Corvallis Science & Nature: Run for Benton Soil and Water Board, and a Busy Week for Nature Lovers 

Run for Benton Soil and Water Board 

The Benton Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) is seeking candidates for a seat on its Board of Directors, Zone 4. The seat, which covers Alsea and the surrounding area in southwest Benton County, is currently represented by Grahm Trask, but will be open starting January 1st, 2023. The SWCD Board works to identify conservation priorities in the county and develop short- and long-term conservation plans. Interested candidates can request an information packet and application from the SWCD office by emailing or calling 541-753-7208.  

More information on District Board elections and requirements is available here. If you don’t live in Zone 4 and still want to get involved with the Board, there are also opportunities to serve as an Associate Director for a one-year term. 

Audubon Second Saturday Field Trip 

This Saturday, December 10th, Corvallis Audubon is running its monthly Second Saturday birding field trip. The group meets at 8am at the Willamette Park shelter (at the end of SE Goodnight Ave) and will carpool from there to a local park or refuge. Recent trips have visited Finley, Ankeny and Baskett Slough National Wildlife Refuges, as well as local city parks and other natural areas. The trip usually returns around noon. All levels, from first-time birders to experts, are welcome. Bring binoculars if you have them, and a water bottle and snacks. As always, dress for the weather with good shoes for walking. If you have questions about the trip, email organizers Duncan Evered and Caryn Stoess at  

Book Launch Saturday 

If the weather turns bad, or if you just decide to sleep in, you can still learn about Oregon birds, and their conservation stories, on Saturday. The Corvallis Public Library is hosting a launch party for “As the Condor Soars: Conserving and Restoring Oregon’s Birds” starting at 2 pm. The new book from OSU Press summarizes 150 years of bird conservation in Oregon, from spotted owls to snowy plovers and more. Co-editor Susan Haig will give a short talk, and many of the Corvallis authors who contributed to the book will be on hand to answer questions and sign books. Toledo-based artist Ram Papish will also be on hand to display prints from the book. More details on the event are available here. 

Northwest Streams Talk Sunday  

This Sunday, December 11th, Common Fields on 3rd and Western in downtown Corvallis hosts its ongoing Tap Talks presentation series. This month’s talk is titled “Northwest Streams Tell All: Findings from 25 years of measuring sticks and stones”, and is presented by 500 Women Scientists, Corvallis. Christine Hirsch and Klynn Shelton from the U.S. Forest Service will be presenting their work monitoring Northwest stream ecosystems for more than 20 years. The talk starts at 5:30pm. More information is available on 500 Women Scientists’ Instagram page.  

Trashy Tuesday River Cleanup  

Willamette Riverkeeper and the City of Eugene are running a paddling cleanup next Tuesday, December 13th. Volunteers will meet at the River House Outdoor Center at 301 N. Adams Street in Eugene at 8:30am, and load into rafts to help clean up the river in spots that aren’t accessible from shore. Bring a boat if you have one, but if you don’t, spots fill up fast, so register ASAP. 

Personal flotation devices are required, and will be provided for anyone who doesn’t have their own. Dress for cold weather and for getting wet. The organizers strongly recommend wool or neoprene socks and waterproof shoes or boots. Coffee will be provided. More information here.  

Master Gardener Webinar  

With the cold and wet season upon us, most of us are spending more time inside, but that doesn’t mean we have to do without natural beauty until Spring. On Tuesday, December 13th, from 7:00-8:00pm, OSU Master Gardeners present a webinar titled “Bringing Nature in For the Winter Season”. Master Gardener Evie Hausman will show attendees how to gather natural materials like windfall greens, pine cones, branches, seed pods and clippings to create lovely winter arrangements for inside your home, or to give as gifts. Register here.  

By Ian Rose 

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