Why We are Thankful for Whychus Creek

Nov 22, 2015
Tis the season of giving thanks, and we are forever thankful for Whychus Creek. Here are a few reasons why.

The earliest of human settlements gravitated towards rivers and water. The Nile, the Amazon, the Mississippi and others act as magnets for both humans and wildlife, and for good reason; water is necessary to sustain life in any form. Central Oregon is no exception.

As we near the Thanksgiving holiday, we have been thinking about what we are thankful for and our thoughts keep circling back to Whychus Creek. We are thankful for Whychus Creek because:

The creek brings us together
Whychus Creek has brought together people from all backgrounds, interests, and ages. From our volunteers who help determine the success of restoration projects by counting birds, identifying plants, pulling weeds or taking photos of progress, to the children who visit our Preserves chasing butterflies and looking for animals. Whychus Creek has taken hold of our community in ways we never thought possible. No matter the reason or drive for protecting the creek, we all donate our time, effort, and monetary support to make sure conservation of this special waterway continues.

The creek sustains life
Not only does the creek provide water for people, it provides important habitat for fish and wildlife. Land Trust Preserves along Whychus Creek provide food, shelter, and room for wildlife to roam. Our Preserves also provide a place for major restoration projects that make wildlife habitat even better. We reconnected Whychus Creek at Camp Polk Meadow Preserve with its meadow floodplain so water can flow over the creek banks, bringing with it soil and nutrients for plants that live on the banks. We also provided lots of new side channels, pools, riffles and hiding places for the salmon and steelhead that are returning to Whychus creek after a 50-year hiatus! It’s all connected!

The creek provides opportunities to learn
Take a hike with one of our knowledgeable volunteers at Whychus Canyon Preserve or Camp Polk Meadow Preserve and you are sure to learn something new about the creek, the plants, or the wildlife that call the Preserves home. As we embark on the restoring the next stretch of Whychus Creek (from Whychus Canyon Preserve to Rimrock Ranch), we are also learning our lessons: applying techniques and research from previous restoration projects to the next restoration design. This creek keeps us on our toes!

The creek brings us hope
The ambitious and successful restoration of Whychus Creek through Camp Polk Meadow Preserve and the return of fish to the creek push us forward in this great effort. What once seemed like an impossible task now feels like a success story. We are hopeful that together we can protect land for wildlife and our community for generations to come.
We are forever thankful for Whychus Creek and what it means to Central Oregon. What does the creek mean to you? Will you Speak for Whychus Creek? How? By donating to the Campaign for Whychus Creek today!