About 300 people joined us to walk and paddle in 22 On the Land outings this past summer, starting with a bird walk on the Yeon Property in Warrenton (which North Coast Land Conservancy helped the National Park Service to conserve) and ending with a walk in Ecola Creek Forest Reserve (which NCLC helped the City of Cannon Beach to conserve). In between were visits to several of our own conserved properties, most of which are not normally open to the public, mainly because they are so inaccessible.
On the Land outings are our opportunity to share hidden venues of wild beauty with our community and to demonstrate our work on those properties, which ranges from full-scale restoration to simple protection (making regular monitoring visits but otherwise leaving the land alone and letting nature do its work). Here are some snapshots from a memorable summer. Join us outside next summer!
“One thing that struck me this year was the way that the participants on the trips often connected with each other over shared interests. It was neat to see folks on a few occasions exchanging contact information at the end of the walks.”—NCLC Volunteer Coordinator Penny Paulsen.
Our Circle Creek walks gave participants an insider’s view of all the work that has been accomplished there, and continues to be done, to reconnect the floodplain, jumpstart the rainforest, and welcome wildlife of all kind, from migrating waterfowl to juvenile salmon.
“The highlight of the trip I co-led (with Katie Voelke, Circle Creek Forest Walk) was finding coho fry in the stream just below where we had removed a culvert. Many in the group were able to see the fish from the little footbridge crossing the stream on the path through the memorial grove. It was really fun to be able to take people and show them how the watershed council and NCLC work together, and to walk through a recently completed project and get to point out a bunch of the little details that I normally don’t have an opportunity to share with anyone (mostly because no one else gets as excited about these kinds of things like I do!).”–Melyssa Graeper, Necanicum Watershed Council Coordinator
“I had this idea (that I saw on Pinterest) for making scavenger hunt boxes for the family adventure at the Mill Ponds. We were able to provide them to all the participants, and they were a hit! I think the adults liked them better than the kids.”—Melyssa Graeper
“I also provided some field guides and some small magnifying glasses. We had a blast exploring. The day brought many people out, a number of whom had never been to, or even heard of, the Mill Ponds, which was—I think—the coolest part!” —Melyssa Graeper
“Coal Creek paddle was fantastic! Weather was beautiful (almost too hot!) and the tides and winds were favorable. I mostly sat back and watched while John (Mersereau, NCLC board member) regaled participants with tales of the coast, the Nehalem River, Coal Creek, etc.”—Randall Henderson, NCLC board member
“Kathleen is a wonderful naturalist, providing interpretation while at the same time documenting all the plants in the slough. At the end of trip we detoured upriver to where a log raft had turned into a floating garden of native plants interspersed with invasive yellow flag iris, heavily laden with seed pods. We filled the bottoms of the canoes with the buoyant seed pods to keep them from floating free and taking hold elsewhere in the waterway.”—Bonnie Henderson, NCLC Communications Coordinator
Thank you to our volunteer naturalists Melissa Graeper, Tom Horning, Jesse Jones, Neal Maine, John Mersereau, Mike Patterson, Kathleen Sayce and Barry Sims, who joined our staff members in leading On the Land outings. And many thanks to all the volunteers who served as cabooses, sharing information about NCLC and keeping the outings safe and moving forward: Robin Anderson, Betsy Ayres, Dick Frank, Randall Henderson, Nancy Holmes, Pat Johns, Kit Ketcham, Pat Lehman, Vianne Patterson, Jay Paulsen, Penny Paulsen, Carolyn Propst, Bob Widdop, Dianne Widdop, Pat Wollner and Charlie Zennaché.