Nature Notes 7 – Leaves and snow

Welcome to EMSWCD’s Nature Notes series! Nature Notes shares small moments and interesting observations from our property, as well as related natural history tidbits, on a weekly to monthly basis.

November 30th, 2018

Natural Leaf and Snow Management

Tempted to pull out that leaf-blower for one last fall clean-up? Please consider raking instead. Not only are leaf blowers noisy, they are also very bad for the environment and human health.

Did you know…

  • Two-stroke engines emit hundreds of times more air pollution than cars. This pollution contributes to global warming, smog and acid rain.
  • Air pollution also raises risks of cancer, heart disease and asthma, especially in children.
  • The forced hot air damages plants and soil organisms, and compacts soil which makes plants more vulnerable to summer drought.
  • Electric leaf blowers create less air pollution and are somewhat quieter, but raking is still a better alternative.

leaves with beads of water

Leaf cover is beneficial for the soil and also provides habitat for many pollinators and beneficial insects – leave those leaves!

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We are hiring: Community Connections Liaison

EMSWCD office

EMSWCD is hiring for a Community Connections Liaison! This exciting position will work with communities and organizations throughout the urban areas of the district, while also assisting with event coordination and outreach, supporting diversity, equity and inclusion efforts, and engaging with community groups and community leaders.

Learn more about the position
and how to apply

Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. The initial application review will take place on November 22nd, 2018.

Launch your conservation project with a Partners in Conservation grant!

students planting at a grant project site

We are now accepting applications for the 2019 PIC Grant cycle! The Partners in Conservation (PIC) program provides funding from $5,000 to up to $100,000 to support conservation projects and conservation education in the District. Please take a look at the new 2019 PIC Guidelines to learn more. To begin your application, visit our online grants management system, ZoomGrants.

Apply on the EMSWCD
ZoomGrants webpage

Applications are due by December 14th, 2018. We also made some changes this year to our funding model and grant categories this year. Some highlights:

  • PIC grant requests will be considered up to $100,000 and for up to two years of funding.
  • PIC Plus grants will not be offered this fiscal year.
  • Equity/Capacity Building will no longer be a stand-alone funding category. Equity criteria will be incorporated into other funding categories to reflect its importance in all grantmaking areas. Capacity building will be incorporated into the Environmental Education category to reflect a focus on supporting training and internal educational opportunities.

Learn more about our PIC Grant Programs and how to apply on the PIC Grants page.

A note about elections

We’ve received a number of questions about the elections this year and wish to provide some helpful information.

  • Oregon Revised Statutes determine soil and water conservation district board director eligibility criteria and election process. ORS 568.560 (3) details zone director qualifications. ORS 568.530 (2) – (4) details the write-in procedures.
  • The Oregon Department of Agriculture processes candidate paperwork, determines eligibility, and forwards to the county elections office.
  • The Multnomah County Elections Division counts votes for qualified candidates who filed the necessary paperwork by the identified deadlines.
  • The East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District (EMSWCD), as a government agency, does not participate in the election process and does not lobby for any specific candidate or issue.

EMSWCD has three Board Director positions on the ballot. As identified below, there are two incumbents running for the Zone 3 and At-large 2 positions. . In addition, the Oregon Department of Agriculture has informed us that, as of November 7th, 2018, two write-in candidates had been determined eligible and one candidate’s eligibility was under review for the Zone 1 position.

Zone 1 write-in candidates:

  • Gabrielle Rossi
  • Paula Gagnon
  • Rachelle Dixon (under review)

Zone 3 candidate:

  • Michael Guebert

At-large 2 candidate:

  • Allison Hensey

If you would like more information about Board Director positions, qualifications, and elections, please see our Board page or the Oregon Department of Agriculture’s website.

This post was first published on October 26th and edited on November 1st, 2018 for clarification and to include updates on write-in candidates. The post was again edited on November 5th and November 7th, 2018 to include further updates from the Oregon Department of Agriculture on write-in candidates.


Upcoming EMSWCD Board and Committee Meetings

The East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District (EMSWCD), serving all of Multnomah County East of the Willamette River, has scheduled Board meetings and Grants, Land Legacy and Personnel Committee meetings at the District Office (5211 N. Williams Ave, Portland, OR 97217) for the months of October through December 2018.

Visit this page to see a calendar of upcoming meetings.

Nature Notes 6 – Winter gardening for birds and pollinators

Honey bees visit late-blooming Douglas asters

Welcome to EMSWCD’s Nature Notes series! Nature Notes shares small moments and interesting observations from our property, as well as related natural history tidbits, on a weekly to monthly basis.

October 15th, 2018

Winter Gardening for Birds and Pollinators

The goldenrod has gone to seed, and honeybees are scouring the last of the fall asters. Here at EMSWCD, we employ a few simple practices to reduce the fall garden work and help birds and pollinators survive the winter. Read on to learn what you can do!

Did you know…

  • Birds feed on seeds and insects through the winter. In the spring they will need lots of insects to feed their young. You can help birds by leaving lots of habitat for pollinators and other beneficial insects to shelter safely through the winter.
  • Adult butterflies, ladybugs, and many other beneficial insects overwinter in rock crevices, under bark, and in leaf litter. They lay their eggs in stems, on twigs, and under leaves. Pollinators and their larvae shelter in hollow standing stalks, and beetles take refuge in clumping grasses.
  • A natural winter garden is a healthy pollinator hotel!

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