Draft 3 Prairie Restoration Plan and Map
The primary goal for Bonesteele Park is to restore the habitat with plants that had a high probability of being there in its pre-European state (approximately 150 years ago). Our criteria for plant inclusion is that a botantist familiar with the Willamette Valley would not be able to identify which plants we had introduced (by tranplanting or seed) to the site. Among the activities we have accomplished or are currently underway include:
1) Implementing plans that incorporate native plants, aesthetics, education/research, and recreation. We have separate plans for the 20 acre upland prairie and the 6 acre mature forest (some Douglas fir have a diameter of 30"-36", with other species -- oak, maple, hemlock -- having 18"-24" diameters. See site plant list link below.)
2) Continuation of our effort to remove non-native species (Scots broom, holly, non-native cherry and hazelnut, "German mesquite, English ivy, etc.) by December, 2000, with help by the Native Plant Society and various environmental groups including Friends of Bonesteele work parties. Status of non-native plants.
3) Chemeketa Community College survey classes have completed the topographic mapping resulting in a map having a 30 meter and one meter grid system.
4) Seed acquisition/collection and propagation from a variety of sources including local national wildlife refugees (application for permit in processs), other county parks and county road right-of-ways, and cooperating private property owners.
5) On December 9th, 1999, Friends of Bonesteele planted the 4 acres adjacent to the parking lot with common camas, iris (tenax), wild rose ( nootka and pesocarpa), Red-flowering current, choke cherry, western crab apple, vine maple, mock orange, dogwood, madrone, and ocean spray. In addition, we now plan to leave the area where 30 plus oaks have sprouted since the 1998 fire, undisturbed to create their own oak community.
We are working with a variety of groups including Willamette University, Chemeketa Community College, The National Guard, The Nature Conservancy and the Native Plant Society. We have done some plan development for the forest, including creation of an existing native plants inventory, their location and density; and a list of plants which should be (re)introduced along with where, and in what amounts. We have retained a consultant, Karen Arabas, Willamette University, to develop a forest restoration plan over the next 2 years (1999-2000). Carla Cudmore has basically finished our upland prairie plan.
Our current operating assumptions
1) Our 20 acre upland prairie portion of the property is now under a crop share, hard fescue cultivation as we collect and propagate seed ( primarily Roemer's fescure, but other grasses and forbs as well). The expected initial realization ( or opening) of the upland praire portion of the park is 2004.
2) The 4 acres west of the old parking lot access road was burned in the autumn 1998, resulting in more than 30 oak trees sprouting, primarily in the area between the large mother oak, and the forest. We have decided to let this area remain as a naturally developing oak community and our only planned alteration has been planting 2 madrone trees and intended removal of the "German mesquite". We will be testing various methods to remove the non-native grasses, and experimenting with planting wild flowers during the next 3 years..
3) Besides undertaking this effort for scientific, educational, recreational and historic purposes, we are also doing it because it is all we can afford. The following is a development and maintenance cost comparison between a conventional community park (10-30 acres) and restoration effort at Bonesteele Park.
In summary, we plan to
a) cultivate with plants that had a high probability of being on the property pre-European settlement.
b) create a native plant experience to fully realize the land's scientific, educational, and aesthetic potential. We intend to be disciplined in how we do this to avoid creating a park that has lost any potential for authenticity or genuineness.
c) avoid becoming a botanical garden for every plant that may have ever existed in the Willamette Valley. It is the intent that other parks representing different soils, elevations and hydrologic conditions will be created to accommodate the bio-diversity of Marion County.
d) provide long-term scientific research and educational opportunities
e) provide a tranquil park setting for users wanting and needing a sanctuary from the stresses of contemporary life
The third draft of the Prairie Restoration Plan by Carla Cudmore is now available and your feedback is appreciated. The document is approximately 25 pages if you wish to print it.
Current activities planned for the year 2000.
Status reports on the following topics will make up our meeting agendas for the coming year:
If you have an interest in contributing to this restoration effort, either from afar by providing feedback on the plan (s), please contact our department by e-mail mailto:%firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additional people and organizations resources that may be involved include:
A Willamette Basin Restoration Group, a larger context under which local, site specific restoration projects, such as Bonesteele Park, could take place.
Existing Plants Found As of 3/2000
Bonesteele Indigenous Species Plant List