Keep on Truckin’

Jenny Ammon, Marion SWCD Natural Resource Educator

Welcome to the conclusion of summer; what a long strange trip it has been!  Time has taken on a different feeling during the pandemic.  It feels like days morph into one another since there is no marked day of the week.  Prior to March, Mondays served as our in-person staff meeting at the Hawthorne Street SWCD office, Tuesday were piano lessons in the evening for my daughter, Wednesday I would restart my work computer, Thursdays were supposed to be baseball games for the kids. The weekdays are more identifiable by the family dinner choice vs. the activity/chore, which may be one of the reasons my jeans are fitting more snugly?  Since families, employers and educators are all in this ‘adaptive management approach’ for the foreseeable future we want to share some of the exciting things we have done during this long strange trip called Corona Summer 2020.  

Marion Soil and Water Conservation District was prepared to offer summer programming for youth and families, native plant walks, and Saturday education at the Salem Farmers Market.  No new news here, our plans changed. Nonetheless, we are pushing forward with educational online events and programming for comprehensive distance learning and continue to offer our program bin educational efforts in person following all current guidelines for safety.

Our First Fridays have moved from the Marion SWCD office to Zoom.  We will start these programs in September 2020 and run them until March 2021 with the hope of resurrecting the in-person programming fall of 2021.  Until then, here is our line-up for First Fridays and you can register HERE (Participants must preregister in order to attend the virtual First Friday.)

  • September 11: Local Fish and Water Quality with Karen Hans, ODFW Fish Biologist

Participants will get a look at local projects that improve fish habitat and learn some fun ichthyology with an awesome fish biologist.

  • October 2: Knotweed & Water Primrose Mania- Jenny Meisel, Marion SWCD Native & Invasive Plant Specialist

Invasive plants in the area are a serious threat to our habitats and water quality. Learn about projects in and around Marion county that aim to treat and reduce these threats.

  • November 6: Water Rights Q &A Session 1- Laura Schroeder, Schroeder Law Offices Water Law Attorney

Marion SWCD will post the Schroeder Water Law webinars on our website in October. We are inviting folks with questions that were not answered in those webinar videos to join our first of two Q & A sessions with water law experts in Oregon.

  • December 4: Water Rights Q & A Session 2- Laura Schroeder, Schroeder Law Offices Water Law Attorney
  • January 8: Environmental Education with Marion SWCD-The Overview with Jenny Ammon, Marion SWCD Natural Resource Educator

Learn about the programs and grants we offer for K-Grey encompassing environmental and conservation education…tell your teacher friends!

  • February 5: Native Plants WORK! With Jenny Meisel, Marion SWCD Native & Invasive Plant Specialist

Your yard is your oasis and can offer huge conservation benefits to pollinators, wildlife, and soil health with a few easy steps! Jenny Meisel will discuss using natives in your landscape and how to select the right site for the right plant. She will also remind folks about the Marion SWCD Native Plant Sale!

  • March 5: Irrigation Technology with Brandon Bishop, Marion SWCD Ag Conservation Planner

Brandon has helped many landowners improve their irrigation process with the use of technology and partnerships between agencies, business, and Energy Trust of Oregon. He will share implemented projects and new tools to help conserve water and soil!

Marion SWCD has stretched its educational creativity to meet kids at home.  Our lesson plans and interactive learning games camouflage learning into fun!  Check out this Quizlet for vocabulary associated with our Macro Invertebrate Lesson Plan and Program Bin.  Our program offerings can be found HERE.

As fall encroaches our warm days turn colder and the season shortens our evenings; we know folks are facing different struggles but ultimately, we are here to help each other. Sometimes, when the only thing that becomes certain, is uncertainty we can surely see the wisdom in improbable places… like in the lyrics to a classic Grateful Dead song:  “Sometimes the lights all shining on me; other times I can barely see.  Lately it occurs to me what a long, strange trip it has been.”  Hang in there and know Marion SWCD is here to help you with your technical, financial, and educational needs associated with soil, water, and natural resources.

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