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New community outreach specialist position focuses on community outreach efforts

COURTESY PHOTO - Volunteers pull ivy at Westlake at a former Oswego Lake Watershed Council event.The Oswego Lake Watershed Council is growing — both in the scope of its work and its capacity.

That's why the nonprofit organization, which works to improve the condition and health of the Oswego Lake watershed and its stream network, is seeking a half-time community outreach specialist.

The Watershed Council decided to create the position after its October Tree Summit, which was held to help educate the community about trees and their benefits. From the discussion, the Watershed Council decided on six different action items, which the new position will help implement.

Watershed Coordinator Jack Halsey said the new position will include work with neighborhood associations to be more strategic with forest management on private property in the city, and work with schools to incorporate tree monitoring, planting and maintenance outside of school and in the curriculum. The job will also involve outreach relating to stormwater and watershed science.

COURTESY PHOTO  - This picture was taken at an ivy pull at Lake Oswego High School with the LOHS Green Team and the Oswego Lake Watershed Council."This position will coordinate community outreach efforts of the Council, with a focus on upland forest enhancement and climate action," the job description reads. "Day to day work might include meeting with neighborhood association liaisons, crafting social media posts and emails to promote an upcoming event, and training teachers on the use of our tree monitoring program."

The position will be funded for 10 months per year with a flexible schedule and will allow for increased hours in the future.

The application deadline is Jan. 9. For more information and to fill out an application, visit www.oswegowatershed.org/were-hiring/.

Save the date

In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the Oswego Lake Watershed Council will be hosting two events over the long weekend.

Volunteers are needed to help with planting at Gans, private property near Hallinan Woods, from 10 a.m. to noon Jan. 18 and an ivy pull at Westlake from 10 a.m. to noon Jan. 20.

Though the Watershed Council hosts similar events every month, Halsey said this event will be larger and will honor Martin Luther King Jr.

Halsey said volunteers will be pulling ivy at Westlake "to help protect the oaks habitat that's there and the growth of the oaks that's sort of been restricted by invasive species like ivy."

The site is privately-owned by the Westlake Homeowners Association and is a 17-acre site that boasts 150-year-old Oregon white oak trees. Ivy will be removed off of native trees and shrubs to prepare the site for contractor work.

At Gans, volunteers have been working to clean up that site for a couple years.

"There's been a ton of invasive species removed there and now it's ready to have some more native plants installed," Halsey said.

Volunteers will help plant 200 native plants like thimbleberry and Oregon grape, native shrubs that provide food for birds and support the insect habitat.

Gloves, tools and training will be provided but proper attire like closed-toe shoes are required. The events are open to all ages, but children must be accompanied by an adult.

For more information and to RSVP to be a volunteer, visit this website.


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