Published November 18, 2022

Lomakatsi was thrilled to continue our long-standing partnership with Helman Elementary School in Ashland with a service learning event at the confluence of Bear Creek and Ashland Creek as part of our 15th annual Streamside Forest Recovery Week. Between Wednesday and Friday, 300 Helman students in grades K-5 joined Lomakatsi’s riparian restoration team to plant over 300 native trees and shrubs.

This effort is part of the larger Ashland Pond Riparian and Ecocultural Restoration Project that aims to re-establish a healthy streamside forest in the wake of the 2020 Almeda Fire. Goals include enhancing wildlife habitat for salmon, pollinators, and other wildlife, stabilizing the stream banks to protect water quality, and establishing a diversity of culturally-significant plant species in partnership with Tribal communities whose ancestral lands include the Ashland Pond area.

Supporting this event were members of Lomakatsi’s Tribal Youth Ecological Forestry Training Program, who worked with Training and Education Program Coordinator Sequoia Ahimsa and Riparian Restoration Technician Kaiya Spain (a Helman Elementary alum!) to prepare the site and guide students in the planting activity. Students learned about the cultural benefits of native plants from Lomakatsi Tribal staff, and about local animal life through hands-on exhibits. A big thank you to all these young nature stewards for their hard work, to Helman Elementary and their PTA for making it possible, to City of Ashland Oregon for 15 years of collaboration on restoring the Ashland Pond area, and to Jonas Philanthropies for funding the purchase of native trees and shrubs.

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