Going big for conservation!
Daniel and Julie Lee, owners of Wingham Farms, are protecting 31 acres of land adjacent to West Fork Dairy Creek and Whitcher Creek. As part of a 10-year partnership, Wingham Farms’ participation represents the largest streamside planting project on privately owned land that Tualatin SWCD has ever managed.
Nestled snugly in a valley near Manning, roughly 60,000 trees and shrubs have been planted along the creeks as the latest installment of a partnership between willing landowners, Tualatin SWCD, Clean Water Services, the Farm Service Agency, and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).
Simple solutions to tough problems:
The partnership is working to establish healthy native plants along streams to create riparian buffers. Planting vegetation between surface water and the surrounding land has many benefits such as:
- Reducing soil erosion
- Filtering out pollutants
- Lowering in-stream water temperature
- Restoring critical wildlife habitat
- Protecting biodiversity
Improving the land for people and wildlife:
The bulk of Wingham Farms’ 100 acres is devoted to the production of pasture-raised meat, milk, and eggs. This is done with heritage breeds of chickens, ducks, beef and dairy cows, pigs, and goats — all chosen for their suitability to open-pasture grazing and foraging. Daniel and Julie are working to enhance on-farm biodiversity by planting pollinator hedgerows of native plants . The new trees and shrubs among their pastures serve as living fences that will control livestock movement, provide shelter, and offer year-round habitat for beneficial insects.
What was removed, and what was planted?
- The project began in 2015, with the clearing of weeds such as non-native blackberry bushes.
- Next, crews planted 60,000 trees and shrubs of more than 25 native species!
- The remnant vegetation along the creeks at Wingham Farms also harbors a large population of Western wahoo, a rare native shrub, which was rescued from the invasive blackberries and incorporated into the project.
This project is an example of how conservation on working lands can be the next frontier in conservation, and Wingham Farms is helping to lead the way towards practical solutions.