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November 5: Restoration Celebration!

  • Community Event
  • Volunteer Event
  • Restoration Celebration
When Nov 05, 2016
from 10:00 AM to 01:00 PM
Where 622 Day Island Rd, Eugene, OR 97401, USA
Contact Name
Contact Phone 5038285702
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Join Nearby Nature for a Restoration Celebration in the Whilamut Natural Area of Alton Baker Park, where we will be replanting an Oak Savannah in the Whilamut Natural Area.

This area- known as "Hammer Throw Field"- has a long history.  Prior to pioneer arrival, we can imagine this field containing massive, thick riparian forests abundant with wildlife and vegetation, with Kalapuya living on higher ground; ya-po-ah (high place). Once cleared by pioneers, the fertile river bottom soil supported farming for some homesteaders that used to live on the west side of the Dog Park near the canoe canal. We are still able to enjoy the shade and beauty of some walnut trees planted by this family of farmers.   The flooding which characterizes the area eventually drove pioneers out of this fertile farmland and the field was left to re-wild.  Meanwhile, the community was ensuring the land would be set aside as a park.   The field now hosts an amazing bloom of native wildflowers in the spring, supports many species of native insects, and could potentially support native ground-nesting birds with community support to keep this area protected.  Mowing has been the management of choice in recent decades, to represent the effects of pyro-culture (the use of fire to steward plant food sources and wild game) used by Kalapuyans in the Mckenzie, Middle Fork, and Coastal Fork drainage basins to maintain this ecosystem type.
Several years ago some young, potted oaks were planted in the field as an attempt to restore this area to an Oak Savannah, but they unfortunately did not survive the drought experienced in 2015.  This year, we have collected acorns from local white oaks, and will be replanting this field.  If successful, this field will serve for many years as a historical reference to an endangered Willamette Valley ecosystem, a basis for understanding and teaching about Kalapuya culture, and as a restoration project for many students passing through Nearby Nature to participate in. 


Nearby Nature will provide gloves, tools, and the training required. We will also provide snacks!

Participants are requested to bring their own water bottle and to wear clothing that is appropriate for the weather and can be subjected to wear and tear.

The meeting location for this event is at the WaterWise Garden in front of the Park Host House, 622 Day Island Road. 

Please RSVP for this event here: Work Party Pre-Registration, and email if you have any questions.

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