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Organized by the Clackamas River Basin Council, Shade our Streams brings native plants to the community

COURTESY PHOTO: CLACKAMAS RIVER BASIN COUNCIL - The Clackamas River Basin Councils' Shade our Streams program brings a variety of native plants to the area.

The Clackamas River Basin Council is nearing the finish line of its initial goal for the Shade Our Streams program, but those involved with the native planting project plan to keep it up and running.

The council will complete maintenance on the final five miles of its original goal this fall. This will bring the project's total amount of land to 30 miles, fulfilling the initial target for Shade Our Streams. The project will continue for the next three years as an additional 2.5 miles of land are added.

Shade Our Streams started in 2013 with the goal of bringing more native plants to the area to improve water quality and create improved habitats for plants and animals. Through the program, Clackamas River Basin Council partners with area landowners to replace invasive species with native plants.

"Establishing native plant buffers around streams has many environmental benefits. Replacing invasive weeds with native plants promotes diverse habitats and provides sources of food and cover for birds and wildlife. Fish species depend on streamside trees to provide shade and cool the water temperatures. Vegetation also improves fish habitat by adding natural debris to the stream where juvenile fish can grow large and hide from predators," the website for Shade our Steams


Those involved with the project have strived to plant and maintain five miles of land each year. Once participating landowners are identified, native species are planted and each site receives three years of maintenance.

Leadership at the Clackamas River Basin Council appreciate the unique opportunity for collaboration.

"The landowner involvement is great," said Cheryl McGinnis, Clackamas River Basin Council's executive director.

Each year, the council hopes to have 1,200 plants, shrubs or trees planted per acre on participating lands. Since the program's inception, more than 500,000 native plants have been added to the region.

For more information about Shade Our Streams, visit

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