EMSWCD endorses Outdoor School for All campaign

Students at Outdoor School - photo courtesy of MESD Outdoor School

Students at Outdoor School – photo courtesy of MESD Outdoor School

July 2 Update: Outdoor School legislature SB 439 will become Oregon law! It passed the floor of the House of Representatives with a 59-0 vote. Read more from the Outdoor School for All campaign here.

The Outdoor School For All campaign seeks to secure lasting public funding for every Oregon fifth or sixth grader to experience a full week of Outdoor education. At our last Board Meeting on March 2nd, 2015, the EMSWCD Board of Directors joined 11 other organizations by approving endorsement of the Outdoor School for All campaign.

Many District residents have come to our Board meetings to relate the positive impact that Outdoor School has had on their lives. Outdoor education has been shown to help students develop leadership, social and critical thinking skills, while also fostering an appreciation for the natural environment and the importance of conserving it. In recent years, EMSWCD has joined with other local entities to provide funding to our local Outdoor School. We believe a long-term, statewide funding solution is necessary to ensure all Oregon students have access to this valuable, engaging and highly educational experience. Read more

Host a workshop in your neighborhood!

Oregon iris flowers in the EMSWCD demonstration yard

We are still looking for a few new groups to partner with so we can offer more free workshops! Our workshops teach gardening practices that reduce pollution and conserve water while saving time, money and energy. Give your neighbors the opportunity to learn about landscaping for clean water and healthy habitat – host a workshop!

We are especially seeking more workshop locations in Gresham and North/Northeast Portland.

Anyone can host, it’s easy! Here’s how it works:
An interested Host (that’s you!) invites us (EMSWCD) to provide a free workshop to your community. We manage registration and promotion, providing professional presenters, fliers and workbooks. You reserve or provide a workshop location, help get the word out by distributing our workshop fliers, and assist with day of workshop needs.

Learn more about hosting on our Host a Workshop page.

To schedule a workshop in your neighborhood, contact Katie Meckes at katie@emswcd.org or 503-935-5368. We look forward to partnering with you!

Bringing Beneficial Insects to the Farm

Pollinator strip at Headwaters Farm, Mt Hood in the background

Healthy farmland is a microcosm of a heathy ecosystem; an abundance and diversity of life above and below the soil helping to make nutrients available to plants, ward off pests, pollinate crops, and contribute to the local food web. As the average farm size has grown, there has been a decline in both the quality and quantity of habitats that host farm ecosystems. Other farm practices like broad herbicide application and the reduction of flowering plants have also had negative impacts on beneficial native insects and honey bees.

Headwaters Farm serves as a demonstration site for several approaches to restoring on-farm habitat. The most prominent of these is the restoration work being done in the Dianna Pope Natural Area. This undisturbed area has great habitat and forage value to beneficial insects and is relatively close to the farmland. However, other habitat work is being done within and directly adjacent to fields actively in production. In partnership with the Xerces Society, EMSWCD is developing three defining habitat features: pollinator meadows, hedgerows, and beetle banks. Read more

Headwaters Farm Tour on June 24th!

at Headwaters Farm in Orient, Oregon

Are you planning on applying to the Headwaters Farm Incubator Program (HIP) for the 2016 season? Or are you interested in learning more about how the East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District supports the development of beginning farmers?

Either way, come join us for a tour of Headwaters Farm on Wednesday, June 24th at 6:30pm. We’ll discuss how the incubator program works, what the farm offers, how to apply, and other interesting topics relating to the intersection of stewardship and productive small-scale agriculture. Light refreshments will be provided!

Please RSVP to Rowan Steele, Headwaters Farm Program Manager
Phone: (503) 935-5355
Email: rowan@emswcd.org

Read more

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