God’s Valley Meadows volunteer work party

The Lower Nehalem Watershed Council (LNWC) is hosting a volunteer work party at their God’s Valley Meadows restoration project site on Saturday, February 20 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Work will include placing recycled Christmas trees in the creek and planting native trees and shrubs to create habitat for fish and wildlife. God’s Valley Meadows is an Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) wildlife preserve. A small tributary to God’s Valley Creek runs through the meadows and was the focus of a joint restoration project between LNWC and ODFW in 2013. The area has been documented repeatedly as an important system supporting Chinook, Coastal Cutthroat Trout, Coho and Steelhead.

Restoration of God’s Valley Meadows aimed to address a number of issues identified by LWNC and project partners. The project included replacing or removing a number of undersized culverts, removing invasive plants and planting a mix of native trees and shrubs, placing large wood structures to enhance stream complexity, and reconnecting the stream to its floodplain. The project is currently in the plant establishment phase in which maintenance and replanting activities are being carried out.

The goals of the volunteer work party are to establish more native vegetation and create habitat for juvenile fish. Within a few days of being placed in the water, the needles and branches of Christmas trees become covered with algae, which attract aquatic insects, and ultimately feeds salmon. The trees also provide critical cover from predators and can last around five years. Not only are the trees not wasting space in a landfill, but they provide an essential functions within our coastal ecosystem when placed appropriately.

Volunteers should meet at Mohler Co-op Store, 34890 HWY 53, Nehalem, OR. Carpools will depart at 11 a.m. and return at 3 p.m. Please dress for the weather, wear sturdy waterproof shoes and gloves. Waders and tall boots are helpful for placing Christmas trees. Bring water and a sack lunch. Tools will be provided.

LNWC is also seeking extra volunteers with trucks who are willing to transport native tress from Tillamook to the project site the morning the event. Please contact the Watershed Council at 503-368-7424 or [email protected] if that’s you!

The Lower Nehalem Watershed Council would like to thank CARTM for collecting Christmas trees and members of Wild North Coast Trout Unlimited for transporting them to project site.

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