Bend-Area Business Volunteers Work On Whychus Creek Restoration Projec

On Thursday, September 13, volunteers from Conservation Alliance member companies Ruffwear, REI Bend, FootZone, and Quick Feat International will gather in Sisters for a day of collective action on Whychus Creek.
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Bend, Ore. (September 11, 2012) — On Thursday, September 13, volunteers from Conservation Alliance member companies Ruffwear, REI Bend, FootZone, and Quick Feat International will gather in Sisters for a day of collective action on Whychus Creek.

In an effort to contribute to healthy stream conditions in Whychus Creek, Conservation Alliance volunteers will be working with the Upper Deschutes Watershed Council to re-vegetate degraded riparian areas along the creek. Volunteers will be planting native species including cottonwood, water birch, woods' rose, and dogwood to improve riparian habitat conditions for fish and wildlife. Enhancing and increasing riparian vegetation will also increase stream shading for the benefit of instream conditions.

“We're eager to get our hands dirty restoring habitat on Whychus Creek,” said John Sterling, Executive Director of The Conservation Alliance. “Our local member companies always enjoy helping to preserve the wonderful natural places we have in Central Oregon.”

The Bend Backyard Collective takes place Thursday, September 13, 2012 from 9:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., meeting at Village Green Park in Sisters. The event also features a volunteer fair at which Conservation Alliance grantees and local environmental organizations share information on their current conservation initiatives and share ways for individuals to get involved.

“We believe that increasing community awareness and facilitating active participation in stewardship activities is at the heart of our mission,” said Kolleen Yake, Education Director at the Upper Deschutes Watershed Council. “We are committed to engaging community members of all ages in meaningful, hands-on restoration efforts. Volunteers are empowered to be lifelong stream stewards by actually contributing to stream health with their own hands.”

The Bend, Oregon event is the seventh Backyard Collective for the year. The eighth and final event of 2012 will take place in Peterborough, N.H. on September 18.

For more information about this event please contact coordinator, Cassondra Schindler at cassondra@conservationalliance.com or 541.222.9380

About the Conservation Alliance:
The Conservation Alliance is an organization of outdoor businesses whose collective contributions support grassroots environmental organizations and their efforts to protect wild places where outdoor enthusiasts recreate. Alliance funds have played a key role in protecting rivers, trails, wildlands and climbing areas.

Membership in the Alliance is open to companies representing all aspects of the outdoor industry, including manufacturers, retailers, publishers, mills and sales representatives. The result is a diverse group of businesses whose livelihood depends on protecting our natural environment.

Since its inception in 1989, the Alliance has contributed $10.4 million to grassroots conservation groups. Alliance funding has helped save more than 29 million acres of wildlands; protect 2,700 miles of rivers; stop or remove 25 dams; designate five marine reserves; and purchase nine climbing areas.

For complete information on the Conservation Alliance, see www.conservationalliance.com.

About Upper Deschutes Watershed Council

The Upper Deschutes Watershed Council is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization dedicated to protecting and restoring the rivers and streams of Central Oregon through collaborative projects in river restoration, scientific monitoring and place-based education. Since 2002, we have invested core staff time to build the strong and valuable partnerships with local school districts, landowners, the Deschutes National Forest, and other non-profit organizations that help make our hands-on educational efforts effective and successful for thousands of local students.

We have a small staff of five professionals and our Board of Directors is made up of 18 leaders from the local community representing a very diverse cross-section of the Central Oregon population. The combination of supportive partnerships and a collaborative Board of Directors has enabled us to build a stewardship education program that is well-loved and very well-received by local community members, landowners, teachers, students, and civic leaders.

For additional information, visit: www.restorethedeschutes.org

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