Category Archives: News

New draft Equity Statement and comment opportunity

In 2015 EMSWCD staff began working on awareness building, training and program development around diversity, equity and inclusion. Our communities and workplaces are strengthened by diversity, and more inclusive conservation efforts are necessary to ensure lasting and equitable outcomes. We acknowledge the historical and ongoing disparities in income, education and health in our communities. We also understand that these disparities can impact who has access to healthy land and water. For these reasons, our staff and board are committed to making meaningful changes in the work we do so that all communities can benefit from our programs.

We have recently developed a draft Equity Statement and are seeking input. We hope you will visit our new Equity page, read the draft Equity statement, and let us know if you have any comments, concerns or questions.

From our farmers: Mora Mora’s first year

Mora Mora farm stand

This is a farmer-contributed post in our “From our farmers” series, written by Catherine Nguyen of Mora Mora Farm, who is enrolled in our Farm Incubator Program.

Mora Mora Farm is a single-farmer, half-acre, diverse vegetable operation that just wrapped up its first season through the Headwaters Farm Incubator Program. Mora Mora grows produce to sell at one weekend farmers’ market and for a handful of friends in the city. When people find out that it’s just me running the farm, doing everything from seeding and harvest to bed preparation and marketing, the normal response is, “Wait. You’re doing this all on your own?!”

The decision to begin as a single-farmer operation simply stemmed from my own personality. I like being able to see the whole picture: production and sales, starting up my farm and setting up systems to maintain it, figuring out where operational weak points are, and how I can optimize the system as a whole. I knew if I ever wanted to have ownership of a farm and manage people well, I’d better know what the heck I was doing and why.

Of course, being a single-farmer operation comes with its challenges: Read more

Native Plant Sale recap

Pacific serviceberry (Amelanchier_alnifolia)

Our 2019 Native Plant Sale was a success! With the help of our incredible volunteers, over 14,000 native trees and shrubs were distributed on February 16th, enhancing local habitat and helping keep our land and water healthier.

If you’d like to receive a reminder about next year’s Native Plant Sale, you can join our email list. You can also visit our Native Plant Sale FAQ page to learn more about the event. If you are looking for other places to obtain native plants in the meantime, please see our Local Sources of Native Plants page.

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!


Read more

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!

Read more

Another success for the Working Farmland Protection Program

We are pleased to announce that our Working Farmland Protection program has closed on yet another important working farmland transaction. This September, EMSWCD acquired a 20-acre property in Corbett, ensuring a future for agriculture on this blueberry, raspberry and blackberry farm.

In the short term, the property will be made available for lease to agricultural operators. The property will likely ultimately be sold to a farmer with the protections of a working farmland easement – a legally binding blueprint for the future of the property which ensures it will remain in agricultural use. As part of the transaction, EMSWCD also secured an option to acquire a working farmland easement on another 20-acre property owned by the sellers. Read more

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