Looking for our current event line-up? Click here for our upcoming events!
Sips 'n' Science: Oak in Polk - November 13, 2019
On November 13, Sue Reams from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) gave a tree-mendous presentation about oak habitat restoration opportunities at Brew Coffee & Taphouse. A group of about 40 Friends of the LWC and members of the community enjoyed Brew’s excellent selection of “sips” while listening to the science involved in restoring oak woodland habitat in Polk county. And, thanks to generous contributions from attendees and Brew’s dollar-per-pint donation, we raised a total of $113 for the LWC that night!
Jont Creek Tour - October 26, 2019
On a chilly but sun-filled Fall day, 25 folks came out to witness the progress on a restoration project at a privately owned 900-acre farm that replaced a failing culvert with a bridge crossing, and is restoring critical wetland habitat. Representatives from the Luckiamute Watershed Council, Polk Soil & Water Conservation District and US Fish and Wildlife Service were on hand to describe the process of moving this project forward, and to share how partnerships between individuals and public agencies can have a huge impact on watershed health in our region.
Bilingual Bird Walk at Baskett Slough - October 12, 2019
A small group of five dedicated bird walkers met naturalists Joel Geier and Beatrice Serrano bright and early at Baskett Slough National Wildlife Reserve and were rewarded with some incredible sights and sounds. A flock of two dozen western meadowlarks serenaded participants with some energetic call-and-response singing between the males and females. Later, after enjoying a delicious lunch from Ovenbird Bakery, the group witnessed a hunting peregrine falcon grab a small bird out of mid-air and then feed on it in a neighboring field! In addition, though we had no Spanish-only speakers attend this bilingual bird walk, participants got to learn several Spanish names of our migratory birds that spend part of the year in Central and South America.
Fall Bird Walk at Talking Water Gardens - Sept. 29, 2019
Our first bird walk of the season was held at Talking Water Gardens, the City of Albany’s water treatment wetland. This was our most popular bird walk to date, with a total of 25 people attending! The cool but mostly sunny weather worked out great for bird-watching with experts Joel Geier and Tim Johnson, with a total of 31 bird sightings. Joe Deardorff, botanist for the City of Albany's Public Works, enlightened everyone about the history and creation of Talking Water Gardens and provided some invaluable plant ID knowledge.
Community Crush! - September 14, 2019
We have Chris Beatty, Spiritopia’s ‘Spirit Chemist,’ to thank for spearheading and organizing this apple-picking and cider-pressing fundraiser for the LWC. Volunteers came out to help pick wild orchard fruit from E.E. Wilson Wildlife Area, and then helped press them into cider at Spiritopia’s nearby distillery. Afterwards, volunteers got to enjoy the fruits of their labor with a glass of fresh cider or pommeau (cider plus brandy). This fun event brought in $180.50 in donations to the LWC!
Dry Farming Field Day - September 11, 2019
The LWC teamed up with Marion & Polk SWCDs and OSU Extension to put together this terrific and very popular dry-farm presentation and tour, held at Darlene and Vernor Gowen’s Farm in Independence. Though OSU’s Amy Garrett, Darlene Gowen and our guest speakers all captivated this audience of 52 participants, the tasty selection of dry-farmed fruits and vegetables stole the show with their incredible flavor!
Fiesta Comunidad - August 24, 2019
The LWC and Polk SWCD co-hosted an outreach table and educational bird beak activity at this annual festival held at Independence’s Riverview Park. This was our first time at this iconic event that celebrates Latino/a culture and community, and it helped spur us towards having some of our materials translated into Spanish. A BIG thank you goes to our event volunteers and to Mary Elena Peña for her invaluable help in getting us signed up for the Fiesta and translating for us!
Adair Founders Day - August 17, 2019
The encouragement of one of our loyal volunteers helped get the LWC represented at this festive celebration of the history of Adair Village. Together with Benton SWCD representatives, the LWC introduced folks of all ages to the many ways bird beaks are adapted to their food source, and how you can protect and create native bird habitat at home.
Sips ‘n’ Science: Geology of the Little Luckiamute Falls - June 21, 2019
Dr. Steve Taylor knocked it out of the park during our final Sips 'n' Science event of the season! While enjoying fabulous food and drink at The Bread Board in Falls City, participants were transported back in time to the geologic formation of the Luckiamute watershed, and learned how this history has shaped Little Luckiamute Falls and the surrounding landscape.
Planting for Pollinators Tour - June 9, 2019
We had a bee-utiful Planting for Pollinators tour at Illahe Vineyards on June 9. OSU PhD student, Aaron Anderson, led a fascinating presentation of his research on native plant-pollinator associations, and we got to see first-hand how Illahe is providing habitat for native bees and other beneficial insects between their rows of grapevines. We also learned about the many ways we can protect pollinators at home!
Spring Bird Walk at J2E Tree Farm - May 12, 2019
Once again, Joel Geier led a fantastic Spring Bird walk at Dave Ehler’s J2E Tree Farm. With more than 40 species of birds and wildlife sighted, it was quite an amazing day for our group of nature enthusiasts! Located near Vincent Creek — a tributary of the Luckiamute — J2E is managed for sustainable timber production, carbon sequestration, healthy ecosystem function and will continue to host more bird walks and project tours in the future. Stay tuned for more exciting news from J2E Tree Farms!
Native American Ethnobotany Hike - April 28, 2019
On this beautiful Sunday hike along the trails of Peavy Arboretum, we were honored to have Greg Archuleta, member of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, share his rich knowledge of our native plants and how the Tribes of our region utilize them for food, medicine, clothing and ceremonial purposes.
Watershed Recreation Fair - April 13, 2019
Thanks to The Grove Coffee House, and all of our fantastic local recreation experts, our second annual Watershed Recreation Fair was a great success! Plus, the Salem Water Otters held a raffle that raised $57 for the Luckiamute Watershed Council! Woohoo! A big thank you also goes to all of you who stopped by, and for those who didn't get a chance - mark your 2020 calendars because we'll be doing this again next Spring!
Family Arts & Crafts Day / Dia de Artesanias Para Familias - March 23, 2019
The LWC teamed up with the US Fish and Wildlife Service to put on this bilingual family event at Baskett Slough National Wildlife Refuge. Through interactive games, nature-themed crafts and artwork, we made learning about the watershed extra fun for all ages!
Stream Temperature Monitoring in the Luckiamute - March 21, 2019
We had a group of 12 landowners and community members come out to Monmouth Public Library to hear about our Temperature Monitoring Program goals and findings so far. LWC Monitoring Coordinator Caleb Price explained why water temperature matters to aquatic life and share results that show how different waterways in the Luckiamute watershed are faring. Want to learn more about the LWC's Temperature Monitoring Program or have questions about stream temperature in the watershed? Contact Caleb Price at Monitoring@LuckiamuteLWC.org!
Sips 'n' Science: The Mighty Mason Bee - Feb. 21, 2019
More than 60 people came out to The Valkyrie Wine Tavern to listen to Jerry Paul, Benton SWCD board member, give a presentation on the mason bee. Not only did everyone thoroughly enjoy some GREAT fare courtesy of The Valkyrie team, Jerry's fascinating account of the invaluable contributions that this native pollinator makes to food production and ecosystem health wowed the entire room! If you missed this presentation, click here to view it on YouTube!
Sips 'n' Science: Bringing Back the Pacific Lamprey - Jan. 9, 2019
Wow! Our first Sips 'n' Science pub talk of 2019 brought Brew Coffee & Taphouse to full capacity at 52 attendees! This time, Kelly Dirksen - Fish and Wildlife Program Manager for the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde - shared the fascinating life history of the Pacific lamprey, and described how local Tribes are helping to restore populations of this 650-million-year-old, eel-like fish in the Willamette basin. Best of all, if you missed this presentation, you can now view it on YouTube at https://youtu.be/x789W-Ecyes!
Sips 'n' Science: Beaver-Inspired Stream Restoration - Nov. 15, 2018
On November 15, NOAA Research Fisheries Biologist Dr. Chris Jordan explained why partnering with beaver makes sense for many stream restoration efforts across Oregon. We had a FULL house with a total of 62 attendees at The Valkyrie Wine Tavern, which served up some delicious food and wine during Dr. Jordan's presentation.