlights from 2020-2021

(Stormwater Stars planting event. Photo by Corey Shelton)

Covid-19 didn’t stop residents from getting out on their properties and into local natural areas to connect with the land and lend a hand. It also didn’t stop urban partners from continued collaboration and innovation focused on better addressing challenging urban conservation issues.

We developed seven new conservation plans this year with interested residents. Some of these plans include multiple residents working together across property boundaries to improve the health of their combined properties. In addition to plan development, we coordinated funding and/or provided technical assistance to six conservation projects to implement on-the-ground conservation work including the installation of native plants, stormwater management improvements, root wad placements, and invasive species removal. Funding to complete this work was provided by Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board (OWEB), Metro, site landowners, and the District.

This year, District staff developed, shared, and presented research on Portland’s Stormwater Permitting, Policy & Processes: A Stakeholder & Geospatial Analysis at the Urban Ecosystem Research Consortium of Portland/Vancouver. Portland’s West Hills have many steep and landslide-prone slopes. The City of Portland is a nationally-recognized leader in stormwater management with strategies that show why working at the sub-watershed level – a smaller geographic scale — is more effective for planning, implementing and evaluating watershed improvements. Despite the city being at the leading edge, Portland’s West Hills still have significant problems managing stormwater, which impacts the health and water quality of its many creeks. Watershed health may further decline as local stormwater systems become increasingly less able to manage the annual volume of stormwater. This reduced ability is caused by a number of factors which vary by sub-watershed: more new buildings, paved areas, and sealed surfaces that stormwater can’t pass through; degraded riparian zones with decreased ability to absorb and filter stormwater; climate change producing more intense storm events; and aging, failing, and/or inadequately-sized grey and green stormwater infrastructure (i.e. pipes, retention basins, swales, etc.). Additionally, with stormwater systems in disproportionate condition across the city, equity, sustainability, and livability questions arise. This research sought to uncover barriers and opportunities for improving stormwater conditions through diverse stakeholder involvement.

Along with partners, we celebrated the 9th year of the Canopy Weeds Program with 411 participating landowners and 34,186 trees cleared of invasive vines. Portland Fire & Rescue joined the partnership, adding wildfire risk reduction to the suite of benefits offered to program participants. The Canopy Weeds Program has historically provided free treatment of invasive ivy and clematis species in neighborhoods adjacent to Forest Park. The goal of this important program is to save trees, slow the spread of invasive weeds and protect the health of Forest Park as well as a segment of the wildlife corridor that connects Forest Park to the Oregon Coast Range. This year, we piloted a fee-for-service model with a sliding needs-based scale to help fund and increase the number of on-the ground weed removal projects. In addition, we helped outreach about wildfire risk reduction home assessments that are available through Portland Fire & Rescue. The Canopy Weed Program work is completed by Forest Park Conservancy’s Green Jobs Interns. The Green Jobs Training and Internship Program provides BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) youth and young adults with hands-on professional experience and support to pursue a career in the conservation and natural resources field.

Urban educational demonstration projects, native habitat gardens, porous walkways, streamside enhancements, culvert removal, signage, and retention basins continue to benefit soil, water, local wildlife habitat, and neighborhood greenspaces. These projects engage and connect diverse communities with conservation practices and provide access to nature in areas that have been historically underserved by the District through volunteer events, tours, signage, and local neighborhood enhancements.

This year’s demonstration projects include a streamside area that’s being restored and used as an environmental education site by a community of faith. Another project includes meadowscaping, forestland and stormwater improvements adjacent to an important “safe route to school” pathway that serves diverse and low-income youth and adults. Pathway users regularly volunteer to maintain the demonstration plot at work parties and educational events.

Despite initial restrictions on in-person gatherings due to COVID-19, the Stormwater Stars Program was able to conduct design and build workshops by adding health and safety protocols. Program organizers hosted 3 events that engaged 55 people through hands-on planning and installation workshops for yard-scale stormwater management techniques. In addition, partners assessed 23 sites for stormwater upgrades, providing each with recommendations for their properties. They also launched a new website with photographs and descriptions of past workshops to inform and inspire more people to install stormwater management features. In April 2021, program managers also began planning growing the program into Washington County.

New and continued partnerships with local watershed councils, universities, local agencies and nonprofits continue to be a critical way of achieving conservation objectives in the urban realm in a strategic and effective way. With modifications for COVID-19 pandemic gathering limits, The Tryon Creek Watershed Council was able to hold a watershed-wide event and even grew access to the event to those who were unable to attend in-person; participants were invited to conduct restoration work in their own locations as part of the event. The West Willamette Restoration Partnership continued its important work of monitoring restored areas with Wisdom of the Elders and District staff. Lastly, a new partner that we recognized this year for stepping up in a big way is Neighbors West Northwest. This partner quickly, thoughtfully, and seamlessly took on a fiscal agent role for a critical partner, the Westside Watershed Resource Center, when the Center had an abrupt need to change their fiscal agent.

For more information about our work in urban neighborhoods, contact Urban Conservationist, Mary Logalbo, at mary@wmswcd.org.


Wildfire Risk Reduction Program

(Photo: Mowing tall grass around the home can help reduce the risk of fire reaching the home. Photo by Oregon Department of Forestry.)

Oregon historically was a fire adapted landscape and traditionally managed as such by Oregon’s Indigenous people. However, since the onset of European settlement, the landscape has been altered by urban and rural development, farming, forestry, and wildfire prevention policies. These influences have changed the landscape from being fire adapted to being fire prone. Climate models suggest that this situation will worsen and western Oregon will become hotter and somewhat drier in future decades, which will increase fire danger.

Recently the Beachie Creek, Riverside, Lionshead, and Holiday Tree Farm fires burned a combined 709,500 acres of northwestern Oregon in the fall of 2020. On the west side of the Cascade Range, we’re unaccustomed to wildfires in our “backyards” despite their historic presence on the landscape. Fires in this relatively wetter part of the state historically occur every 150-500 years, compared to the dry east side of the state where fires can happen naturally every 2-50 years. However, with changing weather patterns that result in increasingly long and intense wildfire seasons, it’s time for our communities to become better adapted to wildfire risk.

There are many simple measures that improve the ability of firefighters to defend your home from potential loss in the event of wildfire. Proactively tackling projects that improve fire safe zones around our home will pay off greatly in the future.

The West Multnomah Soil & Water Conservation District is piloting a small program in the Skyline Ridge Neighborhood to help forestland residents of the Tualatin Mountain area reduce their risk from wildfire.

What makes a home safer from fire? The Skyline Ridge Neighbors website has a great set of recommendations. Some strategies that WMSWCD can help with include:

  • Clearing flammable vegetation within 30 feet of the home. A bigger cushion is needed if the vegetation is highly flammable or especially dense.
  • Pruning or removing trees that have branches overhanging the roof of the house. Leaves and twigs in the gutters can be an ignition source.
  • Planting fire-resistant plants. Some of our native plants are known to be low in volatile oils and also shed dead branches regularly. These plants are safer to have near the home, and can also offer great habitat for wildlife.

WMSWCD is providing technical assistance and up to $2,500 in funding for the highest ranked projects that reduce wildfire risk. Priority will be given to projects with the following qualifications:

  • Residents have already had a Wildland Urban Interface home assessment done by Portland Fire and Rescue staff, and are ready to implement some of their recommendations.
  • Residents can provide matching resources to the project in the form of in-kind labor and/or funding.
  • Projects that remove invasive species and plant diverse, fire-resistant species to improve habitat.
  • Where properties smaller than 5 acres in size have teamed up with multiple neighboring or nearby properties on a coordinated group project.

Interested residents can contact our Forest Conservationist, Laura Taylor at laura@wmswcd.org or (503) 238-4775, ext. 112 to apply. If your project qualifies and resources are still available, Laura will schedule to meet at your location to learn more about your goals. If you chose to go ahead, we’ll develop a plan to do the work during the fall or winter when fire danger from the use of machinery is lower.


Would you like to enhance Oregon white oak habitat on your land?

(Photo by RJ Cox, creative commons)

Do you have one or more native Oregon white oak (Quercus garryana) trees on your property? If so, you have something special! Oak woodlands and mature white oak trees are increasingly rare in the Willamette Valley with less than 10% remaining of what we had in 1850. Oregon white oaks grow nowhere else in the world outside of the Pacific Northwest and parts of California.

map of WMSWCD district with portions circled in yellowIn an effort to sustain and replenish dwindling rare oak habitat, funds are available to private rural landowners  for habitat enhancement, including removing competing vegetation from oak stands or adding more native plants. West Multnomah Soil & Water Conservation District is focusing this work currently on oak rich areas of our district on Sauvie Island, along Highway 30, and in the rural West Hills. (See areas in yellow in the map to the right.)

Those interested in the benefits of oak habitat with close to 10 acres or more of existing or potential oak habitat in this focus area likely qualify for special funding from our federal partner, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). And locations with oak trees being overtaken by conifers like Douglas fir are particularly high priority for funding and we’d like to work with you!

In case you don’t already know the benefits of oak trees and habitats, they include:

  • Fire hazard reduction – Oak leaves and wood are less flammable than conifers.
  • Wildlife habitat & biodiversity – Over 200 native wildlife species use oak savannas and woodlands for nesting, shelter, perching, and food, especially high-calorie acorns. Many oak habitats support a unique and diverse community of native plants and animals.
  • Property value – Mature oak trees are among nature’s greatest art masterpieces. Oaks add beauty and shade to homes, sheds, barns and landscapes, and raise land values.
  • Climate benefits & resiliency – Oaks, like most trees, cool and purify the air and store carbon. Oregon white oak trees and associated “upland” native plants are drought tolerant and well suited to a warming climate.
  • Livestock shade & pest control – Oak tree canopies offer a respite from the sun, as well as perching for raptors that hunt for rodents that may be considered farm pests.

Final year of this program

This is the final year that funds for oak habitat will be available through the current Clackanomah Oak Habitat “Conservation Implementation Strategy” program, which has been in effect since 2018. It was developed in partnership with Clackamas Soil and Water Conservation District and NRCS. Funding comes with conservation planning and project implementation support from WMSWCD and typically involves some labor and/or cash match from the landowner. “Cost-share” funds are available to help pay for invasive weed control, removal or girdling of competing trees, and planting of additional oak trees and related shrubs, grasses and wildflowers – to support pollinators, song birds and more. Landowners with funded projects can also get funds to help pay for bird boxes, wildlife brush piles, fencing to separate livestock from plantings or to do rotational grazing, livestock watering, mulching around new plants to prevent moisture loss and weed completion, caging to protect plantings from browsing or grazing animals, and even cover cropping.

NRCS will be accepting applications for funding through mid-November, so contact us soon to see if you are a good fit for the program and to schedule a site visit: Kammy Kern-Korot, WMSWCD Senior Conservationist, kammy@wmswcd.org   We will work with eligible landowners over the next 2-3 months to prepare a conservation plan and funding application that the landowner will submit to NRCS for ranking.

Learn more about this program

Find details on project ranking.

Cost-share funding amounts depend on the work involved but can average $500 to $1,500 per acre and projects and contracts typically last 2 to 5 years. Recent, successful applications developed with WMSWCD have received approximately $15,000 in cost-share funding. See examples of payment amounts for different conservation practices. Let us know if you need help understanding what’s listed here.

 


Watering in an era of climate change

When thinking of Oregon, a lush, diverse, green landscape with wet winters and comfortable dry summers may come to mind. With the last heatwave, and another one fast approaching, we are beginning to see the start of a new normal. Continual heat waves are going to shift and shape Oregon’s landscape. Gardening in this new era will bring challenges. Having an understanding of plants and how they use water will make it easier to know how to care for your own garden and what to expect in coming years should this pattern of excessive heat and dryness continue.

Preparations before, and correct actions during, a heatwave are essential to help native landscapes survive extreme weather. Following are a few key things to keep in mind about watering during a drought.

In preparation for a heatwave, watering weekly to a depth of at least six inches will help your plants develop deeper root systems that will stay cool and moist in deeper layers of soil.  More frequent shallow watering causes plants to develop shallow root systems, because roots don’t need to grow deeper to reach water. Shallow soil lacks moisture and root protection provided by deeper soil layers. Selecting native plants will help ensure your landscape survives extreme heat, as well-selected native plants are typically more adapted to our droughty summers.

Understanding the source of your water during a drought will help with management of your landscape. If your water comes from a city or town, reaching out to utilities is the best way to figure out how much water you’re able to use. Utilities will also advise on managing household water, which will be equally important during a heatwave emergency. If you’re using well water, an understanding of the depth of the well will help determine how much water you will be able to use. Shallower wells are more susceptible to droughts than deeper ones, but deeper wells take longer to recover after droughts so being aware of that is important too.

Focusing on watering trees and shrubs instead of grasses and perennials will also be more effective long-term than keeping a green lawn. Trees and shrubs are important for maintaining overall landscape temperature and health. They provide cooling shade and food for wildlife during heatwaves and also contribute to overall watershed health, by preventing soil erosion. When rain does return, trees and shrubs, with their extensive root and mycelium network, will help protect the soil from erosion and nutrient loss by binding soil to the land.

Retaining moisture is just as important if not more important than creating it. With this in mind, using a heavy layer of mulch – one to two inches deep around flowers, and three to four inches deep for shrubs and trees – will help keep soil moist for longer and also protect shallow root systems.

Creating shade for native plants will also decrease leaf burn and help create temperature relief on hot days. When temperatures do start to moderate, the immediate urge may be to prune off dead leaves, but try to resist! As hard as it may be to look at burnt leaves and brush, leaving them on the plant will create natural shade and retain moisture for longer.

Being patient and watering plants based on their need for water after a heatwave is important to help plants transition back to wet winter weather and to help them rest and come back again the following spring.


Folk medicine making on Sauvie Island: a relationship with land, plants, and community

We had the pleasure and honor of talking recently with Jennifer Rose Marie Serna, a Latina folk herbalist, mother, regenerative farmer, land activist, skill educator, and owner of Wapato Island Farm, to learn more about what she and her farm family and community have been creating on the island since West Multnomah Soil & Water Conservation District first began working with her a decade ago.

Jennifer’s family roots originate in coastal Mexico, the southwest U.S., and Ireland. She and her family have been on the farm since 2005, arriving just after the birth of her third child. Wanting to be close to their grandchildren, Jennifer’s parents purchased the land on Sauvie Island where they could all live. They named it Wapato Island Farm in honor of the original inhabitants, the Multnomah tribe of Chinookan people, and their name for the island before it was renamed Sauvie Island. Wapato is a native tuber plant that grows on the island and was an important staple crop for the tribe and others that lived on the island during harvest season.

In the early years of the farm, the Serna family was required to complete a grass seed contract already in place with the previous owners. During that time, Jennifer was able to start the herb garden, which thrives today. She was also busy caring for her now four children, the youngest of which was born on the farm. “In that way, we began to prepare the land,” recalls Jennifer.

After the contract was released, they transitioned to organic farming and began to seek certification with help from Sauvie Island Organics (now Sauvie Island Growers). The 32-acre property is now fully certified organic through Oregon Tilth.

In 2011, Jennifer first reached out to West Multnomah Soil & Water Conservation District to participate in a pollinator hedgerow project on Sauvie Island where sites were planted with rows of native flowering plants and shrubs to provide food and habitat for hummingbirds, bees, wasps, butterflies, and other pollinating animals. Several years later, we began to connect farmers with cover crop seeds and technical assistance for cover cropping, and Jennifer was one of the first farmers to get involved.

From cover crops to harvest crops

Spring oats were in the mix of cover crop seeds Jennifer used, and over time she allowed the oats to reseed themselves, instead of following the typical practice of turning the cover crops into the soil to retain nutrients for other plants. Now one of the farm’s primary crops is milky oats, along with around 50 different herbs and 10 different kinds of mushrooms, all for making folk medicine.

garden plot with many different plants

A mixture of vegetables and herbs grow near the oat field

“We have about two and a half, three acres of milky oats, which for us is a lot to give to one plant,” Jennifer explains. “We try to follow indigenous style of growing so we don’t want to mono crop. To give that much land to one plant, we feel it’s very, very important.” And the early cover cropping helped the farm get to where they are today. “We have people come out to gather when the milky latex is ready. We let them take as much as they want for personal use. It’s so amazing to have had access to the seeds. What you offered to us, we’re able to offer so much medicine to so many people.” Jennifer describes the benefits of the plant and compares its role to that of a medical specialist. “You have your general practitioner doctor and then you have your specialists. The milky oat is a specialist for the nervous system. It rebuilds the myelin sheath of the nervous system and it continues rebuilding even when it’s out of your system. And it helps you feel calm and relaxed but it doesn’t make you tired. It actually gives you energy. And it’s oat tops for tea, and oats for cooking…it’s a really amazing plant! That’s why we grow so much of it and why we offer it to the community.”

Their method for farming mushrooms is quite different than growing vegetable and medicinal crops. For the varieties that prefer to grow in rye, the rye is first pressure cooked to make the sugars more available for the mushrooms. The mash is inoculated with spawn from the abundant spawn bank and then layered into a 5-gallon bucket with more rye grains. The mushrooms sprout out holes in the sides of the bucket where they are collected for drying and use in medicines. As opposed to many mushroom sprouting kits, the Wapato Island Farm creates its own substrates and uses little to no single-use plastic. The spent mushroom material goes into the compost, and then into the soil where it has helped amend the clay-heavy soil into a nutrient rich mix with a thriving mycelial network.

white bucket with holes in sides next to person's feet

A mushroom sprouting bucket with holes in the side.

Community and exchange

Much like the mycelial network helps create rich fertile soil, the community of people on the farm is so important to helping it thrive. “We skill share and teach people how to make folk medicines, and we work with the community in other ways too. I don’t really understand how folks can work in the business of plants and seeds and not involve social justice, so we do a lot of that as well, and do our best to honor the land. And be kind,” Jennifer says, with a warm, easy laugh.

While deeply thoughtful and kind herself, Jennifer is also resolute in her leadership. She is building a culture of exchange and commitment on the farm, one that creates opportunity for the land and fosters learning, dedication to the rigors of farming, and allows knowledge to be passed down for generations. “There needs to be elders coming in and being like ‘Okay, this is what’s up. This is how you do it. Are you going to be here at nine or are you going to be here at six a.m.?’ There needs to be that container for people.”

“Receiving is beautiful, giving is beautiful, but there has to be both. I have some really amazing seeds I was gifted – four corn seeds from Guatemala.” She reflects on the work it took to grow and harvest the corn, and what it took for the corn to find its way to her. “That whole village is no more. It’s gone. And they wanted to make sure that their seeds were carried forward to a new place. So when I’m able to share those seeds or other seeds, I’m happy to give them, but there has to be understanding of an exchange. It doesn’t have to be money. They can make an offering to the pond, and that can be a song, that can be a stone that they found, that can be weeding, whatever it is.”

This kind of dedication to growth and connection to the land leads to opportunity for people as well. Jennifer is contemplating large next steps, “How can we get affordable housing here on the island?” Island farm workers live in the Portland area but often quite far from the farms where they work. “How can we get garden space for folks to bring their seeds over and grow food important to their culture?” Jennifer provides a number of small plots near the farmhouse for community members to grow culturally significant plants and foods, but she says she is maxed out. The farm also hosts a traditional temazcal sweat lodge for use by the Mayan community.

small garden plot surrounded by tall grasses

One of the community garden plots on the farm

Honoring the land

One way Jennifer and the community at Wapato Island Farm honor the land is with low impact indigenous farming methods. Their large number of regular volunteers allows them to hand broadcast seeds, hand water or use small sprinklers, and use broadforks instead of tractors to turn the soil, which avoids compaction and fuel use by tractors, and more closely follows indigenous practices.

The farm is currently leasing several acres to outside farmers who do use many of the practices that align with Jennifer’s values, though also still use tractors. Jennifer envisions moving the entire farm to indigenous practices. “Eventually, as we grow together with a group of people, those practices will shift and we can be tending this whole land in a way that feels really good. Many children down the road will hopefully be able to benefit.”

Honoring the seeds and the plants

 Jennifer finds great importance in having a relationship with the plants she grows. To her, it’s about much more than just using a plant for its medicinal properties. She believes to grow your own food is nurturing for your spiritual and your physical self and it reminds people what it means to be human. It helps us appreciate the work required for basic human needs. “To do that means you are taking time to grow your own food, because we all need to eat. If you’re in an apartment, that’s okay you can grow some stuff in there. You are taking time to honor these seeds in a good way.” And this need for appreciation and relationship extends to “everything from the foods, to the medicine, to our structures that we live in, to our clothes” she says, and as a culture we’re not there yet. “We’re distracted in so many ways with screens and digital lifestyles…it’s miles to go…”

hand touching pink rose blossom on rosebush

Rose is harvested on Wapato Island Farm for a variety of folk medicines

Where to find Wapato Island Farm and their medicines

Wapato Island Farm is at the Montevilla Farmer’s Market every Sunday except the third Sunday, the Come Thru market which is BIPOC-only vending (open to all for visiting), and the Sauvie Island market on the second Sunday, May-October.

They also have volunteers on the farm every Tuesday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Visit their website: https://www.wapatoislandfarm.com/

And be inspired by their photos on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/wapatoislandfarm/

 

 


2021-2025 Long Range Business Plan is complete!

We are excited to announce the completion of our 2021-2025 Long Range Business Plan which was formally adopted by our Board of Directors at the June 15, 2021 meeting. This strategic planning document guides the scope of our conservation work and the supporting financial sustainability and organizational health initiatives needed to implement this work over the next 5 years. The plan is centered on diversity, equity, and inclusion.

View our 2021-2025 Long Range Business Plan

The District incorporated new and diverse perspectives into the development of this plan. Key to this step was reaching out to individuals and communities that the District has not historically worked with.

This outreach initiated important new relationships with representatives of underserved and other marginalized communities – relationships the District will strive to strengthen through implementation of the plan.


Thank you!

We are grateful for of the community members, community leaders, owners of farms and forests, other conservation program participants, organizational partners, and District staff and board who provided valuable ideas and time to help us create this plan! We received 342 community survey responses and conducted 39 partner and program participant interviews to gather community input on what we should focus on over the next 5 years.