'Discover Rock Creek' on Nov. 5 offers rare opportunity to access natural area

From: Gari Johnson, Clackamas County Water Environment Services, 503-742-4631

The public is invited to Discover Rock Creek - an educational event and work party - presented by Clackamas County Water Environment Services and partners Clackamas River Basin Council, Dig In, and SOLVE. The event takes place from 9 a.m. to noon on Nov. 5 at 14974 SE Hwy 212 in Happy Valley.

Rock Creek is an important tributary of the Clackamas River and home to salmon, beaver, ospreys, and other fish and wildlife. Discover Rock Creek offers a rare opportunity to explore wildlife habitat and natural areas around Rock Creek near its confluence with the Clackamas River, a site that is usually closed to the public.

Participants will have the opportunity to explore the progress of invasive plant removal, in-stream construction, and native plant restoration work that has been conducted since late 2013. Education stations will feature hands-on activities and information about wildlife of the local watershed, what bugs can tell us about water quality, and healthy fish habitats. A native planting work party will take up the last hour of the day.

Discover Rock Creek was created to celebrate the Rock Creek Confluence Project, which included the removal of over 12 acres of invasive weeds, the placement of over 25 large wood structures and numerous boulders, and the planting of over 18,000 native trees and shrubs. This project stretches from the confluence of Rock Creek and the Clackamas River and covers 2,000 linear feet of the stream. Restoration efforts have increased stream complexity for enhanced protection for juvenile salmon before they migrate to the ocean.

The Rock Creek Confluence Project was funded by Clackamas County Water Environment Services, Metro's 2006 Natural Areas bond measure, Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board, The Nature Conservancy's PGE Habitat Fund, and the Clackamas River Basin Council's Shade Our Streams program.

Registered participants should arrive at 8:45 a.m. at Nature's Country Store located at 15252 Hwy 224 in Damascus. Shuttles will be provided to and from the site. Carpooling is encouraged. Read more information and register for the event.

For more information, members of the media and public may contact Community Relations Specialist Gari Johnson at 503-742-4631.