Outreach Insight for December 2017

This posting of Outreach Insight is the monthly report of the Clackamas Soil and Water Conservation District’s Outreach and Education Program.

Gearing up to Promote Wildlife Habitat

Pollinator on Blueberry photo by Jeremy Baker

The Backyard Habitat Certification Program is gearing up this spring to expand their service area in Clackamas County to Oregon City, Gladstone, Wilsonville, Happy Valley and Damascus! The District has provided more than just funding to support this expansion; we are also gearing up to help get the word out about this great program!

Wildlife friendly gardening

In anticipation of the program expansion we have been working with the National Wildlife Federation, Clackamas River Basin Council, and the Backyard Habitat Certification Program to offer a backyard habitat class for all residents through the Clackamas Community College. Wildlife-Friendly Gardening: Creating Habitat at Home will be held on Saturday, April 14th; 8:30 am – 12:30 pm. Stay tuned for registration information.

What will you learn?

Join us to learn how to create wildlife-friendly spaces in your own yard or community area.

Skills learned include:

  • incorporating native plants and wildlife habitat components;
  • attracting beneficial insects and pollinators;
  • utilizing naturescaping design tips;
  • and gaining recognition for sustainable gardening practices through local certification programs.

We will include indoor and outdoor activities so be sure to dress for the weather.

Building Relationships with our Partners

With the goal of building stronger relationships with our watershed council partners, we have begun a program of seeking invitations to watershed council board meetings. With a few minutes allotted to the District we are able to introduce ourselves to the board and tell them who we are and what we do.

How many watershed councils in Clackamas County?

In Clackamas County we have ten watershed councils that are either wholly or partially within the county border. While council staff know us well, often times the board may not be so familiar. That is when a friendly face appearing at their meeting helps make us a stronger partner.

Because the goals of the watershed councils align so closely with our goals we find that providing support to make them more successful, we are able to leverage our tax dollars to realize more conservation on the ground. This is a win for everyone!

One down, nine to go!

Our first stop on this tour of watershed councils was Oswego Lake Watershed Council‘s December board meeting. Cathy McQueeney from the District was given a warm reception that morning. Thank you Oswego Lake Watershed Council!

Pesticide Collection Event great success!

Pesticide collection events in Clackamas County have been held in the Clackamas River Watershed over the past ten year, but not this year! Congratulations to the Pudding River Watershed Council and Marion Soil and Water Conservation District for holding a successful pesticide collection event!

Funding for the event came from the Pudding River Pesticide Stewardship Partnership through Oregon Department of Agriculture and Oregon Department of Environmental Quality with additional dollars from Marion SWCD. The event was held in Mt Angel on November 18, 2017.

Accepting old, restricted, or unusable pesticides.

Who participated?

Agricultural producers from Clackamas County as well as Marion County were invited to drop off their old, restricted, or unusable pesticides for free disposal. Forty-four participants brought in 24,953 pounds of pesticides to be disposed of in an environmentally safe manner.

Why focus on pesticides?

Because the Pudding River watershed includes parts of both Clackamas and Marion counties, the watershed council works with both soil and water conservation districts on water quality issues. Pesticides are an issue of concern because monitoring in the Pudding River has detected the pesticides atrizine, chlorpirfos, and diazinon in water samples.

What else can be done?

Clackamas Soil and Water Conservation District is working to help farmers with erosion control practices that will help reduce pesticide contamination of surface water. Contact a Clackamas SWCD conservation planner if you need assistance with erosion control, no matter where you live in Clackamas County!

Ready if the Need Arises

District staff, including the outreach and education staff, participated in first aid training this month. For the majority of District employees this was a recertification class. The District pays for this training to promote safety and wellness for both our staff and others who may need our assistance. The opportunity to learn new techniques and practice previously learned first aid actions just make us better community members.

Watershed Council Grants

As we reported last month, the District is in the process of finalizing our grants to watershed councils in Clackamas County. This month our Board of Directors approved ten grants for a total of $108,250. This money will be used for a variety of things that the Watershed Councils need to help them function. When watershed councils succeed, we all succeed!

Where are We Showing Up?

Beneficial insect chart available to download

We do our best to find outlets for conservation information we think will be helpful. The information may be found in a variety of formats in any number of locations. You never know where we will show up! This month you will find something from the District the following publications:

Upcoming Events:

  • North Willamette Horticulture Society Meeting – Come visit us at our booth at the Canby Event Center on January 9, 10, and 11
  • Milwaukie Garden Club meeting – We will be presenting information on January 29 about encouraging beneficial insects in home gardens
  • Council of Councils – Information sharing meeting on January 24 between the District and the watershed councils in Clackamas County

New Web Posts this Month:

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