Stewarding the Land and Welcoming in the New Year

snowy meadow with creek running through

It feels like we’re on the cusp of many different things this time of year. The past couple weeks of warm, sunny afternoons have offered a glimpse of spring, though we do hope winter weather will return! We’re expecting baby goats at the ranch, the first of which will be born in early March (don’t worry- we will let you know when the baby goats are born and ready for social visits!). And, planning and preparation for our spring and summer programs is underway. 

There’s a lot to look forward to this year and we are excited to share it with you all!


What Are We Up To?

moving willow bundles in the snow
willow bundles to store over winter
willow transplants growing in snowy wetland

Left: Willow bundles ready to be stored over the winter. Right: Willow that was transplanted into the wetlands in years past.


Land Stewardship

The Crest has welcomed the new year in with forward momentum! 

On the 17th, we co-hosted an MLK Day of Service trail maintenance event at the Oredson-Todd Woods with the Southern Oregon Land Conservancy, Ashland Parks, and United Communities AmeriCorps. Our group mulched over 900 feet of trail and removed a hefty amount of invasive blackberry, ivy, and scotch broom!  

Daniel, Jess, and our awesome volunteer Caroline, prepared willow cuttings to plant in our wetlands in the spring! Once planted and rooted, the willow will help hold the soil together and work against the forces of erosion. The areas of willow that were cut back will grow straight shoots that are great to use in basket weaving. This process of cutting the plant back in order to stimulate growth is called “coppicing.”

We love these opportunities to steward the land while bringing our community together.


Take Action, Learn More

Vesper Meadow Restoration Preserve

Vesper Meadow Restoration Preserve

Talk with Jackson Co. Library: Reconnecting People, Place, and Native Plants

Learn from Vesper Meadow’s Program Director, Jeanine Moy, about community-based strategies, beaver-based solutions, and native food plants utilized at the Vesper Meadow Restoration Preserve and how they can be applied to lands across the region.

A local movement for native habitat restoration has started in Southwest Oregon, led by a new wave of conservation organizations, forward-thinking landowners, and Tribal partnerships. Now, after 200 years of landuse mis-management, this work is critical to address the widespread impacts of climate changes on our shared landscape, natural resources, and water supply. Jeanine Moy will discuss ongoing projects with the Southwest Oregon Indigneous Gardens Network, local endangered species habitat restoration and monitoring, and examples of local edible and medicinal native plants that anyone can grow in their yard.

On Thursday, January 27, 2022 from 6:00 PM  7:00 PM

Learn more or register for this talk on Vesper Meadow’s website.



Who’s Flying
red-winged blackbird

Red-Winged Blackbird

The female Red-Winged Blackbird sports subtler red shoulder patches than her male counterpart, and of course, doesn’t share the same glossy black feathers. Rather, she looks more like a sparrow with her brown and white coloring. Her call is short and rapid, and matches the male’s call in volume.

Photo courtesy of Mark Rosenstein, Mass Audubon

What’s Blooming?
red-breasted nuthatch

Incense Cedar

Winter is the time to shine for evergreens! Calocedrus decurrens, also known as Incense Cedar, is a common evergreen tree to find in Western Oregon. Incense cedar is distributed along the Pacific Coast in the range between northern Oregon and northern Mexico. These trees have light to reddish-brown bark and have flat, broad foliage. The oldest recorded Incense Cedar is 542 years old!

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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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