Rippling Waters Enhancement Project
The Washington County owned property called, Rippling Waters is a 19-acre site located on Gales Creek. Prior to the Council’s restoration work, the site was overrun with invasive plants; primarily English ivy, Himalayan blackberry and reed canary grass. It was also littered with garbage. It needs continuing maintenance activities in order for the native shrubs and trees to thrive and provide wildlife habitat and stream side canopy which reduces stream temperatures. Lower temperatures are necessary for optimum fish and other aquatic organisms. Since 2004, approximately three acres or riparian and three acres of upland areas have been treated for invasive plants and planted with native plants.
Council and community volunteers began the restoration work on the site by removing English Ivy. Water Services’ contracted crews to treat invasive Japanese knotweed and garlic mustard. Council members and volunteers started planting native trees and shrubs and mulching the plants.
In 2006-2008, the Council obtained an Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board (OWEB) small grant to pay a contracted crew for Himalayan blackberry treatment and the purchase of bare root plants. Community volunteers planted the plants.
In December 2007, flood water from Gales Creek deposited between two and eight inches of sediment on the site. The sediment brought native plant seeds such as elderberry and non-native seeds such as reed canary grass, Japanese knotweed, and garlic mustard.
Council members work with Cub Scouts and families, Pacific University and Forest Grove High School students, and other community members to plant 1800 native plant stakes, shrubs and trees.
During 2008-09, community volunteers worked on removing invasive English ivy and marking native plants so that contracted crews treating invasive Himalayan blackberry and reed canary grass could easily identify and protect the growing native vegetation.
Since 2008, the Council has used the BOR Contract funds to hire contract crews to mow the reed canary grass and do Himalayan blackberry treatment.
Each year the Council and SOLV sponsor workdays at the site to remove invasive species and plant native plants.
OWEB Small Grants
The Council continues to work in partnership throughout Tualatin River sub-basins with private landowners using OWEB small grant funds and other resources, such as native trees and shrubs, on invasive weed removal and native planting restoration projects. Funding is available every two years. The maximum grants size is $10,000 with a 25% match requirement. See our page on Landowner Resources for more information.
Spawning Survey Training
The Council partners with ODFW to offer spawning survey training for community volunteers and residents to obtain baseline information on Coho salmon, winter steelhead trout and lamprey in the Tualatin basin.
The Council and its partners sponsor tours to acquaint citizens with issues, projects and opportunities in the basin.
Education using Water Quality Test Kits
One of the fastest growing populations in the Tualatin Basin is the Hispanic community. To help them understand the environmental issues in the basin the Council taught a class at Adelante Mujeres using water quality test kits.
The kits have also been used by elementary students to learn about nearby creeks.
Tabling At Environmental Events
The Council and its partners often table at fairs and events to share information about the Council and what the public can do to protect the resources in the Tualatin Watershed.
Children’s Clean Water Festival
Each year the Council provides a classroom activity for the spring festival. The 4th and 5th grade students have a chance to build a watershed out of newspaper and aluminum foil. Once it is completed they have a chance to see how sediment can wash into the streams. The highlight is being chosen as the “polluter” to show how pollution follows the sediment into the stream. This is followed by a lively discussion of what they and their parents can do to protect the environment