Portland/ Weather & Environment
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Published on March 04, 2024
East Multnomah County Volunteers Brave Winter for Watershed ConservationSource: Facebook/Johnson Creek Watershed Council

Despite a blanket of snow and freezing temperatures, determined volunteers in East Multnomah County hit the ground running on Saturday morning for the 2024 Watershed Wide event. The annual conservation effort, aimed at cleaning up waterways and strengthening the ecosystem, drew local residents who were undeterred by the wintry weather to plant native species and clear out invasive ones starting at 8:30 a.m. lasting until noon, as reported by KOIN.

"It is always a concern when you look out the window at 8 a.m. and see snow, you start to wonder if people won’t just stay inside," Noah Jenkins, the riparian program manager at Johnson Creek Watershed Council expressed concern over the weather, yet hundreds defied the odds, with a collective determination heartening to organizers and participants alike. The event, which spanned across 10 different sites, saw these intrepid individuals removing trash from creek banks, spreading mulch, and rooting out invasive plants like English ivy and Himalayan blackberries, Jenkins told KOIN.

In addition to the manual labor, the 26th annual event closed with a catered lunch at Gresham's Main City Park, it was a gesture of gratitude and a chance for exchanging stories and fostering connections among those who share a commitment to the environment, the gathering also offered insight into the wider impact of their day's labors, as reported by The Outlook Online.

The stewardship shown by these community members underscores a broader movement where individuals take ownership of the health of their local environment, the stewardship displayed emphasizes how collaborative efforts, no matter the hurdles presented by weather or other challenges, can significantly impact the conservation and restoration of natural habitats that are vital for regional biodiversity, according to what volunteers relayed to The Outlook Online.