Help us Reach The Crest!

reach.the.crest.fundraiser

Our year-end fundraiser is in full swing. Support The Crest’s mission of cultivating the connection between people and nature. Please keep us in mind for Giving Tuesday. If you donate by November 29th your gift will be matched by a generous donor! Thank you for supporting The Crest! 

Emily leading a nature walk at The Crest outdoor school

Emily leading a nature walk

Outdoor school students observing lichen during a forest lesson

Students observing lichen during a forest lesson


Celebrating First Foods in the Classroom

This month, The Crest took part in a workshop hosted by OSU’s Oregon Natural Resources Education Program (ONREP) in collaboration with the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde. The workshop explored modified lessons that incorporated indigenous poems, language, and place-based knowledge from the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde.

Liz Bianco teaching first graders about native foods of southern Oregon

Liz Bianco teaching first graders about native foods of southern Oregon

The Crest learned how to weave more cultural relevance into our education programming, the perfect preparation for a school visit to a local 1st-grade class that has been learning about the first foods of this land. The students learned about hunting, gathering, and crop cultivation through the seasons, accompanied by pictures and examples of first foods such as cattail, camas, yampah, ponderosa pine nuts, acorns, serviceberry, and more.

We shared a snack of rosehip tea and pine nuts and learned about local ecology as they colored a first foods packet. Each student was given a pumpkin from The Crest’s garden to take home. Then they went on an imaginary forest walk in the classroom to search for animals and plants that live here. Although Native American Heritage month happens once a year, we are energized to integrate culturally relevant materials into our lessons year-round.


Volunteer Spotlight

volunteers Keith and Angela removing invasive teasel

Volunteers Keith and Angela removing invasive teasel

We are so grateful for the dedicated volunteers who donate their time and energy to regenerating this beautiful ecosystem. By volunteering with us, these community members are fostering stewardship and reciprocity that will benefit this land for generations to come. This month we’d like to honor Keith and Angela, pictured here, dedicating a Saturday morning to restoration work on the ranch. Since joining our program in October, Keith and Angela have contributed a combined 15 hours of restoration work in the wet meadows, including planting willows and removing invasive teasel. 
 
Planting willow branches is a tried-and-true method of mitigating erosion and promoting native wildlife habitation. The willow cuttings are planted strategically in the eroded areas of the meadows to maximize their effect. Invasive members of the genus Dipsacus, commonly called teasel, create lofted pods in the fall that are each bursting with hundreds of seeds, ready to overwinter and create new growth in the spring. Combining invasive removal and native tree planting creates an opportunity for the wetland to be healthier each year.

Who’s flying?
Dark-eyed Junco

Dark-eyed Junco
(Junco hyemalis)

Juncos are frequent flyers at the farmhouse bird feeders. They are small, social birds that can be found in forests or at bird feeders. The ranch features two types of juncos: a sleek, slate-colored Dark-eyed junco, and the Oregon dark-eyed junco, with a brown body and black hood (pictured above).

What’s blooming?
native rosehip closeup

Rosehip
(Rosa spp.)

Wild rose bushes grow here on the ranch and create an accessory fruit in the fall commonly referred to as rosehips. They are edible and contain a high amount of vitamin C. Indigenous peoples have used rosehips for food, tea, and medicine since time immemorial. 

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The Crest is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization

The Crest nonprofit organization relies on donations to support youth programs and give community groups the chance to experience the wonders of nature to learn about and feel a connection to the natural world. Please consider contributing to this natural legacy by making a tax-deductible donation.

THE CREST

658 Shale City Road
Ashland OR 97520

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