Dear Oswego Lake Watershed Neighbors
Shorter, gray days are a great time to review progress on projects and make plans for the spring and summer. I am constantly reminded that spring is right around the corner. Indian plum buds are about to burst. We should see the first leaves by the end of January. Song sparrows have begun to practice their songs as they prepare for spring nesting. Great horned owls are courting and will be laying their eggs very soon. Listen for their hoots at dusk and dawn.
I have a Backyard Habitat Certification in Progress sign in my front yard. (To be honest it has been "in progress" for almost a year.) This spring I need to go for the gold by finally getting rid of all the ivy and morning glory in my backyard and enhancing nesting habitat by planting more shrubs. Cindy Ellison and the Backyard Habitat Program can help with planning now so we are ready to go with spring gardening projects. I encourage you to take advantage of this wonderful service. Read more here...
The OLWC has been making progress on our projects to help protect and improve our watershed function. Below you can read about restoration projects in Springbrook and Iron Mountain Parks. You can also find out about how you can get involved. Read more here...
Our new education intern, Lecia Schall, introduces herself and explains her role in supporting the 6th grade stormwater engineering design curriculum. We will share some of the students’ designs for stormwater management in the summer issue. Read more here...
I would love to hear from you about how the Oswego Lake Watershed Council can help you with projects or concerns. Please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Enjoy the rain! And be ready for spring and summer -
Chair, Oswego Lake Watershed Council
In this Issue
News from the Council: Update
OLWC offers monthly watershed tours designed to inform area residents about the basic functions of the Oswego Lake Watershed. This 2-3 hour field trip begins at one of the headwaters of Springbrook Creek and follows the creek route to Oswego Lake with visits at several key areas along the creek. The tour concludes at Oswego Creek as water leaves the lake and makes its way to the Willamette River. This tour is designed to educate participants about basic watershed science and help individuals understand the basic concepts of watershed interactions. Transportation is in individual vehicles and carpooling for the tours is arranged at the beginning of the tour.
Tours are free, but pre-registration is required. Register by emailing Stephanie Wagner at email@example.com. Meeting place will be sent with registration confirmation.
Watershed tour schedule:
Saturday, February 1 at 9:00 am
Sunday, March 2 at 1:00 pm
Saturday, April 5 at 9:00 am
Sunday, May 3 at 1:00 pm
Saturday, June 7 at 9:00 am
Custom tours can also be arranged for groups of up to 15 individuals. Please contact Stephanie Wagner at firstname.lastname@example.org for details and scheduling information.
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Get Involved! Upcoming Opportunities
12th Annual Urban Ecology and Conservation Symposium
The 2014 Urban Ecology and Conservation Symposium will take place at Portland State University on February 10, 2014. This annual symposium is sponsored by the Urban Ecosystem Research Consortium of Portland / Vancouver.
Cost: $40 before Feb. 4, $45 at the door
Location: PSU Ballroom (Student Center)
Topics and Speakers: CLICK HERE to open the full program agenda in a new browser window.
To register online through Feb 3, follow the links on http://www.uercportland.org.
For more information email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Iron Mountain Park
This natural area has an old history but a newer feature: adoptive neighbors and friends that want to restore and conserve its beautiful habitat and scenic area. Though Friends of Iron Mountain have four established work parties a year, they wanted to do more so the Chair, Mike Buck, acting like the adoptive parent, dreamed up the The 1000 Tree Project to remove invasive ivy and its roots from that many trees in the park in one year. Not only does it help the tree, whether Madrona, Douglas fir or big leaf maple, the removal of invasives gives these trees more water, nutrients and light as well as helping reduce fire fuels and helping re-establish native populations. A few intrepid volunteers brave the steep terrain, the presence of poison oak and the winter weather and have cleared 1004 trees so far! The public can witness the change and track the resurgence of new growth when they drive past the middle of Iron Mountain Park along the Boulevard. Dying ivy vines can readily be seen and more will be manifest as the work continues.
Want to help? The next event is:
Springbrook Park is a 52 acre park located just south of Country Club Road and just east of Boones Ferry Road in the City of Lake Oswego. It can be reached by entrances on Diane Drive, Wembley Park Road, Sundeleaf Drive and at the Uplands Elementary School. The park is designated as open space and over the past ten years, Friends of Springbrook Park has been working to restore the park. The park includes wetlands, and seasonal tributaries of Springbrook Creek, in addition to a mixed conifer and broadleaf forest. Each year the Friends group works with interested neighbors, the Oswego Lake Watershed Council, and the Uplands Neighborhood Association to restore portions of the park.
- Sunday, April 27 from 1:00 - 3:00 pm - meet at the staging area in the Iron Mountain parking lot
During the fall of 2013 they worked in an area where they previously had cleared out ivy and made restorative plantings. We removed all the ivy that had re-sprouted, cleared out English Holly, and removed invasive non-native Hawthorne. Friends events are advertised in Hello LO and on the City of Lake Oswego Web site as well as the Oswego Lake Watershed’s calendar of events.
Want to help? The next event is
The Springbrook Park website is
- February 22, 9:00 am - Noon - meet at the Uplands School Trailhead. Coffee and snacks will be provided. Remember to dress appropriately and bring sturdy gloves. They will be doing some restorative plantings and clearing invasive plants from the Park. Questions? Contact Thomas Bland at email@example.com.
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Oswego Lake Watershed Council Intern Report for Winter 2014
By Lecia Schall, OLWC Intern
Winter greetings from Lecia Schall, the current intern for the Oswego Lake Watershed council. I am honored to have the opportunity to join in the commitment towards educating some of the younger members of the Lake Oswego community on watershed issues. As both a teacher for several decades and as a perpetual student, I realize how important it is to make learning relevant and rewarding to young people. I am also a firm believer in place-based education and consequently people knowing their “watershed-address”.
My current role as intern is to assist the Sixth Grade Science Teachers with the implementation of the Oswego Lake Watershed Engineering Design Unit (OLWEDU) designed by PSU colleagues and piloted in the spring of 2013. This month-long curriculum focuses on local Stormwater issues while engaging the students in the practices of the Engineering Design Process. Now in its second year of implementation, we hope to tailor the curriculum to the schools’ and community’s needs. The OLWEDU is also designed to introduce the students and teachers to the principles of The Next Generation Science Standards, which will be implemented in the near future. Eventually the curriculum will be fully aligned with the NGSS. Until then the local students will be ahead of their peers in their knowledge of basic Engineering Design Processes, Stormwater management and mitigation, and broader watershed issues. What an opportunity for everyone involved!
Read the full report...
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Reprinted from the Friends of Tryon Creek "Trillium Times"
The City of Lake Oswego has over 300 acres in natural areas and neighboring Tryon Creek State Park adds another 770 acres. That adds up to a lot of natural space but most of that space is surrounded by neighborhoods creating habitat islands. What if we could somehow connect those habitat islands and give native insects, birds and wildlife more food and space to thrive? That is where the Backyard Habitat Program comes in, helping homeowners learn more about their yard, what invasive plants they have and where they may be able to add a few native plants into their new or existing garden space.
In Lake Oswego, the Backyard Habitat Certification Program is managed by the Friends of Tryon Creek and so far we have visited over 153 homeowners. 57 homeowners have already certified at the Silver, Gold or Platinum level while the remaining homeowners are working towards their certification.
Heidi Schrimsher is one of our homeowners working towards certification and even though she is a landscape architect, she is still able to learn a lot through the program. Heidi is currently aiming for Gold certification which means 25% of her yard will be planted in natives. One of the things Heidi enjoys since adding natives to her yard is the sudden increase in the variety of birds. Native plants provide food for native insects that are a primary food source for young birds. This is something she can show her children and help them make a daily connection with nature. Some of the other benefits she sees include eliminating chemicals and fertilizers and reducing her water use as the native plants get established. Heidi wants other homeowners to know that although it can seem overwhelming when you have a lot of English Ivy or invasive Armenian Blackberry, it helps to take it one step at a time.
The Backyard Habitat program can help you get there. Heidi was impressed with the site report and plant list we specifically designed for her yard. Heidi also enjoyed buying her plants through the Backyard Habitat program at wholesale prices. She feels that it is empowering to do her part in her own yard to provide habitat and food for wildlife. If you share this feeling, sign up for a site visit today. Through a partnership with the City of Lake Oswego, the Columbia Land Trust and the Audubon Society of Portland the Friends are able to offer site visits for a one-time fee of $25. CLICK HERE to take advantage of this incredible deal.
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It's Not Too Early for Landscape Planning
The Backyard Habitat Certification Program (BHCP) has published a new directory of approved Professional Landscapers. Each business listed in this directory,
CLICK HERE to open the Professional Landscape Directory in a browser window.
- Attended the fall 2013 Into the Weeds workshop (collaboration with Oregon Tilth, East and West Multnomah Soil & Water Conservation District, Audubon and Columbia Land Trust)
- Attended a specific Backyard Habitat training session
- Will attend a spring 2014 native plant workshop (same partners with Into the Weeds)
- Signed an agreement with Columbia Land Trust/Audubon that included their commitment to:
- “Strongly advise” clients to not plant noxious weeds that are listed in the Program certification criteria.
- “Strongly advise” clients to not use moderate to high hazard pesticides on their properties.
- When landscaping for certification, select native plants that have been identified as Willamette Valley natives through the Portland Plant List
- When contacted by a BHCP participant, the initial visit is done by an employee who attended the Backyard Habitat landscaper training
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Please visit the OLWC Web site at www.oswegowatershed.org for more information about the watershed, the Council and more ways to get involved.
Thanks for all you do to improve local water quality and wildlife habitat!
Your friends at the Oswego Lake Watershed Council
News from the Council
Announcements and updates on current projects.
Upcoming educational events and volunteer opportunities