Thank You Molalla Planting Volunteers!


“As you can see, these roots are pretty long, so it’s going to be tough, but try to dig a hole deep enough so that the roots can go straight down into the ground,” explained Jim Crawford, Fruit Grower’s Supply Area Forester. Having Jim's expertise on hand was invaluable as he guided us through the best planting practices during our recent volunteer efforts at our first Molalla restoration site!

Long rooted willow saplings | Fontaine Rittlemann

Over 30 volunteers joined us on the last two Saturdays of February, collectively planting over 800 plants of a wide variety of native riparian species. Despite facing rain and wind on the first Saturday, our dedicated volunteers persevered, successfully planting most of the upland trees and shrubs. Fortunately, the weather smiled upon us on the following Saturday, February 24th, treating volunteers to sunny skies as they focused their efforts on planting streamside willows.

Volunteers on both Saturdays quickly realized that Jim wasn’t joking about the length of the roots making for difficult planting. However, those long roots are likely to increase the odds that the plants are able to survive through their first year and beyond. Scholls Valley Native Nursery, where the plants were grown, explained that they aim to keep their soils healthy without the use of harsh pesticides and herbicides that can stunt root growth.

This replanting initiative covered approximately one acre of land that had been disturbed during the placement of instream logs last summer. Most of the 550+ pieces of wood placed in Copper Creek, a key tributary of the Molalla, were placed by helicopter, but about 50 pieces had to be placed by loaders, which disturbed the riparian soils. 

Replanting with a variety of native species will accelerate the establishment of a robust riparian plant community in the restored areas, with the hope of enhancing shade and reducing water temperatures in the aftermath of the 2020 fires.

None of this would have been possible without the enthusiastic participation of our volunteers, and we extend our heartfelt thanks to each and every person who helped! For those interested in getting involved in the future, keep your eyes open for announcements advertised through our weekly “Redd It” newsletter. You can also sign up to be added to our volunteer mailing list at the button below to stay up to date on upcoming opportunities!

Our next opportunity to connect with and help the Molalla is by participating in our first Molalla Bass Bash at Canby Community Park, June 22, 2024. Sign up at the button above to receive more details soon!

And a huge thank you to NFS Fellow Fontaine Rittlemann for beautifully capturing photos of volunteer restoration efforts in action!


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