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 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

Read more

Getting rid of invasive garlic mustard!

patch of invasive garlic mustard, flowering

Garlic mustard is a very invasive, fast-spreading weed, and Multnomah County has the worst infestation of it in Oregon. The roots produce a chemical that is toxic to other plants, and it can grow in most soil types. It can also grow in full sun or full shade, making it a threat to a wide variety of our native plants and habitats. You can help get rid of it, though – read on for some important tips about pulling up and getting rid of garlic mustard.

Many other plants are often mistaken for garlic mustard, especially before the flowers come up. Control is easiest when garlic mustard plants are in bloom (usually beginning in April), unless you can easily identify the rosettes (leaves) of the plant. Hand removal can be a successful technique in small patches that can be visited often and re-pulled frequently. Learn how to pull up garlic mustard and see more photos after the break! Read more

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