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Live outdoor education is back! Last weekend, we got to host a table at a STEM day event hosted by the Girl Scouts of Oregon and SW Washington at the Willamette Heritage Center. After more than a year and half, it was such a joy to see smiling faces (100% masked!) both on kids and their adults alike! Mill Creek offered some fun onsite macroinvertebrates exploration, including some very active clams. Many kids were amazed to learn that they could flip over rocks in their local creek or pond and find some critters to check out on their own. We also talked about why it's important to explore *gently* whether we're inside or streamside, and all of the lessons about stream health we can learn from aquatic organisms.1. Two white plastic tubs with water, leaves, and rocks on a table with various tools for identifying aquatic organisms. 2. A view of the exhibit hall from the location of our table. 3. Two enthusiastic young participants examining freshwater clams. 4. A video of an active freshwater clam. Many thanks to everyone who came together and made this day happen! #girlscouts #girlscoutsoforegonandswwashington #outdooreducation #macroinvertebrates #stem #willametteheritagecenter

By Webmaster / November 22, 2021
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Fall is in full effect here in the South Santiam, and the council has been busy. This is my favorite time of year to be out- it's beautiful, and each day holds the possibility of Autumn treasures. Brightly colored leaves, fungi in every direction, changed visual displays in creeks and streams as water rises and mobilizes wood and leaves. Take a quick tour through our work so far this week!Photo 1. McDowell Creek near the mouth, where it flows into the South Santiam river. Trees with yellow and orange leaves line a small creek. Photo 2. Restoration and Education Manager, Mike, holds a thermometer mid-creek.Photo 3. Restoration and Education Manager, Mike, holds a thermometer mid-creek. Mike is collecting instantaneous water temperature for calibrating the temperature logger that's deployed here. Photo 4. This resilient yew tree provides shade and nutrients, protecting the streamside and everything that lives in and around the water. Photo 5. McDowell Creek higher up in the watershed. Creek lined by trees with orange and yellow leaves and a small white bridge crossing the bridge. Photo 6. Crabtree Creek, midway up the basin. Broad creek lined by trees with yellow and orange leaves. Photo 7: A close-up of brown and cream colored fungi growing along a small tree trunk. Photo 8. Leaving our parking spot by the creek better than we found it. Mike, on the side of the road above the creek next to a car, holds a bag of trash.On the ancestral lands of the Kalapuya, Tsankupi and Santiam peoples.

By Webmaster / October 27, 2021
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New Research Suggests Thinning Treatments Can Reduce Severe Fire Risk For Years

By Mike Vernon / October 12, 2021
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Prescribed fire is an important tool for land managers seeking to reduce fuels, protect communities, and restore historic conditions in fire-prone forest types. However, due to liability issues, agency capacity, and smoke restrictions, the application of prescribed fire lags behind treatment of forests through thinning. A recent study published in Forest Ecology and Management investigated…

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ODOT is closing U.S. 20 on September 8-10 to install two culverts under the highway, between House Rock Campground and Sheep Creek. Plan ahead and allow extra time to use the signed detour routes while the road is closed. Find out more information by visiting the project webpage linked in our bio.

By Webmaster / August 23, 2021
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This is Mike. He's the one on the left, facing a group of students who want to learn more about the natural world through the lens of salmon ecology. Mike is part of a cadre of folks who meet young learners by the creek during Salmon Watch trips. He is about to share some knowledge about water quality and what it can tell us about the watery world of salmon. Is Mike prepared? Heck yes he is. How is he so good at what he does? Training.Want to be like Mike? Come to one of our upcoming Salmon Watch volunteer trainings and we'll show you how!Trainings are August 26 (Waterloo Park) and September 11 (Albany Senior Center). More information at LBSW.org and on our website– just follow the link in our bio!📸: Adult man talking to group of middle school aged students across a table that has tools for testing water quality. They are standing along a river under leafy trees.#salmonwatch #lbsw #everykidoutdoors #volunteer #outdooreducation

By Webmaster / August 11, 2021
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BLT Poker Run: September 11, 2021

By Shannon Richardson / August 10, 2021
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This fun event will help promote existing trail use within Lebanon and raise funds for continuing trail development into the future! Participants will walk, stroll, ride, roll and trot along segments of Lebanon’s trail system, visiting “poker dealers” hosted by local businesses along the way. The event starts at 9 am, dealers are available until…

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Linn-Benton Salmon Watch Volunteer Trainings: August 26 and September 11

By Shannon Richardson / August 10, 2021
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Our Salmon Watch season is right around the corner and after last year’s COVID-related hiatus, we are eager to return to in-person programming! This outdoor experiential education program helps 5th and 6th graders explore their watershed through the lens of salmon ecology. Small groups of students rotate through four stations—Water Quality, Riparian Areas, Macroinvertebrates, and…

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Crabtree Lake

Ending the Dog Days of Summer

By Shannon Richardson / August 10, 2021
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Recently, I got curious about how the later part of summer became known as the “dog days” of the season. My own dogs spend most of their days hiding in the shade and waiting until it cools enough to walk to the river for a swim or chase the ball at the park. My handy…

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Exciting news! Oregon is releasing a new salmon license plate design that will be available starting September 1. Special fees from sales of the license plates go to the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board (OWEB) to help fund salmon habitat protection and restoration. The original plates launched in 1998 and, so far, have earned more than $8 million dollars.To help promote the new plates, the Oregon Conservation Partnership is hosting a special eBay auction for low-numbered "first run," plates SM 00001 through SM 00020. This is a fundraiser to support salmon recovery in Oregon and the winning bidder for each plate gets to select one of several state-wide, environmental non-profit organizations to receive their donation (bid price). Bids must be placed by 5PM on July 30th, 2021, so time is of the essence.If you win the auction, you get a sweet, new, low-numbered salmon plate.  You can then choose to designate that the proceeds go to Network of Oregon Watershed Councils.  Your donation to NOWC will help support technical training for Watershed Council staff members state-wide.A link to more information on the new salmon plates, including how to bid, is in our bio.  For more information on NOWC, please visit their website at oregonwatersheds.org!

By Webmaster / July 27, 2021
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Linn-Benton Salmon Watch brings young learners outside to experience the world through the lens of salmon ecology. This program is only possible due to the collaboration and mutual support of many partners in Linn and Benton Counties. The LBSW steering committee members are excited to announce that we are seeking a volunteer coordinator for this year's field trips! This temporary, paid position will work in both an office setting AND a field setting, helping recruit, train, and support volunteers, who are vital to make each trip a success. The full announce is linked in our bio, and you are welcome to DM with questions! 1. Photo of a group of elementary school kids standing on a gravel bar next to a river with a canopy of leafy trees in fall colors of yellow and orange.#linnbentonsalmonwatch #nochildleftinside #outdoororegon #outdooreducation

By Webmaster / July 8, 2021
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