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Volunteers invited to help spread mulch

The Boring Damascus Grange and Clackamas River Basin Council are hosting A Valentine for Deep Creek


What better way to spend a Saturday morning in February than spreading mulch along a stream? While you may get a little chilly, your efforts will certainly keep native plants warmer.

A Valentine for Deep Creek, a second annual work party event, will take place Saturday, Feb. 1. The Clackamas River Basin Council’s Shade Our Streams project is helping the Boring Damascus Grange for the second year in a row to keep new plants along the creek healthy and thriving.

Shade Our Streams is a tree-planting project to improve water quality in the Clackamas River Basin. The goal of the project is to plant 300,000 trees across 30 stream miles. It’s now at 11.5 acres of that 30-mile goal.

In continuing to add 5 newly planted miles a year, the project is estimated to complete planting in 2018, said Morgan Parks, environmental outreach and engagement coordinator for the Clackamas River Basin Council.

Every year, Shade Our Streams looks for landowners along the Clackamas River and depositing streams who would volunteer their land for the project. Once a landowner volunteers, Shade Our Streams workers inspect the property during a site visit, then clean up the property by removing invasive weeds and performing other maintenance.

Finally, they restore native plants to the area, all at no cost to the landowner. After two years, they return to do more maintenance and ensure that the new plants are thriving.

This year, Shade Our Streams plans to become more active in the Boring and Sandy areas. The next work party will be held Saturday, April 26, at Sandy Bluff Park, a Shade Our Streams project site that is scheduled to receive nearly 8,500 plants in the next couple weeks.

But for now, Shade our Streams is focusing its green thumb efforts on Deep Creek.

“The Boring Damascus Grange has been volunteering since 2009,” Parks said. “They are very invested in this property.”

Saturday’s work party, which will take place from 9-11 a.m. at the Deep Creek Annex on Richey Road, planted in 2012, will center mainly around spreading mulch around those new trees and shrubs to protect them.

“When you spread mulch, it sort of acts like a blanket,” Parks said. “In winter months, it keeps them warmer, and in summer months, it keeps them cooler. It also helps to keep away invasive weeds.”

Parks hopes this stewardship workshop will help landowners and gardeners become invested in these plants even during the winter.

“We’re helping people realize that those naked twigs over there are still alive, they’re dormant, but they’re still alive, and they can help cultivate them,” she said.

Following the work party, there will be a Winter Plant ID Workshop from 11 a.m. to noon, further educating outdoorsy people on seasonal plant life. Free ID guides will be available to use in the field.

The Boring Damascus Grange then will provide a homemade lunch to volunteers and visitors, following a good hand washing, of course.

To RSVP for the event, contact Parks at 503-303-4372 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by Friday, Jan. 31.