Two New Shade Our Streams Properties in 2022
With funding from a Water Environment Services RiverHealth Stewardship grant, the Clackamas River Basin Council is restoring six acres of riparian habitat at two new sites in 2022-23.
Conserving and restoring urbanized watersheds is one of the critical challenges of modern ecology. Urban rivers and streams face unique pressures from impervious surfaces, the loss and fragmentation of native riparian vegetation, encroachment by noxious weeds, water pollution, and radically altered hydrology and food webs. Clackamas County is experiencing rapid population growth and land conversion, which is accelerating the degradation of waterways such as Rock Creek and Sieben Creek, as well as the Clackamas River downstream of both.
Pictured left is Sieben Creek in Clackamas County, which has hallmark signs of “Urban Stream Syndrome”. As you can see, the bank is vertically steep and undercutting with exposed soil, and riparian vegetation is mainly tree cover.
Degradation of these urban waterways imperils many native species. For instance, the Clackamas Basin is home to the last significant run of wild late winter Coho in the Columbia basin, and has one of the only two remaining runs of spring Chinook in the Willamette Basin. Both are highly sensitive to the starkly increased water temperature, pollution, and turbidity. Other fish and wildlife species ranging from river otters to freshwater mussels are similarly imperiled by the stresses of urban streams.
Humans, too, depend on healthy urban watersheds for diverse benefits such as drinking water, recreation, local climate regulation, and cultural experiences.
To address these issues, CRBC initiated the Shade Our Streams program in 2010, which has successfully shaded and restored over 30 miles of streams and planted over 450,000 trees in the lower Clackamas basin.
In 2022, with funding from Water Environment Services, CRBC has added two additional properties to the Shade Our Streams Program.
One site is Eastridge Church, whose property sits on a stretch of Sieben Creek. Much of Sieben Creek is developed and overgrown with invasive weeds. In the short video to the right, you can see a vast field of blackberry and other invasive weeds adjacent to the stream.
Restoring this large stretch of waterway will help slow down and filter storm water before it reaches the creek. CRBC will be removing weeds and replanting with a diverse selection of native trees, plants and shrubs beginning in fall 2022.
If you want to volunteer to help, check our events calendar!
Carli Creek East
The second site we are calling Carli Creek East, it is a three-acre property along the Clackamas River near Capps Rd. Invasive weed canarygrass, blackberry, Scotch broom, and poison hemlock are among the dominant species here, with very little native vegetation. We will remove the weeds and replant with riparian vegetation beginning in 2022.
If you live on, or know of a streamside area overrun with invasive weeds and/or lacking shade, we want to hear from you! Please contact Amy Barton at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 503-303-4372, 105. You can read more about Shade Our Streams on our website here: