Umpqua National Forest Trail Work / Recreation Enhancement Projects
The Forest Service has continued to be a primary project sponsor. We work closely with the recration planner and botanist to improve, maintain, and build trails and remove invasive species. We have recently created a daily report log format that includes GPS points and GIS layers to provide specific spatial data to monitor work progress and invasive species locations. Students are currently being trained in GPS/GIS technology and will be submitting these reports directly to the Forest Service.
Turtle Habitat Restoration Project
East Regional Park is a 56-acre park located just east of Cottage Grove, OR. While invasive species dominate the remote areas of the site, a large population of Western pond turtles (30+) resides at the site that features high quality floodplain habitat for juvenile cutthroat trout and spring Chinook. The OYEI grant has allowed us to continue on the five-year project goals of: 1) Removing of invasive plant species in 42-acres of floodplain, wetland, and riparian habitat. 2) Replanting key areas with native trees, shrubs, grasses and forbs to increase native habitat complexity, canopy and turtle nesting habitat. 3) Constructing two wildlife viewing blinds and accompanying signage. 3) Caging mature trees to protect them from beaver destruction.
Planting of wetland species: The City of Cottage Grove has partnered with Kennedy to remove invasive species, plant more than 5,000 species, and maintain the industrial mitigation site at the south end of town. (The work on this site earned the program an award from the mayor at the City Council meeting).
Kennedy students were invited to lead a hands-on wetland field study after-school program for the talented and gifted (TAG) elementary students in the district. For ten weeks Kennedy students developed and implemented a curriculum that focused on the basic ecology, flora, fauna, and importance of wetlands. Elementary students explored the wetlands behind Bohemia Elementary School and, after learning about and identifying native wetland plants, created a wetland trail and field guide. The trail they developed ended at a small creek, and a culminating project was the design and construction of a small footbridge.