Our 2016-17 Work Plan

Our work plan for the 2016-17 fiscal year is now available! You can download the Annual Work Plan here.

The mission of the East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District is to help people care for land and water. Our vision is that our lands and waters are healthy and sustain farms, forests, wildlife and communities. Each year we create a work plan to organize and prioritize our work, and set specific program goals to further our mission and vision. The work plan is organized by the work in our four programmatic units: Finance and Operations (The Finance and Operations Program focuses on the administrative aspects of the EMSWCD’s work, including board and committee management, budgeting and financial management, contracting, human resources, office management, facilities management, and marketing and media.), Urban Lands (The Urban Lands Program provides workshops, project consultations, demonstration projects and public events, such as native landscaping tours and native plant sales.), Rural Lands (The Rural Lands Program focuses on providing advice to farmers and other land managers on best practices, improving riparian habitats, and eradicating invasive weeds.), and Conservation Legacy (The Conservation Legacy Program focuses on helping new farmers get established, on protecting and restoring agricultural, natural resource, and access to nature lands as well as providing funding for partners and allies for conservation-related activities.).

You can also learn more about EMSWCD and the work we do in the District in the About EMSWCD section. Contact us at (503) 222-7645 or info@emswcd.org to find out how we can help you care for land and water.

Entering a new strategic partnership with the Columbia Slough, Johnson Creek and Sandy River Basin Watershed Councils

Jay Udelhoven and all three Watershed Council Executive Directors sign the SPA agreement.

We are proud to announce the launch of a new long-term partnership with the Columbia Slough Watershed Council, the Johnson Creek Watershed Council, and the Sandy River Basin Watershed Council! Under this five-year Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA), we will work together with the watershed councils to plan for and implement joint conservation projects within our service area (all of Multnomah County east of the Willamette River). The partnership will include grant funding up to $1.5 million from EMSWCD to the watershed councils as well as joint fund-raising from other sources.

Find out more about the partnership and initial project funding here.

The 2016 Naturescaped Yard Tour was a success!

Thanks to everybody who attended our Naturescaped Yard Tour! The event took place on Saturday, May 14th. Six residential yards and two school yards were featured in the tour, each showcasing unique and creative ways of integrating naturescaping and stormwater management. In spite of a little rainy weather, over 400 people attended the tour! Stay tuned; we will post more information and photos from the event soon.

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

From our farmers: On the challenges of farming and family

John and Heather's Family - Springtail Farm

This is the fifth in our “From our farmers” series, which was contributed by John Felsner of Springtail Farm, one of the farmers enrolled in our Farm Incubator Program.

The challenges of producing food are innumerable: prices for land, materials, inputs, fuel, and insurance always seem to be rising; the uncertainties and rapid transformation of climate and weather patterns; eking out a living in a fickle market, and the list goes on. When my partner Heather and I made a decision to start a small family of our own, we were familiar with the difficulties of market gardening, as well as the satisfaction and promise it provided. What we were entirely unfamiliar with were children. What we’ve discovered since having one—and what has been both rewarding and unfathomably challenging—is that the hardest part of raising a healthy child while producing food is learning to manage relationships. Because, like good, honest food production, a child demands a full, healthy community in order to thrive and meet his or her full potential.

The highest hurdle for us with raising a child and farming is making time for everything that needs to be done day in-and-day-out. An off-farm source of income has always been the mainstay of our farming work, but this presents additional challenges. Read more

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