Backyard Collective Bend: a beautiful day of river restoration

Brilliant sunshine greeted volunteers at Riverbend Park last Tuesday in Bend. Volunteers from RuffwearREIQuick Feat International, Oregon Natural Desert Association and Central Oregon Landwatch arrived ready for a day of riparian stewardship lead by our partner, Kolleen Yake, Education Director at Upper Deschutes Watershed Council.


 Earlier that morning, 700 locally propagated native plants including cottonwood, water birch, woods' rose, dogwood and fescue were delivered to the staging area along a beloved stretch of the Deschutes River that is frequented by hikers, joggers, and water recreationists.



Our energetic volunteers were up to the task of planting them with enthusiasm and care. Soon shovels were digging, gloved hands were planting and conversations covered all variety of topics.

The Riverbend site was once a severely degraded vacant lot prior to a restoration partnership between the Watershed Council and Bend Metro Park and Recreation District in 2007. After more than 400 hours of volunteer effort, 2,084 native plants and 25 pounds of seed, it now represents an excellent example of community-based restoration. 




It seemed fitting that this event, the last of the 2012 Backyard Collective season truly was in our backyard. Local dogs and more than a few friends happened by on the path throughout the morning effort.



The day closed with lunch from Nancy P's bakery, an update from local grant recipients at ONDA and Central Oregon Landwatch, followed up by a pop quiz with prizes from REI Bend.

We're grateful to all of the volunteers, our partners at Upper Deschutes Watershed Council and our event sponsors at Backporch Coffee, Stanley and Icebreaker.