Outreach Insight for May 2018

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

Native Plant Trailer is Ready to Roll!

The native plant trailer has been groomed and is ready to travel to outreach events. The rocks that we use to identify the plants have a fresh coat of paint and are now more readable. Identifying individual plants allow visitors to make a list of the plants they would like to incorporate into their own yards, even when the trailer is on display without staff attending.

The native plant trailer was on display the first weekend of May at the Spring Garden Fair hosted by the Clackamas County Master Gardeners.

Look for us this weekend at the Oregon City Farmers Market Pollinator Fair, May 19, 2018!

Farmers market visits

You will find us displaying information at a several farmers markets this summer. In this way, we support the markets and make contact with a number of our constituents. The markets in return often share our Facebook posts with their communities. Together, we are building a great partnership!

We are scheduled to be tabling at the following markets:

Molalla Farmers Market Facebook post thanking us for our support.

Scholarships awarded!

Two local students were selected to receive scholarships from the District. Each student was awarded $3,000 to pursue their education in the field of agriculture, natural resource science, or a related discipline.

It was a difficult decision to choose between a number of impressive scholarship applications. However, the board awarded the scholarships to Danielle Bull from Damascus and Ethan Gallant from Boring.

These students will be attending the District Board of Directors meeting in June. We will have more on these amazing young people next month. Congratulations Danielle and Ethan!

Supporting our partners

On May 8, 2018, the District joined the watershed councils working within the county boundary to address the Clackamas County Board of Commissioners. The session was focused on sharing with the commissioners the accomplishments of the watershed councils and their strong partnership with the District. Cheryl McGinnis of the Clackamas River Basin Council and Asako Yamamuro of the Molalla River Watch gave the presentation to the commissioners, including appreciation to the District for our support.

There are ten watershed councils either wholly or partially located in Clackamas County. That is almost 11% of the watershed councils in the entire state of Oregon! The District not only supports these councils financially, but board and staff attend their annual events, occasionally attend board meetings, promote their events on Facebook, and partner with them on projects and workshops.

Our recent activities include:

Waiting for a wood chip mulch, this conservation planting benefits from weed suppression provided by the burlap bags.

Coffee bags tackle weed suppression

In the last six weeks, the District has delivered 35 totes of burlap coffee bags to cooperators who are currently engaged in projects with our conservation specialists. Burlap is used to suppress weeds, especially in conservation planting projects.

Workshops and Events

The outreach and education staff have been busy with workshops and educational opportunities. Here are a few highlights.

Septic Outreach  – The District partnered with the Clackamas River Water Providers to give a presentation to a group of realtors in Happy Valley. The topic of the morning discussion was the District’s septic system loan program and other related assistance opportunities offered by the Water Providers to homeowners in the Clackamas River Watershed.

GardenPalooza at Fir Point Farms in Aurora was the site of an annual gardening event. We partnered with the Pudding River Watershed Council to reach out to the participants with tips for good soil health and information on turtle habitat in the Pudding River. The watershed council had examples of invasive turtles that have been found in the watershed. The event was cut short by a terrible windstorm that made our location in the hoop-house unsafe!

Soil Health for Kids – Fifth-grade students at Forest Hills Elementary School and Hallinan Elementary School, both in Lake Oswego were treated to a hands-on lesson in soil health. Activites included soil testing, understanding soil test results, cover cropping, soil types, and soil microbes.


Nicole Ahr, a District conservation planner, worked alongside Friends of Trees staff to finish planting before the arrival of a wind storm at an Arbor Day event.

Arbor Day was celebrated in Oregon City with an event hosted by the City of Oregon City. We participated by staffing a display and assisting community members in planting native vegetation. The event had a great turnout of local residents.


Workshop participants designing their wildlife-friendly landscape.

Wildlife Friendly Gardening was the topic of a workshop co-hosted by the District, the Backyard Habitat Certification program, Clackamas River Basin Council, and the National Wildlife Federation. A small, but very enthusiastic group gathered early on a Saturday morning at the Environmental Learning Center located on the Clackamas Community College campus. Topics for the workshop included incorporating native plants into a residential landscape, controlling garden pests and reducing pesticide use by providing habitat for beneficial insects, and habitat considerations when designing a wildlife-friendly property.


Workshop participants enjoy the field visit portion of the Horse Workshop at the Parr farm near Molalla.

Workshop for Horse Owners – Again a small, but enthusiastic group gathered at the Adult Community Center in Molalla to learn from Alayne Blickle, founder of Horses for Clean Water. The topics covered by the speaker included pasture management, trail paddocks, and Firewise planning for horse properties. Thank you to Mike and Tina Parr for inviting us to their farm for the field tour!


Cathy McQueeney is ready to talk to shoppers waiting for the Clackamas Community College horticulture program plant sale to begin.

Upcoming Events

2018 Small Farm School registration opens on May 22, 2018. Classes fill quickly, so do not delay!

Pesticides from commercial and industrial pesticide users will also be accepted at this event! Registration form available here.


This event is full. Registrations are no longer being accepted.


This scented event is sponsored in part by the Clackamas Soil and Water Conservation District. Look for the District tent with our famous soil tunnel and information on soil health. This is Liberty Natural Products‘ 12th year of hosting the Clackamas County Lavender Festival.

Here are the important details.

  • $5 parking per vehicle
  • Saturday 6/23/18 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
    Sunday 6/24/18 10:00 AM- 5:00 PM
  • Entry Gates Close at 4 PM each day.


New web posts:

Pesticide Collection Event to be Held in Molalla

10 Ways to Celebrate Oregon Invasive Weed Awareness Week!

Conservation Compass: Management Report for May 2018

Protect Spring Pastures: Grazing Guidelines

May Invasive Weed of the Month: Orange Hawkweed

Free Septic System Workshop

FY2018-2019 Budget Approved by Budget Committee

May is Native Plant Appreciation Month

The Prickly Thistle: An April 2018 WeedWise update

Backyard Habitat Certification Program Expansion Phase 2

Springtime Ideas for a Pollinator Friendly Yard

A Workshop for Horse Owners

Changing Hands: A Workshop on Farm Suppression Planning

Conservation Compass: Management Report for April 2018

April Invasive Weed of the Month: Garlic Mustard

Budget Message and Proposed Budget for FY 2018-2019



Clackamas SWCD