Restoration

At the end of the 19th century, farmers cleared vast forests of alder, maple, and massive cedar from the Valley. Nature seemed infinite, and over time farmers cleared the trees and shrubs right up to the riverbanks, not realizing that those riparian forests were central strands in the Valley’s web of life. Riparian forests filter silt and nutrients from runoff headed to the river, produce woody debris to shelter maturing salmon, and provide homes for a wide range of wildlife. Without streamside vegetation, precious farmland soil is lost to the river, fewer birds visit to regulate crop pests, and there are fewer homes for the native pollinators that ensure abundant crops.

For the last 15 years, Oxbow has been working with organizations like Stewardship Partners, King Conservation District, and the Snoqualmie Watershed Forum to clear invasive species from our lands and re-plant native streamside forests. Oxbow was one of the first farms to be designated certified Salmon-Safe in the Puget Sound Region. Today, guided by a comprehensive Ecological Management Plan for the property, we continue the work of restoration with more energy and hope than ever.

Restoration Work Parties

Restoration volunteers at work.

Our restoration team hosts work parties to restore the native habitats around the Oxbow property; restoration promotes diversity of wildlife and plants and maintains a healthy environment for growing food. Join us as we plant new native plants, care for the native plants that are already here, and remove the invasive plants that push out our native friends.

Restoration work parties are usually 3 to 4 hours long, including a brief tour of the farm and an introduction to Oxbow’s history and mission. No experience is necessary, but all work parties occur outdoors and involve physical work such as digging, pulling, and lifting. Volunteers should come prepared with close-toed shoes and gardening/thick leather gloves – think blackberries! Dress for the weather: wear sun protection, and long-sleeved shirts and long pants are recommended for invasive weed removal. Be sure to bring water and snacks, and you are welcome to bring a lunch and enjoy a family or group picnic on the farm after all of your hard work.

Sign up for scheduled volunteer restoration events or set up a private restoration event for your group by contacting our Restoration Volunteer Coordinator. Please be sure to indicate which event you are signing up for in your e-mail subject line.

If you are interested in receiving regular updates about our restoration work parties, contact our Restoration Volunteer Coordinator or follow us on Facebook.  If you are interested in becoming a regular restoration volunteer, take a short survey so that we can design our program with your schedule in mind.

Don’t forget to check back in to find out about Oxbow’s conservation and restoration efforts and successes.

2017 Restoration Work Party Schedule

June 9th 9:00AM-1:00PM – Weed Removal and Plant Maintenance in the Slough

Use the West Entrance. Follow the gravel road back to where the farm stand/pumpkin patch parking is in the fall. Please park on the grass, perpendicular to the gravel road. Meet at the covered picnic tables by 9:00. Bring garden pruners, clippers, a trowel and gloves if you have them. We will be clearing the grass and weeds from around our lovely native plants, digging up blackberry to help our planted natives thrive, and cleaning up our beloved slough riparian area. You are welcome to stay after the event to have a picnic! 

RSVP for June 9th, 2017 Restoration Work Party

June 17th  9:00AM-1:00PM Weed Removal and Plant Maintenance in the Slough

Use the West Entrance. Follow the gravel road back to where the farm stand/pumpkin patch parking is in the fall. Please park on the grass, perpendicular to the gravel road. Meet at the covered picnic tables by 9:00. Bring garden pruners, clippers, a trowel, and gloves if you have them. We will be clearing the grass and weeds from around our lovely native plants, digging up blackberry to help our planted natives thrive, and cleaning up our beloved slough riparian area. You are welcome to stay after the event to have a picnic! 

RSVP for June 17th, 2017 Restoration Work Party