ABOUT THE PROJECT
This project was started in 2014 to give students experience in monitoring and data collection while benefiting the community and the local environment. Since the start of this program, University of Oregon students have been working to improve the health and environmental quality of Goose Creek, the stream that runs through Whitewater Ranch. Planting and monitoring vegetation along the riparian area of the creek will ultimately create shade for the stream and habitat for pollinators, returning it back to it’s natural state prior to the introduction of invasive grasses and poor land use management. Whitewater Ranch is a Christmas tree and organic blueberry farm located in Leaburg, Oregon. The owners of Whitewater Ranch wanted to improve their stream’s water quality not just for their benefit, but for the benefit of the entire community as well. They also hoped to create a habitat for natural pollinators living on their land to help pollinate their organic blueberry fields. This goes along with their goal to manage their land sustainably and respectfully.
The goals of the Environmental Leadership Program’s Riparian Restoration project are to improve the water quality of Goose Creek and increase native pollinator populations, which will benefit the local environment, the owners of Whitewater Ranch, and the users of water from the McKenzie River. We also aim to improve the biodiversity of this riparian habitat through planting and maintaining native tree and shrub species and monitoring our work.