The Clackamas Soil and Water Conservation District welcomes a new employee to our professional team this week.
Conservation Specialist Matt Van Wey brings a wealth of farming, restoration, and conservation experience with him and we are excited to introduce him to our Clackamas County partners and cooperators.
Prior Experience Makes Van Wey a Good Fit for the District
Matt comes to the District from the Washington State Department of Natural Resources where he was a natural areas technician. In addition to his duties in resource conservation, Matt also had the opportunity to work on preserving and restoring unique habitats including massive white oak woodlands, an area in which the District finds itself increasingly engaged. He has also undertaken conservation work in the Puget Sound area and spent two years teaching environmental education science in Thailand.
Matt credits his passion for land stewardship to his parents, who instilled in him a love of gardening, fresh and local food, and exploration. He says that “epic” week-long back-packing trips with his father gave him a strong appreciation for the natural world and a desire to ensure that others could have equally life-changing experiences in the future. In his adult life, Matt has traveled the world extensively, visiting over 30 countries.
Hands-on Knowledge and Passion for Agriculture
In addition to his experience in natural areas around the world, Matt has his feet planted firmly in the agricultural community. Three and a half years ago, he and his wife, along with two of their friends, founded Quackenbush Farm, a diverse, small-scale farm in Ridgefield, WA. They grow and market over 30 different varieties of vegetables to four different farmers markets, a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), and local restaurants. He believes his agriculturist/gardener and science/ecology perspective will make him an especially valuable member of our staff. He’s looking forward to working closely with our agricultural producers, noting that he knows first hand how exciting and challenging farming can be in these innovative and challenging times.