Tag Archives | photo gallery

Milk Creek: Spring Checkup on Vegetated Log Matrix

With a contract crew on site today to treat weeds, it was the perfect time to take a look at the condition of the vegetated log matrix the Clackamas County SWCD installed last fall on Milk Creek. The structure appears to be working exactly as designed, and the shrubs and trees we planted are growing well.

For information on the goals of the project, read the Milk Creek Project Update from last December.

Creating a Rain Garden with Elementary School Students

The following photo gallery is probably just as descriptive as anything we could write! This rain garden was recently completed with design and construction guidance provided by Erik Carr.

Time to Plant Your Streamsides

Spring is fast approaching and the urge is strong to get outside and dig in the soil! We have the planting bug, too, at the Clackamas County Soil and Water Conservation District. Our staff has been working with landowners to revegetate their streamsides.

In December, we noted that a next step at our Milk Creek stream restoration site was to plant streambanks. In February, nearly 10,000 trees and shrubs were planted at the Milk Creek site! Find the photos below.

The streamside area planting was a critical element in the restoration effort. The project was designed to protect an eroding streambank, improve water quality, and provide additional habitat for fish. As the trees and shrubs grow, their expanding roots will help stabilize the bank. Fallen wood and leaves in the creek will provide habitat and nutrients, and as the trees grow their shade will help keep the water cool.

Time to plant? Now!

Now’s the time for you to be thinking about planting trees and shrubs along your streamside area. The best time to plant trees and shrubs is before the leaf buds open, typically between November and March. You still have a few short weeks left to get plants into the ground.

The weather this weekend is predicted to be pleasantly warm and sunny. Why not spend some time in the great outdoors planting along your streamside? Stop by your local native plant nursery or check out the annual Weyerhaeuser sale in Aurora this Saturday, March 6th, 2013. This plant sale, along with many of the local native plant nurseries, has a wide selection of trees and shrubs that are suited to life here in northwest Oregon.

When preparing to plant, strongly consider using native vegetation. Native plants are adapted to our local soils and moisture conditions, and they provide food and habitat for our indigenous wildlife. A few plants to consider are red osier dogwood, western red cedar, valley Ponderosa pine, and snowberry.

For more information on local nurseries that sell native riparian plants check out the Plant Native website or call Jenne, the riparian specialist at Clackamas County Soil and Water Conservation District. Her phone number is 503-210-6011.

Milk Creek planting

Milk Creek Structures Endure First High Water Event

Recent heavy rainfall resulted in a sudden rise in the level of Milk Creek. This caused us to take a close look at how well the large vegetated log matrix and the three engineered log jams fared.

We’re delighted to report all is well. Of course, this isn’t a surprise considering the strong engineering and conscientious construction practices employed in installing these practices!

Unofficial weather stations within several miles of the project reported two inches of rainfall on November 19, 2012. One station about seven miles to the south of the project site recorded nearly 2.5 inches of rain!

The next day, the level of Milk Creek rose substantially, putting sudden pressure on the log structures we installed in August and September.

Our automatic monitoring cameras captured before, during, and after photos of the event. One of the engineering team members visited and took video of the high water, then posted the video to YouTube:

Milk Creek is what we call a “flashy” stream, which means it responds quickly to rainfall. The photos and the graph of rainfall demonstrate how quickly this stream responded to an unsually large rainfall event. Several days later, the stream was less muddy and the water level had returned to the same level as before the rain event.

Meanwhile, the structures we installed remained intact, and even captured some debris that floated down during peak flows…and that is exactly what we predicted!


Milk Creek Project: Greening Up Before Fall Rains Arrive

A quick inspection of the Milk Creek Project log structures shows grasses and willows sprouting, even though fall rains have not yet arrived.

Milk Creek water is clear as it flows past the 380-foot vegetated log matrix. Immediately downstream from the main structure, the creek continues past three engineered log jams installed on the opposite bank.

The log landing has been reclaimed, as has the diversion channel established to keep Milk Creek clean during construction. We were able to protect some mature oaks and maples during construction.