New Project: Hileman Landing County Park Stewardship

The Santa Clara Community Foundation recently added stewardship of Hileman Landing County Park to its list of ongoing projects.

Regular work parties will be happening on the last Saturday of each month throughout the year. To participate, fill out the form for dates you’d like to attend at this Sign-Up Genius page.

By initiating this stewardship effort the Foundation has begun bringing together the wide range of stake-holders that are connected to this wonderful natural and riparian area near the Willamette River just north of Santa Clara at the end of Hileman Lane. These include Lane County Parks, McKenzie River Trust, Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, private land-holders, and the many who visit with pets, fishing poles, picnics, and go swimming and exploring, even the Oregon State Marine Board may be paying us a visit.

To kick off this effort, SCCF organized a work party on Wednesday, February 8th, 2023, to work on park projects (including invasive plant control) in collaboration with Lane County Parks and a team of young folks from Americorps/NCCC, and, of course, Santa Clara Neighbors!

Orienting the work party.

The event was a great success! Over 25 volunteers showed up to help begin to restore a park that has been neglected for years. The group ranged from young adults to retirees and in between.

The day started with a brief orientation and sign-in where we explained the importance of ecological restoration and the specific goals for the day. The volunteers were divided into teams and given tools to help with the restoration work, such as shovels, rakes, and gloves.

Manual removal of invasive English ivy.

We worked hard throughout the day, removing invasive plants, and clearing debris around the entrance and along trails in the surrounding woods. There was a great sense of excitement among the volunteers, who were thrilled to see some attention paid to the long-neglected area.

Not everyone was happy about the disruption, but are sure to be pleased with the results.

In addition to the restoration work, the event also included educational components, such as discussion on native plants and their importance to the local ecosystem. Volunteers also had the opportunity to learn about the history of the park and the local flora and fauna.

Jerry Finigan (volunteer, L) and Tim Foelker (SCCF board member), chasing litter near the gravel bar and talking about riparian ecosystems.
A little more prep and we’ll be ready to re-plant with native shrubs and trees.

By the end of the day, the park entrance was transformed. The volunteers had removed invasive species, and cleared away debris to make room for native plants. The feedback from volunteers will help us develop a work plan for the park going forward.

Overall, the event was a great success. Not only did it help kickstart the rehabilitation of a neglected park, but it also brought together members of the community, NGO’s, and government to work towards a common goal. The event was a great example of the power of partnerships, volunteerism and the importance of ecological stewardship for the health of our planet.

Snacks, hydration and information station staffed by volunteer, Deneen Foelker.

To find out more about Foundation projects and to help shape the future of the Santa Clara Neighborhood visit our Projects page, plus sign up for updates and other volunteer events. Or just contact us here to get on the mailing list.

Some of the Hileman work party young adults from Americorps.
Young folks from Americorps/NCCC that worked at Hileman all day.

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