Maurie Jacobs Park: Restoration along the Willamette River

before-at-mjpWRP adopted a corridor of the Willamette River in Maurie Jacobs Park as a volunteer-based habitat enhancement project through the City of Eugene Stream Team Program in February 2002. The banks were completely covered with invasive blackberries, bindweed, and reed canary grass with little or no riparian forest canopy. WRP staff began removing invasive plants and planting native trees and shrubs with the help of community volunteers and a high school program along a two hundred foot corridor of the river in spring 2002. We volunteered staff time, accepted plant donations from businesses including Doak Creek Native Plant Nursery, and borrowed tools to cover costs for the project.

IMG_1137What once was a sea of 12-foot tall blackberries is finally transforming into a diverse riparian landscape along the river near the Greenway bike bridge. Black cottonwoods that were planted in 2002 are now towering more than 30 feet tall. Willow stakes collected and placed by volunteers are now wide shrubs dotting the riverside. In the downstream river area, the transformation of a manicured lawn into a riparian forest, which was also a project goal, is approaching canopy stage as well. Stewardship is finally paying off along the Willamette River, and WRP is grateful for all of those helping hands.

WRP has continued to facilitate work parties with community members and school groups in restoring the site. Removing blackberries, planting native shrubs, mulching, and sowing native grass seeds will all be continuing efforts, so keep checking in as we monitor the area and plan future work parties.

IMG_1336The restoration site is located along the river, next to the Greenway Bike Bridge, across from the Valley River Center, on the south bank bike path. By car, driving north on River Road, turn right onto Fir Ln., and park in the parking lot at the end of the street. Walk towards the river. Click here for a map of the park.