Local Spotlight

Fifth Annual Streamside Forest Recovery Week

Students and community volunteers throughout Jackson County will work alongside Lomakatsi Restoration Project’s staff to restore streamside forests in the Bear Creek Watershed during the Fifth Annual Streamside Forest Recovery Week, November 5th – 10th. This event is Lomakatsi’s annual fundraiser designed to engage hundreds of students in restoring critical habitat for salmon and associated wildlife. Fundraising goals are aimed at replenishing Lomakatsi’s native tree and shrub nurseries and supporting the engagement of regional youth and volunteers in ecological restoration and education throughout the remainder of the year.

Lomakatsi Restoration Project is an Ashland based nonprofit organization guided by ecological and social principles and dedicated to the restoration of forests and watersheds. Lomakatsi’s mission is to “restore ecosystems and the sustainability of communities, cultures and economies.” Since Lomakatsi’s inception in 1995, community outreach and education has been a foundation of the organization’s work.

Lomakatsi’s riparian site adoption program works to restore creeks and streams while providing youth and members of the community with education in watershed function and health. Program participants of all ages become landscape stewards, contributing to the future ecological legacy of their watershed through service-learning. Restoration activities include planting native trees and shrubs, watering and mulching new plantings, removing invasive weeds, placing logs and willow mats for erosion control and building trail. Participants also take part in hands-on, environmental education activities related to botany, salmon, wildlife, water quality, macro-invertebrates, soils, hydrology, and more.

Salmon populations in the Bear Creek Watershed are currently threatened due to rising water temperatures, lack of habitat, degraded stream channels, and urban runoff. Riparian re-vegetation following invasive weed removal serves to increase shade along creeks, thus reducing water temperatures for fish. Native planting also prevents excessive soil sedimentation in waterways, filters pollutants, enhances wildlife habitat and provides future in-stream wood for fish habitat. Lomakatsi’s riparian site adoption program supports a long-term investment in forest and stream health.

As part of this year’s Recovery Week efforts, ecological restoration will take place at five different streamside restoration sites around the Rogue Valley. Hundreds of students, community volunteers and youth crews will be participating. More than 300 students from Helman Elementary School will set the stage, working to further restore Ashland and Bear Creeks at the Ashland Pond adopted site. Students from Willow Wind Community Learning Center will continue restoration along Paradise and Bear Creeks on their school property. Ashland High School students will spend a day along Cottonwood Creek in the Colestin Valley, located on the south side of Mt. Ashland. Phoenix and Medford students will continue their efforts at the Bear Creek Restoration site in downtown Medford. Finally, the Neil Creek Riparian Restoration Project, in honor of Koa Nakai Markham, will commence with students from the Ashland based Waldorf on the Farm School along with Ashland High School students.

The 2012 Streamside Forest Recovery Week concludes with a community restoration day on Saturday, November 10, from 10am to 2pm, at the Bear Creek adopted site located at the end of Spencer Street in Medford. Join Lomakatsi and REI to volunteer, wrap-up and celebrate a week of community based restoration!

If you value environmental education, streamside restoration and building the next generation of landscape stewards, please consider making an investment in Lomakatsi’s restoration and education programs. To make a donation or for more information on how to volunteer, contact Niki Del Pizzo, Education Program Director at niki@lomakatsi.org, (541) 488-0820. Also, visit Lomakatsi’s website at www.lomakatsi.org or find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Lomakatsi. Lomakatsi Restoration ProjectPO Box 3084
Ashland, OR 97520.

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Shields Bialasik

Hi, I am Shields. I am the creator or LocalsGuide. The mission or my company is to provide a positive media platform for my community which in turn makes it stronger and more resilient. I hope you will enjoy and feel inspired to start your own LocalsGuide in your town or community.
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