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Adelante Mujeres will get three-year, $94K conservation ed grant



COURTESY PHOTO: METRO - By fall 2016, a new boat launch at Farmington Road and River Road will provide paddlers with a new entry point along the Tualatin River.A new canoe launch, restoration of a local pond, and public access to a local wetland were some of the updates in store for Metro councilors, who left their Portland headquarters to bring one of their regular meetings out to Centro Cultural in Cornelius last Thursday, July 9, where they also announced grant recipients to a packed house.

n Metro’s Elaine Stewart gave an update on Maroon Ponds, a 47-acre wetland just a few miles south of Forest Grove, near the west end of Blooming Fernhill Road, where it meets Fern Hill Road.

Metro and Clean Water Services have teamed up to remove tires, car batteries and asphalt from the site. The team made a berm, started work establishing a long-term habitat for wildlife, and planted Oregon ash, snowberry, willow, red-stemmed dogwood and other native vegetation to attract native wildlife.

Once a manmade pond, the area is now a wetland with sedges, rushes and fallen logs ideal for providing salmon and beaver habitat.

n Rod Wojtanik, Metro’s principal regional planner, gave an update on the canoe and kayak launch planned for the Tualatin River near the intersection of Farmington and River roads. The site will include parking and bathrooms.

About 60 percent of the construction documents are completed and team leaders are preparing to submit project plans for federal permits, Wojtanik said. Project planners hope to start construction in the summer of 2016.

One reason such recreational sites are important is because people who appreciate and use local natural areas will be more likely to care for them, Wojtanik said.

The new launch will sit between the Rood Bridge launch site in Hillsboro to the west and the Eagle’s Landing site in unincorporated Washington County to the east — each five miles of paddling away.

n Alex Perove updated the council on the developing plans for the Killin Wetlands near Banks, which include parking spaces, short trails and bird watching stations. Planners are considering putting a quilt block on the Killin Wetlands barn. Members of the Westside Quilters Guild have been painting wooden blocks in historic quilt patterns and attaching them to barns and granges across Washington County.

The council will vote on the proposed updates this fall.

n Forest Grove’s Adelante Mujeres will get a three-year, $94,000 conservation education grant to teach the importance of STREAM (Science, Technology, Restoration, Engineering, Arts, Math) via youth engagement and career mentorship. Adelante will continue partnering with Tualatin Riverkeepers to develop future conservation leaders by providing Latino youth with opportunities to explore the field of conservation.

n Also on the west side, Community Partners for Affordable Housing, Inc. will get $25,000 for Home is Where the Watershed Is: Conservation Education for Low-Income and Housing Insecure Families.

n Tom Black, the only citizen signed up to offer public comment, informed the Metro Council of a November ballot measure he’s rallying for that would limit Washington County commissioners to only two consecutive terms.

Three out of the five commissioners have held their seats 14 years or more, he said.

There’s a constant tug-of-war between the county’s resources and between urban and rural projects, said Black, who seemed to support the Metro Council’s emphasis on conservation.

He was less sure about the county commissioners: “Do their values project the values we’ve seen here today?”

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