Photo: Land Trust.

Next Phase of Willow Springs Preserve Restoration Begins

Apr 09, 2024 by Sarah Mowry
Learn more about what to expect as the next phase of creek restoration at Willow Spring Preserve gets underway.

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The next phase of the Willow Springs Preserve stream restoration has begun. The Land Trust has been working with our restoration partners at the Upper Deschutes Watershed Council to restore the portion of Whychus Creek that runs through the Preserve to a healthy, biologically diverse condition. The first phase of the restoration was completed in 2022, and restoration crews will be returning this year to launch the next phase.

Here is what you can expect as we continue work to transform the creek from a human-manipulated single channel into a braided series of channels that spread out across the valley floor:

  • In March and April, crews were on site staging the materials needed to build the natural structures that will be used in the restoration. This includes stockpiling 500 whole trees from local thinning projects and then transporting these trees to staging locations along Whychus Creek so they’re ready for placement in the stream.

  • In July, we expect crews to be on site constructing the natural structures that will be used for restoration. Many of these will look like log jams in the stream, but they are constructed with vertical wooden posts that are angled against placed logs in order to provide stability. These will be used to shift the flow of the creek in certain directions.

    Smaller dam-like structures will also be built on side channels to imitate beaver dams, create pools, and help connect Whychus Creek to the surrounding meadow. Finally, a new type of structure will be built that will look like log jams or piles of branches and logs in the stream. These structures are intended to slow flows, collect sediment, and promote some of the natural side-to-side movement that a properly functioning creek would do naturally over time. Learn more about the restoration approach.

Although Willow Springs Preserve is closed to the public, we encourage you to register for one of our guided walks (May 24, June 13, or September 14) to learn more about the project. We appreciate your patience as we work to make Whychus Creek healthier for us all!

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