“My favorite part of the tour was witnessing the many examples of recovering biodiversity.” –Rebecca Lexa, Oregon Master Naturalist
On Friday, October 4th, Master Naturalists from across Oregon came together at the Oregon State University campus for the 2019 Oregon Master Naturalist Statewide Conference. The Marys River Watershed Council was one of several groups to lead special field trips about environmental topics in the area.
The tour group included Master Naturalists as well as local landowners and Jeff Hollenbeck, the new City of Corvallis Watershed Specialist. Kathleen Westly, MRWC’s Education and Restoration Project Manager led the tour, which covered the recent work of the Council in the watershed.
The tour began in the Rock Creek Watershed to examine the watershed enhancement work that MRWC has done, including fish passage barrier removals, riparian plantings, and large woody debris placements. Participants were able to visit the drinking water reservoir managed by the City of Corvallis and tour the Shiver River LLC property, which was recently honored as Benton County’s Tree Farm of the Year.
The tour ended at Tyee Wine Cellars, the site of a large wetland habitat restoration conservation easement at the confluence of Beaver and Muddy Creeks. Participants also tasted some of the Certified Salmon Safe wine!
There was a wide variety of discussions, ranging from the decrease in beaver presence to forest management practices to toxic algae concerns, as well as opportunities for species identification. One group was particularly excited by the sighting of a lobster mushroom!
Diana Blakney, one of the owners of Shiver River, noted her appreciation for the lively discussions: “It’s not only that the instruction is great, it’s [the tour] is also great for the sharing of knowledge between participants. It’s as much about the participants as it is the instructors.”