CILOS: Community Involvement & Long-Term Ownership Strategy

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CILOS is a multi-year, community-based environmental education and restoration project to rehabilitate additional Willamette Valley habitat in the Whilamut Natural Area (WNA). The project involves a partnership between WRP, the City of Eugene, the Oregon Department of Transportation, and over ten elementary schools in the Eugene-Springfield area.

The CILOS project commenced in winter 2014, when WRP began orienting youth and community participants in site preparation efforts. This entailed covering a 3.5-acre area with geo-textile fabric to eliminate exotic vegetation. During the summer of 2014, WRP will engage community volunteers, summer youth program participants, and university interns in the collection of native seeds of grass and herbaceous species. In the fall of 2014, WRP’s Education Coordinator will lead students from participating schools through step-by-step propagation measures to ensure successful germination of collected species. Throughout the next several years of the project, students, community groups, and WRP staff will continue to plant starts and to monitor native growth in the project site.

dsc03642permissiondsc03639permissionCILOS involves the expansion of WRP’s From Seed to Habitat Education Program over the next several school years. Actively engaging more students in the WNA prairie restoration project not only supports WRP’s efforts to rehabilitate native habitat but also provides tremendous opportunities for participating youth. Lessons carried out as part of CILOS cohere with state standards and give local youth valuable hands-on experience with prairie restoration, empowering them to become ecological stewards and make a difference in their communities.

 

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In the 1960s and 1970s, portions of the WNA furthest to the east were utilized as a landfill. Transforming this area from a former landfill site to a vibrant prairie plant community will positively serve our local urban bioregions and support the park’s use as a natural and recreational area, and it will educate students about appropriate land-use decisions adjacent to riparian areas. ODOT also utilized an area adjacent to the project site as a staging ground for equipment and supplies during construction of the Interstate 5 river bridge. The CILOS project augments ODOT’s mitigation efforts, as the former staging area will be sown with native grass seeds to mitigate impacts from the storage of equipment.

We at WRP are excited to embark upon this multi-year project!

Please continue to visit our website and check our newsletter for updates.

 

Winter 2016 Update: Emergent Wetlands are planted with Carex stipata and Carex unilateralus!