|10/31/2017 1:07:00 PM|
Restoring Indian Ford Creek
For the past year, young people engaged with the Oregon Youth Challenge Program have been working with the Deschutes Soil and Water Conservation District to restore natural conditions in sensitive riparian areas.
|An Oregon Youth Challenge crew spread native seed along Indian Ford Creek in the meadow south of Barclay Drive on Saturday. photo by Jerry Baldock|
Last Saturday, a crew of 46 plus four squad leaders were working in the meadow south of Barclay Drive near Sisters.
"They do community service as part of their curriculum," said Jan Roofener of DWSCD.
The Oregon Youth Challenge Program, operated by the Oregon National Guard, is an alternative school with the mission "to provide opportunities for personal growth, self improvement, and academic achievement among 16-18 year old Oregon high school drop outs, teens no longer attending and those failing in school, through a highly structured non-traditional environment; integrating training, mentoring and diverse educational activities."
One of those diverse educational opportunities involves dirty hands, shovels and native plants and seeds. The youths planted some water-loving plants and spread native seed along a historic diversion ditch that has been obliterated by the District as part of a restoration project.
The ditch had been "kind of a nursery there for reed canary grass, which is invasive," Roofener said. "That needed to happen; we needed to obliterate that ditch."
Returning the area to a more natural state will improve water quality in the area, Roofener said.
She also noted that property owners along Indian Ford Creek have been "responsive to our outreach for creek restoration."
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