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Pudding River Watershed Council, a group of volunteers, will have its annual meeting March 15

COURTESY PHOTO - Volunteers helped replant shrub and tree cuttings on private land along the Pudding River on Jan. 20 to help make the habitat better for fish and other aquatic wildlife.A local conservation-focused group is getting a jump start on spring.

The Pudding River Watershed Council, made up of volunteers from Marion and Clackamas counties, made some cuttings from native shrubs and trees Jan. 19 at the OSU Extension Service location in Aurora. The next day, the group planted the cuttings in some land donated by a farmer near Whiskey Hill. Those cuttings will sprout roots and be ready to plant along the banks of some of the tributaries of the Pudding River next year, PRWC board member Beverlee Koutny said.

"The purpose of planting trees and shrubs along the creeks is to help keep the water cool in the summer," she explained. "It makes a better habitat for fish and other aquatic wildlife."

PRWC meets on the second Wednesday of every month at 6 p.m. in the Woodburn Public Works building (on the corner of Garfield and First streets, across from the library). The February meeting is an exception, being moved to Feb. 21. Visitors are welcome.

Anyone who would like to volunteer for a PRWC project can contact Executive Director Anna Rankin at 503-983-5387.

The PRWC annual meeting is from 6 to 8 p.m. March 15 at Seven Brides Brewing, 990 N. First St., Silverton. The first 50 people get a free drink. The public is welcome to this event to celebrate the watershed and meet the people who live in it. Speakers will be Todd Jarvis, hydrogeologist with the OSU Institute for Water and Watersheds, and Andy Bryant, hydrologist from NOAA (a weather forecaster).

The mission of the PRWC is to provide voluntary, collaborative opportunities for local private citizens and interested stakeholder groups to cooperate in protecting, restoring, improving and sustaining the health of the watershed.

Find out more at www.puddingriverwatershed.org or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/puddingriverwatershed/.

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