(Graphic | Courtesy of Deschutes land Trust)
Happy Earth Month! While every month is earth month for the Land Trust (and maybe for you too!), we are looking forward to connecting with our community through Earth Day events, volunteering, hikes and more this month. How do you celebrate Earth Day?
As the Land Trust works every day to protect and care for Central Oregon’s lands, waters, plants and wildlife, we can’t do it without you. You make our work possible! For Earth Day, consider making a gift to the Land Trust or giving the gift of time by volunteering with us. Our region’s lands, waters, plants and wildlife thank you!
Walks + Hikes Highlights
The Land Trust’s Walks + Hikes are in full swing! From wildflowers to geology and everything in between, volunteer leaders will hep you explore the nature of your Land Trust protected lands. Upcoming highlights include:
- See what’s singing in the willows and darting from the sage during a Bird Walk at Indian Ford Meadow Preserve on Saturday, April 30.
- Brush up on your plant knowledge with a Plant Hike at the Metolius Preserve on Thursday, May 5.
- Dig deeper into our restoration project on an Ochoco Preserve Tour on Friday, May 13.
- Explore nature with your little ones during a Mama + Baby Birds outing at Camp Polk Meadow Preserve on Saturday, May 14.
All walks and hikes are free. Registration is required, and opens one month prior to the outing. See our full schedule.
Join Us for Earth Day Activities
Get ready to celebrate Earth Day with the Land Trust! Help care for Central Oregon’s natural areas by connecting with us at one of the following events:
- Third Thursday at Patagonia: April 21, 10am-7pm. Support the Land Trust while you shop with ten percent of the days’ sales going to the Land Trust’s work. Land Trust staff will be at the store from 3-5pm.
- Earth Day Fence Pull at Priday Ranch, April 22, 10am-2pm. Help improve habitat for wildlife by removing old barbed wire, fencing materials and fence posts.
- Earth Day Fair and Parade in Bend: April 23, 11am-3pm. Stop by the Land Trust’s booth to learn more about current projects and pick up free native milkweed seeds.
- Sisters Library Gardening Fair: April 23, 11am-1pm. Learn about how you can help monarch butterflies and other pollinators thrive in Central Oregon and plant some milkweed.
We look forward to seeing you!
We’re Hiring: Outreach Associate and Development Director
The Land Trust is hiring!
We are seeking a 32hr/week Outreach Associate to assist with the production and distribution of core communications materials, implementing social media content and strategies and providing event registration and support for Land Trust events. This position requires writing, editing and communication skills, as well as organization skills and a strong attention to detail. Application deadline is April 25. Learn more.
In addition, we are looking for a Development Director. They will design and implement strategies to meaningfully engage and solicit support from Five Rivers Society donors, planned giving donors, foundations and corporations to the organization. This includes establishing systems and creative strategies for donor identification, cultivation, solicitation, tracking, acknowledgement, recognition, events and donor stewardship. Applications will be reviewed starting on May 13. Learn more.
Saving Skyline Forest
Save Skyline Forest! For nearly 20 years that has been the rallying cry at the Land Trust in our long effort to permanently conserve the 33,000 acres of forest land that runs along the base of the Cascades from Bend to Sisters.
Behind the scenes, the Land Trust has been steadily positioning itself and preparing for the moment when Skyline Forest’s current owners are ready to consider an offer to permanently conserve the forest.
This June, we will be leading a new effort to develop a shared community vision for Skyline Forest. This vision will be a key tool for the Land Trust when acquisition of Skyline Forest becomes possible.
Resources from our March 30 Nature Night
Thanks to everyone who tuned in to our March 30 Nature Night, American Pikas and Climate Change. It was an informative and engaging presentation from Dr. Matt Shinderman.
Dr. Shinderman began his presentation by giving a basic overview of the characteristics of American pikas and what science has told us previously about these little critters. He then discussed the parameters of the research project he led through the HERS Lab and shared that his research has shown that the American pika is much more resilient than previously believed, and the question of “are pikas in peril?” has the ambiguous answer of “it depends.” Dr. Shinderman ended the evening with the comment that American pikas are a symbol of hope and resilience. Check out the recording and resources from this Nature Night.
Oregon Agricultural Heritage Program Update
The Deschutes Land Trust applauds the Oregon legislature for approving $5 million in funding for the Oregon Agricultural Heritage Program (OAHP) last month. This program was created in 2017, but was not funded until this year.
The OAHP was created to help farmers and ranchers conserve working lands and the fish and wildlife habitat they support. With this initial investment, the OAHP can help provide funding for land trusts to work with local landowners to conserve their working farms and ranches through land protection agreements.
“The legislation’s funding of the OAHP is an important recognition of the importance of working lands to Oregon’s natural resources and agricultural communities,” said Land Trust conservation director Natasha Bellis. “The funding provided by OAHP will help Deschutes Land Trust leverage federal funding to conserve working farms, ranches and forests.”
Wildlife at Land Trust Preserves
Our volunteer photographers and our wildlife cameras have captured some beautiful and unbelievable images of wildlife this past winter. We’re so thankful to our volunteers who are always out finding incredible wildlife photos for us!
From birds to coyotes to little baby fawns, enjoy the latest installment of wildlife photos and videos from Land Trust Preserves and beyond!
The Land Trust is so thankful for our amazing corps of dedicated volunteers and this month we wanted to send a special thank you out to two long-time volunteers: Ginny Elliott and Pat Green.
You may know Ginny and Pat from their efforts with the Land Trust’s Weed Warriors. These two wonder women have been at the helm of the group since 2017, leading a regular group of volunteers battling nonnative weeds at Land Trust Preserves.
It’s hard to overstate the impact Weed Warriors and Ginny and Pat have had on the health of Land Trust Preserves! We wish we had a count of the bags, upon bags, upon bags of weeds they have pulled, but we know the number would be impressive. Even more impressive is the fact they have single-handedly helped native plant communities at our Preserves thrive.
Ginny and Pat, you have made a tremendous difference in the future of Central Oregon, thank you!!
Land Trust Office Update
The last two years have been a major catalyst for change in the way many of us work, and the Land Trust is no exception. We wanted to give you an update on what to expect!
First of all, our office is back open! We missed seeing you all during the pandemic, so please come visit us now that we can welcome visitors again. Office hours are Monday-Friday from 8:30am-12pm and 1-4:30pm. We can also arrange material pick-up anytime from 8:30am-4:30pm in our vestibule entryway.
It also means that sometimes our office will have limited staffing. Some of our staff members continue to work remotely, others work in the office full-time and some work in both places. Email and/or phone will continue to be the best way to get in touch with individual staff members, and we suggest calling before stopping by if you are hoping to see someone in particular.