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Marion SWCD chose Upper and Lower Mill Creek as its Focus Area for 2019-2021
by Meredith Hoffman

Our goal is to partner with landowners and managers to reduce sediment, nutrients, and pesticide deposition in Upper and Lower Mill Creek. 
Marion SWCD, along with local landowners and managers, can create a physical barrier to improve water quality of Mill Creek using a suite of practices such as ground cover, cover crop, conservation cover, field borders, filter strips and grass waterways.
In the 175,368 agricultural acres in the watershed, there are about 7,163 acres of bare ground or season crop ground that may benefit from this group of conservation practices.
With Mill Creek in mind, Marion SWCD tested a “pilot” cover crop program last year.  Landowners in Mill Creek as well as across the district participated. Over 94% of the funds were allocated three months after the program was released.
Are you interested in cover crop, conservation cover, field borders, filter strips and grass waterways? Marion SWCD provides technical assistance on these projects, and financial assistance may be available as well. 

Call Marion SWCD for more information at (503) 391-9927 and ask for Meredith Hoffman or Brandon Bishop.

2020 Director Elections:

Positions open for Zones 1, 2, 4 & At-Large 1

File between July 16- August 25

District boards work cooperatively as a unit to plan and oversee implementation of their district’s programs. Customary duties and responsibilities of all individual board members include:

  • Attend and actively participate in all board meetings
  • Be prepared for board meetings
  • Carry out committee responsibilities
  • Help with district functions and events
  • Participate in continuing educational workshops and attend area and state meetings of the Oregon Association of Conservation Districts
  • Stay knowledgeable of local conservation issues
  • Promote the district’s work to local landowners, constituents, agencies, and organizations
  • Promote the district’s work to legislators and other decision makers regarding district funding
Annual Meeting Awards

Congratulations to this year's fantastic group! 
Award Winners from left to right: Gayle Goshie, Caleb Yann, Jon Yoder, Ellen Egan, Carolyn Foland,
Lee Hardy, Ulrike Mengelberg,  and Board Chair Terry Hsu

Invasive Knotweed Control Project Coming this Summer to City of Salem!
by Jenny Meisel

Knotweed is an aggressive noxious weed designated by the State of Oregon and Marion County. There are four similar species of invasive knotweed that are difficult to tell apart.
Japanese Knotweed is the most common in Marion County.  Knotweeds are all large, robust perennial plants with bamboo-like stems that spread by underground roots to form dense thickets. Knotweed plants can clog small waterways and displace desirable vegetation, increase bank erosion and impact the quality of habitat for fish and wildlife.  Knotweed can also cause harm to infrastructure such as pipes, roads, sidewalks and driveways.  These plants can be found growing along waterways, roadsides, vacant lots, and in yards. 

The Marion SWCD is partnering with the City of Salem, Glenn-Gibson Watershed Council and Ash Creek Forest Management, Inc. to conduct surveys and treatments of knotweed in upland locations within the City of Salem this summer and fall. 

Marion SWCD has applied for a Watershed Protection and Preservation Grant from the City of Salem to help fund this project—funding is still pending.  The project is scheduled to begin in July with a large education and outreach effort and a call for knotweed locations from citizens in the City of Salem. 

We will also reach out to local Watershed Councils, Master Gardeners, and others to help report locations of knotweed that are visible from public places, like roads or sidewalks.  Marion SWCD plans to hire Ash Creek Forest Management, Inc. to help conduct surveys and to conduct knotweed treatments on properties where permission has been granted by the landowner.


Native Plant Sale 2020
by Jenny Meisel
This year’s native plant sale on March 14, 2020 will certainly be one to remember!  After coordinating the Native Plant Sale and Scholarship Fundraiser for 12 years, they all blend together, but this one will definitely stand out!  Two weeks before the native plant sale, the first coronavirus case was reported in Oregon and Governor Brown declared a State of Emergency on March 8.  On March 12, the Governor announced public schools would close beginning on March 16 and prohibited gatherings of 250 people or more. The Governor’s ‘Stay Home, Save Lives’ campaign began on March 23.

With so many rapid changes happening, Marion SWCD sprang into action to set up precautions for the Native Plant Sale for the safety of the public, volunteers and SWCD staff:
  • Hand sanitizer was available at checkout stations and the greeter station
  • Staff and volunteers used disposable gloves
  • Surfaces were sanitized on a regular basis throughout the day
  • The number of people allowed to enter the sale at the same time was limited to maintain the recommended social distance guidelines. We limited the number of people in the greenhouse at any one time to ~50, including staff and volunteers.
On-Line Outreach
by Jenny Ammon
What in the heck happened to all of the programs we were so excited for through the rainy, cold winter season?  COVID-19 happened, cancellations happened, home schooling happened, tears happened.  Then, a giant creative light came on and partnerships were illuminated and strengthened, questions were asked of folks as to what Marion SWCD could do to help keep conservation education moving…and here we are in June looking back on an intense pivot on the approach and delivery of conservation education.
Our first pivot was on the heals of the cancellation of Earth Day in Salem. We were partnering with several organizations to provide education for home, outdoors and community relating to earth friendly actions.  Working with other agencies allows for creative thinking and scaffolding of ideas: enter the Mid-Willamette Earth Challenge! 
Please reach out if you are interested in any of our lessons.  They are available on YouTube and Instagram, or visit us on Facebook for daily updates.
Marion SWCD Helps Landowners
Develop a Plan for Their Land
by Sara Hamilton

In January of 2020, Marion SWCD hosted the second annual Plan for Your Land workshop series in partnership with the North Santiam Watershed Council (NSWC). Originally developed through a Stakeholder Engagement grant received by the NSWC, the classes offered 10 free hours of conservation education to landowners around the region. Each participant received:
  • A thumb drive full of conservation information
  • Several different maps of their property
  • Weekly homework assignments
Glenn Ahrens, Extension Forester at Oregon State University Extension Service, has some audience participation during his talk on conservation and management of forests and small woodlots.

Representatives from partner organizations spoke about how they could help landowners. Left to right: Jenny Meisel, Marion SWCD; Rebecca McCoun, North Santiam Watershed Council; Anna Rankin, Pudding River Watershed Council; Nate Agalzoff, Oregon Department of Forestry; Ulrike Mengelberg, Energy Trust of Oregon; Les Bachelor, USDA-NRCS; Michael DeBlasi, Oregon Department of State Lands; Deb Paul, Linn SWCD.

North Santiam River Invasive Water Primrose Treatment and Survey Phase 2
by Jenny Meisel
For a second year Marion SWCD will be partnering with the North Santiam Watershed Council (NSWC) to tackle infestations of invasive water primrose in the North Santiam Watershed between Lyons and Stayton. The NSWC received a second grant from the Oregon State Weed Board to carry out another year of surveys and treatments. During last year’s surveys we found two large infested sloughs along the river that will be treated this year, and we added the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde as a partner on this project and will be treating a pond on property owned by the Tribe.
 If you think you have seen water primrose anywhere in the North Santiam Watershed or in other parts of Marion County, please report infestations to the Oregon Invasive Hotline:  (there are known infestations at Minto-Brown Island Park, Willamette Mission State Park and many other sites along the Willamette River).


Cooperators Go Above and Beyond
Brandon Bishop: Ag Conservation Planner

I am happy to report we have had the privilege this last fall and winter to work with some great cooperators that use best management practices throughout their operations.

Landowners have enrolled in our Landowner Assistance, Cover Crop and Special Projects Grant programs. They have invested in conservation with returns that benefit not only their operations but help us work toward our goals as well.

Conservation projects in our LAP program alone have been met with landowner investments of almost 3 to 1 on every dollar spent.
Oregon State University and Oregon Department of Ag seek landowners to participate in a study for the Agricultural Channel Maintenance Program
In the Garden: An Ode to Spring
by Janice Calkins: Office Coordinator

Springtime is one of my most favorite seasons!  Our natural world, gardens and landscapes come alive with green and flowering plants which  provide a profusion of astounding colors and textures!  The bees and insects buzz around adding to the joyful cadence of tree frogs, crickets, and birds.  Dusk and dawn bringing most treasured moments to experience.

Happy gardening!  We look forward to seeing you soon.
The Marion SWCD is an equal opportunity employer, providing services to the public without regard to race, religion, color, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, mental or physical disability, marital status, age or other protected status or activity in accordance with applicable law. Call 48 hours in advance to request assistance.
Marion SWCD is committed to ensuring digital accessibility for people with disabilities. We are continually improving the user experience for everyone, and applying the relevant accessibility standards. We welcome your feedback on the accessibility of Marion SWCD Newsletter. Please let us know if you encounter accessibility barriers on the Marion SWCD Newsletter at 503-391-9927 or email Thank you for working with us to make this a better newsletter for all.
Copyright © 2020 Marion Soil and Water Conservation District, All rights reserved.

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