In the environmental realm, it can take years to finish complex projects involving many parties and issues. That’s one reason we’re ecstatic about the newly finished manure shed at Abbey Creek Stables in Portland’s northwest hills! The Conservation District has worked with Abbey Creek for eight years on a variety of conservation measures and it’s so gratifying for the landowner and the District to see the before and after pictures of this project.
The Conservation District helped Abbey Creek Stables with funding and technical assistance, including engineering design, to install the 1,700 cubic foot manure storage shed for the approximately 30-horse boarding facility. The covered structure is part of a farm conservation plan prepared by the District and the landowner. The shed will prevent leaching of contaminants into Abbey Creek from the previously unprotected large manure pile. The Conservation District has worked with Abbey Creek Stables on farm and habitat improvements since 2004 and has also provided:
- Financial and technical assistance to improve pastures
- Manage surface water and nutrients
- Re-route an access road to minimize erosion
- Remove invasive weeds
- Install vegetative buffers between sources of manure and the creek
- 2.8 acre riparian restoration project
Plans for 2011 include the removal of Himalayan blackberry and planting of “hedgerows” in and above the horse paddocks to provide shade for the horses, habitat for pollinators and other wildlife, and to slow and filter any manure or road runoff from the upper part of the farm. Shelley and Joe Rayhawk, owners of Abbey Creek Stables, were awarded the Small Acreage Cooperator of the Year Award in 2007.
The Natural Resource Conservation Service — the District’s federal partner in conservation — provided cost-share via an “EQIP”* program contract and assisted with the engineering design and nutrient management planning for the manure-related practices and the Farm Service Agency, OWEB and Clean Water Services underwrote the now mostly completed riparian restoration.
*EQIP = Environmental Quality Incentives Program, which is a Farm Bill program