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.

How to participate

Lend a hand weeding and planting beautiful northwest plants this fall! If you just love the challenge of removing blackberry, we’ve still got plenty left just for you and your shovel. Take a selfie with your favorite plant and come back next year to see how its grown! 

RSVP for restoration events below. When you come, use Oxbow’s Public Entrance at 268th Ave NE, park in the marked areas, and meet near the Farm Stand. We will meet at the start time (rain or shine!) and walk to our restoration site from there. Bring a water bottle, garden pruners or clippers, a trowel, gloves and any other gardening tools that you like to use if you have them. Gloves, loppers, and shovels will be provided if you need them. You are welcome to stay after the event to have a picnic. 

Please RSVP using the button below. Be sure to mention which Restoration Work Party date(s) you’re interested in when you respond.

2018 Restoration Work Party Schedule

We’re excited to have you join us for some satisfying restoration work that protects native plants and improves habitat for wildlife of all kinds! Please RSVP using the green button below; if you’re planning to attend the Stewardship Partners restoration event on October 13th, use the direct registration link below.

Sunday, September 30th | 9AM-1PM

Saturday, October 13th | 10AM-2PM with Stewardship Partners. Please register via their website.

Sunday, October 21st | 9AM-1PM

Saturday, November 10th | 9AM-1PM

Sunday, November 18th | 9AM-1PM

Sunday, December 2nd | 9AM-1PM

RSVP for a Restoration Work Party

Minor Waivers 

Please note that while we welcome minors to volunteer with us, the following waivers must be filled out by a parent or guardian and returned to our Restoration Volunteer Coordinator, either by email at or in person, the day of your volunteer event! 

Volunteer Service Agreement + Photo Release – Minor 2018

Donate to Oxbow and help us carry out our mission!

Oxbow is a 501c(3) nonprofit organization, and we can’t do this work without your help! We’re grateful for your contributions.