Photo above: Camas lilies, the Indigenous Gardens at Vesper Meadow Restoration Preserve. Photo by Mark Lunn photography 2019; Photo courtesy of Vesper Meadow.

Volunteer opportunities available for those seeking to engage in active land, environment and natural systems restoration

Ashland, OR – 06 October 2022 – Vesper Meadow Education Program, which seeks to build a culture of land stewardship and nature connection in Southern Oregon, will hold “Beaver Days”  from October 13-18, 2022. The five-day event is focused on restoring Latgawa Creek with novel beaver-inspired techniques, and is the culmination of four years of research, monitoring and preparation.

Located on the Vesper Meadow Restoration Preserve outside of Ashland, Oregon, event volunteers work together to make human-created beaver-based structures, remove invasive plants and plant native shrubs. They will simultaneously be learning about critical process-based restoration techniques that can start to mend the waterway and ecosystem degradation that has occurred over decades related to decades of over-grazing and water diversion. 

“We believe that Beaver Days will mark a huge turning point for the hydrologic system, wildlife habitat, and the native plant ecosystem around Latgawa Creek – giving the community the chance to look at land management in a holistic way,” said Jeanine Moy, Director of the Vesper Meadow Education Program. “It’s empowering for people to become involved with programs like this, in such a hands-on way, that directly benefit the environment.”

The model and restoration techniques employed during Beaver Days can help to address prevalent environmental issues across the West, which share many similarities. From water shortages to climate change and from wildlife habitat deterioration to species endangerment, programs like this can create a framework to positively impact these challenges, while engaging communities in restoration. 

Those interested in volunteering for Beaver Days can sign up for morning or afternoon shifts on the website. Work requires walking in the meadow on uneven surfaces, bending, carrying 5-25 pounds (moderate – heavy effort). Further instructions and information will be provided for those who register online. 

Other upcoming events at the Vesper Meadow Restoration Preserve include “Gathering Spaces Design Day” on October 20, focused on creating the foundation for the Indigenous Garden revival on the property and “Native Garden Restoration Day” on October 23 to re-seed native grasses and shrubs. This stewardship opportunity also supports the Indigenous Garden Network, a Tribally-led partnership.

Support for the Vesper Meadow Education Program and its projects come from a variety of sources including U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Gray Family Foundation, The Confederated Tribes of the Siletz Indians, Roundhouse Foundation and others.

About Vesper Meadow Education Program
Founded in 2018, the Vesper Meadow Education Program’s mission is to build a culture of land stewardship and strengthen community connections through partnership with scientists, Tribes, artists, educators, and other community leaders. The organization’s programs, including public workshops, student education and internships, Tribal partnership projects, community events and more, provide an integrated approach to cultivating and sustaining the human-nature connection. All programming is enriched with biological observation, conservation science, art, ethnobotanical and cultural understandings.

About Vesper Meadow Restoration Preserve
The Vesper Meadow Restoration Preserve is a restoration and demonstration site for the Vesper Meadow Education Program, and consists of two interconnected upland wet meadows surrounded by mixed conifer forest in the southern Cascades. Situated on the high divide of the Cascade-Siskiyou ranges, they are headwaters for two major Pacific Northwest Coast watersheds: the Rogue River and Klamath River basins. In addition to being a place-based restoration project, the Preserve is the outpost for community science, native food cultivation, and art programs.

Published On: October 6th, 2022 / Categories: Featured Grant Stories, Grant News /