Published May 11, 2022

Last Friday, a group of 5th-graders and a class of 7th/8th-graders from John Muir Outdoor School visited Ashland Pond to learn about a rich riparian ecosystem recovering from the 2020 Almeda Fire, as they assisted Lomakatsi staff with spring restoration and maintenance activities.

Students flagged cottonwood resprouts and yarrow patches that will be tended for pollinator habitat, wood-chipped and hand-weeded around recent plantings, and documented their observations of wildlife, plants and the broader landscape in nature journals. The John Muir Outdoor School and Lomakatsi have maintained a partnership for more than a decade, connecting students to ecological education opportunities in active pre- and post-fire restoration sites, riparian areas and across the Ashland Watershed.

“We’re really appreciative of this long-term relationship with Lomakatsi,” said Jim Bowers, JMOS 5th-grade teacher. “Their expertise has given our students exposure to, and an opportunity to work on, meaningful habitat restoration in the Ashland Watershed and along Bear Creek. It’s an investment in community.”

At the confluence of Ashland Creek and Bear Creek, Ashland Pond provides important salmon and steelhead habitat and supports a wide variety of birds, deer, critters and pollinators. In collaboration with The Freshwater Trust, Lomakatsi recently planted 4,000 native trees and shrubs to establish shade and minimize thermal impact on the stream, to restore healthy fish habitat. We look forward to additional restoration work at the site launching next fall in collaboration with tribal communities, the City of Ashland Oregon, and other partners as part of the Ashland Creek Pond Ecocultural Restoration Project.

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