About Us

The Walama Restoration Project (WRP) is a community organized non-profit, founded in 2001, dedicated to environmental stewardship and biological diversity through education and habitat restoration.

Forest Service staff showing the SWFC the land scape for the Rigdon Project. Jim's Creek Pine oak

WRP’s functions are two-fold: 1) To promote the conservation and protection of our natural resources and biological diversity by maintaining and restoring threatened ecosystems in critical watersheds. 2) To implement experiential programs that address local ecosystem awareness and habitat rehabilitation for local youth and community members.

We have cleared over 30 acres of English Ivy and Armenian blackberry throughout city parks and have facilitated oak savanna restoration with the Nature Conservancy in the foothills of the Western Cascades. In addition to our work as restoration contractors, WRP has collaborated with the City of Eugene, the City of Eugene Stream Team Program, and two school districts on habitat-specific school projects including riparian restoration along the Willamette River, seed collection projects in upland and wetland habitats, and Oregon oak education in Lane County. We also collaborate with other non-profits and local watershed groups such as Friends of Hendricks Park and the McKenzie Watershed Council to facilitate programs ranging from seed collection and propagation workshops; to riparian enhancement along salmon-spawning creeks; to established in-the-field educational curriculums for two school districts.

WRP Staff

photos 153Yotokko Kilpatrick – Founder (2001-2016)

Yotokko Kilpatrick is the founder and previous Operations Director of WRP. He has designed, implemented and coordinated crews for numerous stewardship projects in the Willamette Valley and in the Central Cascades since 2001. He was the site planner for riparian projects including three Lost Creek re-vegetation projects in Dexter, Oregon, designed protocols for work on over 60 acres in sensitive areas, and has trained over forty employees to identify key native and invasive plant species in our area. Prior to founding WRP, he was a technician and fundraiser from 1998 to 2001 for Lomakatsi Restoration, a non-profit organization based in Ashland, Oregon. There, he performed invasive removal, fuels reduction, tree thinning, and planting services on over 400 acres of private land in over five watersheds throughout the Klamath-Siskiyou bioregion.

Kris Elsbree, Restoration Director

Kris Elsbree, WRP’s crew leader, hails from upstate New York.  In his early days, Kris worked to create and maintain George V Vanderbilt Park.  Chris attended Lane Community College and was President of the Lane Community College Learning Garden.  Working with Walama since 2008, Kris excels in the leadership skills and field knowledge necessary to guide the crew an land contracts.

nicolestaffphotoNicole Smedegaard- Education Director

Nicole is from rural southern Oregon and has been working as the Education Coordinator for Walama Restoration Project in Eugene since 2010.  Nicole developed FSH into a multi-year program to serve schools consistently yet also provide flexibility to accommodate teacher’s schedules and ever changing state standards in science and standardized testing.   The curriculum developed by Nicole utilizes hands on activities to cover all the basics of the plant life cycle, pollinators and habitats of the Willamette Valley.  Propagating native prairie species with the students and hosting field trips of  30- 60 students at a time takes a considerable amount of safety awareness, outdoor instruction skills (often in inclement weather) and of course patience. Nicole maintains current Wilderness First Responder certifications and utilizes group management skills built as an Outdoor Recreation instructor for the City of Eugene’s after school programs to facilitate getting kids outside in a safe and productive manner. With a B.A. in English from the University of Oregon, Nicole is currently fulfilling grant writer duties for Walama Restoration in addition to running FSH, maintaining tens of thousands of healthy wildflower starts at the nursery and working alongside the crew to prep sites for planting.


bio photoStephen Repicky, Canvasser

Steve Repicky has come to the WRP as a Community Organizer with a passion to unite his home and his community to protect and revive our environment.  A recent transplant from Michigan, Steve has had the pleasure of working door to door to protect The Great Lakes, advocate against sexual assault in Denver Colorado, and here in Oregon he’ll now have organized coast to coast developing community outreach programs to restore protections for our air and water.  Steve looks forward to meeting you, most likely at your home, to continue to teach about the WRP and how you can get involved!

025The Field Crew

These folks are the true backbone of our organization (although their backs may not always feel that great after work). The crew tackles contract work, partnering with government agencies and private landowners to remove invasive species and provide the technical skills needed for native habitat restoration.





WRP Board of Directors

IMG_14401Taylor Zeigler, Board Member 

B.S. in Anthropology, Appalachian State, North Carolina

Taylor Zeigler has worked with WRP on restoration projects since 2004. Originally from the Southeast, Taylor moved to the Willamette Valley in 2000 to study and practice organic gardening at Aprovecho Research Center in Cottage Grove. He brings to the field a pro-plant attitude and many skills related to permaculture. A few of his horticultural interests and endeavors include promoting and propagating Paw paws, persimmons and mulberries, conducting general tree care, and developing gardens for native seed grow-out.  Taylor is an enthusiastic seed saver and has taught numerous local classes on the subject.


Jesse McAlpine, Board Secretary

M.S. in Biology, Project Manager, Environmental Consultant

Jesse was a long time Walama field crew member who joined the board of directors after completing his graduate work studying neotropical orchid pollination strategies and fungal interaction. He currently does part time botany consulting and full time farm work on his property.



Nicole Smedegaard, Board Member (non voting)

BA in English and Art, University of Oregon

Nicole is the Education Director for WRP.  Coordinator in Fall 2010.  A native to Oregon, Nicole grew up in Rogue River. Nicole teaches environmental education, outdoor recreation, and raft guides in the  summer.  Her passions are botany, ecology, conservation, and outdoor adventure.

Neil Langlois 006

Neil Langlois, Board President

B.S. in Accounting, University of Oregon, CPA

Neil knows that helping people and assuming a “pay it forward” perspective yields endless dividends, and he enjoys it too!  Neil is continually looking for opportunities to continue helping others.  His current position as a CPA at Jones & Roth CPAs & Business Advisors allows him to to help individuals and businesses meet their regulatory and organizational goals.

FullSizeR1Krystal Abrams, Board Member

Environmental Sciences, University of Oregon

Krystal has worked previously for Walama Restoration Project recruiting and managing volunteers for non-chemical pollinator habitat restoration work parties. She currently works with Beyond Toxics managing the Save Oregon’s Bees campaign to create state policy changes that will provide pollinator protections, ensuring their survival -and ours.


Gen Schaack, Board Member

BA in Mathematics, BA in Fine Arts from the University of Oregon

While at the UO, Gen cultivated her love of education by working in the Math and Science Libraries as a tutor. She is currently completing her Master’s degree in Educational Policy Administration and Nonprofit Management. At Wellsprings Friends School, Gen is the Dean of Students and also teaches math and art.

Mike Peters, Board member

Mike is a master landscaper-turned-biophile who has come to appreciate the fact that all life on this earth is unique and beautiful. In everything he brings his steward-like commitment to life and land, from his Eco-Landscaping business to wildland firefighting and even to the strangers he meets. His passion is creating landscapes that nurture both the eyes and the body, and he enjoys reveling in the lives that whirl within and around them.

 Walama Supporters and Partners

Walama is very grateful to the businesses and foundations that provide funding to support our work.  Their gracious support keeps restoration and education programs running.

WPR Funders

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