The Southern Willamette Forest Collaborative had a successful Tree Planting weekend!
Here's the rundown of all we accomplished:
Friday - May 4th - Tree Prep
In preparation for the parade Saturday 15 volunteers helped bag 600 Willamette Valley Ponderosa Pines, 200 Douglas Firs, and 200 Incense Cedar.
Saturday - May 5th - Parade
20 volunteers walked alongside the Tree Planting Princess float, passing out 1,000 trees donated by the Bureau of Land Management. The float caught the judges' eye and we received the 2nd place ribbon!
Sunday - May 6th - Open House + Conversation
We hosted an Open House followed by a Community Conversation for community members.
At the Open House community members learned about a range of topics: the next steps the Rigdon Collaboration Committee will take as the Rigdon Collaborative Landscape Project moves forward. Biomass market opportunities for Oakridge, and how forest byproduct manufacturing could create jobs and boost local economy. How the Implementation Advisory Committee makes collaborative recommendations to the Forest Service for Stewardship Contract Projects that benefit forest health and contribute to local economies. Recommendations include the boundaries for local workforce area and restoration work such as trail maintenance, road maintenance, weed extraction, stream improvements, etc. How the Good Neighbor Authority partnership between the State of Oregon and the Forest Service can increase the pace, scale, and quality of restoration on federal lands, support local economies, and engage local communities through collaboration. Community Wildfire Preparedness: how the Forest Service and our community are undertaking preventative measures to mitigate the threat of wildfire.
Following the Open House community members gathered to discuss and share their perspective on what it means to live in an rural community surrounded by forests, how residents value the forests we live in, how the downturn in the timber economy affected Oakridge and Westfir and how we’ve moved forward. This community conversation was hosted by the Conversation Project where Oregon Humanities offers free programs that engage community members in thoughtful, challenging conversations about ideas critical to our daily lives and our state's future.
The folks who participated mentioned they felt we should be having more discussions like this within the community. Everyone agreed it is a worthwhile event and the SWFC hopes to host Oregon Humanities again for this topic.