Ash Creek is a perennial tributary to the Willamette flowing through the cities of Monmouth and Independence. Although Ash Creek has been significantly altered over the years, this waterway and its floodplain continue to provide important ecological functions such as floodwater storage and fish and wildlife habitat. Running through the heart of Independence, it also provides recreational and educational opportunities. In 2013, the LWC was awarded a grant from the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board to restore the ecological health of Ash Creek. In partnership with the City of Independence, the City of Monmouth, Central School District, the Ash Creek Water Control District and Pacific Power Blue Sky Habitat Funds/The Freshwater Trust, the LWC is working with local landowners to remove invasive species that have taken over much of the riparian area, and replant streamside areas with native vegetation. There are two sections of the project -- "Revegetation Reach" and "Stewardship Reach" -- which each have different restoration goals. Work on the Revegetation Reach will consist of invasive weed control and revegetation and the Stewardship Reach will be managed to control priority invasive species. Click here to see a detailed map of the Ash Creek Restoration Project area. Find out how you can contribute to the Ash Creek Restoration Project by contacting us here.
The Revegetation Reach (1.4 miles) stretches from Monmouth Public Works at Hogan Road to Wildfang Park, with an additional section at Riverview Park in Independence. The stream bank along this section of Ash Creek has been significantly degraded, with many areas having almost no native vegetation. Along this section of the creek, we will be both controlling invasive species and planting native trees and shrubs within the riparian zone. Streamside trees and vegetation are important because they provide natural protection against flood damage and bank erosion, trap sediment that would otherwise wash into the waterway, and provide important shade.
The Stewardship Reach (1.4 miles) extends from Wildfang Park in Independence to Riverview Park, and has been identified as a portion of Ash Creek that has a fairly healthy vegetated riparian area. Along this stretch of the creek, we will be focusing our efforts on removing high-priority invasive weeds within the riparian area. Some of the invasive species identified along Ash Creek are English ivy, holly, scotch broom, poison hemlock, and vinca. If you suspect that you may have one or more of these species on your property, don't hesitate to give us a call at 503-837-0237 or email us at info@LuckiamuteLWC.org to find out how to remove these invasive plants and learn about some excellent native plant varieties to replace them.