New Tour: Meadowlark East Mgmt Unit, Aug. 31, 2017

August 4, 2017 in News, Tours by director  |  Comments Off on New Tour: Meadowlark East Mgmt Unit, Aug. 31, 2017

Join us August 31, 2017 from 5:30-7pm to tour eastern Buford Park and learn about our habitat restoration work from Friends of Buford Park & Mt. Pisgah’s Stewardship Director, Jason Blazar! This 2 mile hike will showcase our work to restore prairie, savanna, and woodland habitat in the Meadowlark East Management Unit, and discuss ecological burning and the Park’s Habitat Management Plan.  Click Here to for more event details and to register. Space is limited so register today!

Meadowlark Tour

October 18, 2016 in News by Friends of Buford Park  |  Comments Off on Meadowlark Tour

East Entrance of Buford Park
Saturday, November 5
9 am – noon

Tour the eastern portion of Buford Park and learn about our recent habitat restoration work there. Friends of Buford Park & Mt. Pisgah’s Stewardship Coordinator Jason Blazar will lead an approximately 2-3 mile hike through the Meadowlark Prairie. The tour will highlight accomplishments from phase 1 of the Meadowlark project as well as the very recent work of phase two. This tour will include a discussion of the desired future conditions and historic conditions of the area, as well as what steps are needed to achieve the desired state.

Registration required. Sign up now!

Milestone reached on Confluence River Restoration Project

September 10, 2016 in Habitat, In the News, Land Protection by Friends of Buford Park  |  Comments Off on Milestone reached on Confluence River Restoration Project

After a full summer of excavation work, Friends of Buford Park & Mt. Pisgah and The Nature Conservancy (TNC) completed construction of a major river restoration project at the confluence of the Coast and Middle Forks of the Willamette near Mt. Pisgah.


Project partners from The Nature Conservancy, Friends of Buford Park & Mt. Pisgah inspect the completed perennial connection excavated where Russel Creek flows into the Willamette River.

The project took place across 200 acres on three ownerships (Friends, TNC and Oregon Parks and Recreation Department). This piece of work was the second of three stages of a project being implemented between 2014 and 2018 by The Nature Conservancy, in partnership with the Friends and multiple other partners. This summer, the partners connected ten former gravel mining pits to the river, benefiting salmon, turtles, river otter, beavers and other aquatic species. Aside from the positive habitat outcomes resulting from the project, the restoration of Turtle Flats and Willamette Confluence Preserve will also help improve water quality for EWEB’s future drinking water intake facility, planned less than a mile downstream.

An excavator at work in July 2016 constructing a channel to connect a pond to the river. A new connection between two ponds is in the foreground.

An excavator at work in July 2016 constructing a channel to connect a pond to the river. A new connection between two ponds is in the foreground.

Volunteers played a major role in site preparation, removing invasive species in advance of the earth moving. We now look forward to the re-vegetation stage and invite volunteers to help with planting native species and continue the work to remove invasive species. Contact volunteer @ to get involved.

The Friends welcomes contributions to its Mt. Pisgah Stewardship Endowment to provide perpetual support for the long-term maintenance and stewardship of habitat in the Mt. Pisgah area.  Contact development @ to learn more.

Read the press release for more detail.

View KVAL’s coverage of the news.

View The Register-Guard coverage of the news: here from Sept. 9 and here from Sept. 16

Brewery Benefits, Summer 2016

May 27, 2016 in News by Friends of Buford Park  |  Comments Off on Brewery Benefits, Summer 2016

Brewery Benefits, Summer 2016

Benefit for the Friends at Ninkasi Tasting Room — Tuesday, June 7th (all day)

  • 272 Van Buren Street, Eugene
  • 25% of all pint sales at the Tasting Room with benefits going to the Friends, all day!

Youth in Nature Partnership Benefit at Falling Sky — Monday July 18th 

  • 1334 Oak Alley AND 790 Blair Blvd. (both Eugene locations)
  • 25% of entire purchase will benefit the Youth in Nature Partnership.
  • IMPORTANT: You must show this flyer on your phone or paper.

Pisgah Brew Release Party at Agrarian Ales — Sunday, July 24th (3-6 pm)

  • 31115 W. Crossroads Lane, Eugene
  • All sales of a special Pisgah brew will benefit the Friends!


Ninkasi_Brewing_Company_LogoFalling Skyagrarian-logo-with-tagline-02

Spotlight on Volunteers: Julie Daniel

May 20, 2016 in News, Spotlight on Volunteers by Friends of Buford Park  |  Comments Off on Spotlight on Volunteers: Julie Daniel

Julie Daniel 150x150For the last several years, Julie Daniel has served on our advisory council, sharing insights gleaned from leading BRING’s transformation over the last decade. We asked her why she gives to the Friends, and here’s what we learned:

“I’m proud to donate both time and money to the Friends.  I’m a big fan of their ‘hands-on, do more with less’ approach to stewardship. Directly involving hundreds of volunteers really maximizes their ability to care for the land and helps people like me feel connected to this special place.  I hike all over the park, especially in winter when short days and less clement weather make out of town hikes less feasible.  My involvement with the Friends has deepened my appreciation for the land and made me more aware of the impact humans have had—positive and negative—over the years.

Of course, I’m terribly excited about the acquisition of Turtle Flats since those lands include the old BRING site.  Restoring Turtle Flats is a wonderful opportunity as a well as a sizeable challenge, and I hope to have more time in the future to do some hands-on work removing invasive plants.”


Spotlight on Volunteers: Kevin Shanley

April 26, 2016 in News, Spotlight on Volunteers by Friends of Buford Park  |  Comments Off on Spotlight on Volunteers: Kevin Shanley
Kevin Shanley

Kevin Shanley

Finding the balance between natural systems and human access to those spaces is a passion for Kevin Shanley, whom we are fortunate to have as one of our new board members.

A landscape architect for the last 40 years, Kevin is a principal at the leading landscape architecture group, SWA, and has practiced internationally. He’s won a slew of awards for his work, which largely include public parks and large-scale urban design projects with a focus on water and rivers. His nonprofit experience is substantial as well, having been Chairman of the Board for a 40-year-old river advocacy group in Houston and having served on multiple other boards.

Kevin discovered Buford Park a year ago, within the first week of his move to Eugene, and decided immediately that, “It just seems like an opportunity for the whole region. It’s a remarkable place.”

His primary interest as a board member is working on the regional trail system as it ties into Buford Park. Kevin sees as a puzzle worth solving the fact that, “The only way to get there is to drive, but it’s totally within hiking and biking distance of the majority of the Eugene/Springfield population. That’s a missing piece that ought to be high on our priorities to solve. It’s tricky because you have big rivers and stewardship issues and landowner issues. The park can and should be better connected to the community that supports it.”

As such, Kevin is the board liaison to our Trails Committee and is involved in planning discussions on behalf of the Friends about the trail system. Stay tuned for updates on Kevin’s work!

2015 Annual Report Published

April 14, 2016 in News by development  |  Comments Off on 2015 Annual Report Published
web 2016 annual report

Click to view the full report

The Friends achieved several important milestones in 2015 including:

  • completing the purchase of Turtle Flats
  • establishing a permanent Endowment Fund at the Oregon Community Foundation
  • launching our Bootstraps to Best Practices initiative to strengthen the organization
  • surpassing $1 million in revenues for the first time


Read the details and a note on Resilience and Perpetuity from Executive Director Chris Orsinger in our 2015 Annual Report.

Thank you members, volunteers, businesses and other supporters for making these achievements possible!

Arboretum and Friends Joint Resolution on Lane Co. Master Plan Update

December 4, 2015 in Land Protection, News by Friends of Buford Park  |  Comments Off on Arboretum and Friends Joint Resolution on Lane Co. Master Plan Update

Joint Arboretum and Friends resolution regarding the Lane County Parks and Open Space Master Plan Update 

The boards of directors of Mount Pisgah Arboretum and the Friends of Buford Park & Mt. Pisgah reviewed and considered the Lane County Parks and Open Space Master Plan Update and jointly approved the following resolution.

Resolved, Mount Pisgah Arboretum (the Arboretum) and The Friends of Buford Park and Mt. Pisgah (the Friends) applaud Lane County Parks for working to update the comprehensive master plan for its 70 recreation sites. The Friends and the Arboretum shall offer support to Lane County Parks in working to improve the comprehensive Lane County Parks and Open Space Master Plan (POSMP). Both organizations believe that, in reference to the Howard Buford Recreation Area (HBRA), the POSMP should:

1)    Contain and reflect the purpose of HBRA as stated in the adopted HBRA Master Plan –“to provide varied opportunities for primarily low intensity outdoor recreation and education activities while protecting, conserving, enhancing, and maintaining the natural, scenic, historical, rural, and recreational qualities of this… park.” We believe this purpose statement accurately reflects the current uses and activities at HBRA. New uses or facilities should be compatible with this statement.

2)    Clarify the roles, and the scope of the benefits provided by the Friends, the Arboretum, and other partners that contribute to the stewardship of HBRA – The “Current Features” portion of the HBRA narrative in the POSMP should include a detailed statement of the goals and contributions of the Friends and the Arboretum.

3)    Define priority trail and facility improvement goals for HBRA. The Park Vision portion of the HBRA narrative should clearly state that future development of facilities must be compatible or consistent with the preservation and protection of the natural features of HBRA.

4)    Incorporate the recommendations of the Lane County Large Events Task Force (LETF) – We support the recommendations for limiting and managing large events at HBRA and other parks included in the LETF report as approved by the Lane Board of County Commissioners on November 10, 2015.

5)    Further define the process for issuing special use permits for overnight camping (General Policies Item 5) to reflect consideration of potential impacts – The POSMP should clarify that special use permit requests will be carefully evaluated to identify potential negative impacts to resource and habitat values. We believe such permits should follow the recommendation of the LETF for large events at HBRA, that priority be given to “events with a primarily educational or nature based theme”.

Turtle Flats Purchase Now Complete

October 20, 2015 in Habitat, In the News, Land Protection by Friends of Buford Park  |  Comments Off on Turtle Flats Purchase Now Complete

The Friends are thrilled to announce that we’ve recently completed our purchase of the 62-acre Turtle Flats, a key parcel at the confluence of the Coast and Middle Forks of the Willamette River! 

Turtle-Flats3-webresFor more information, including a KVAL news video, and ways you can participate in our continued preservation and restoration efforts, visit our Turtle Flats Habitat page.

We’ve already begun restoring the property to improve water quality and fish and wildlife habitat. The former gravel mining site is the first to be owned by the Friends; all of the other work we do is as guest stewards. To date, we’ve successfully advocated for or facilitated acquisitions totaling more than 1,700 acres in the greater Mt. Pisgah area, bringing the total protected area up to 4,700 acres!

We purchased the property from Lane County with a $324,000 grant from the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA). The funding comes through the Willamette Wildlife Mitigation Program (WWMP), created through an 2010 agreement between BPA and the State of Oregon to protect 16,000 acres of habitat in the Willamette Valley to offset habitat losses from federal hydroelectric dams.  Oregon Dept. of Fish & Wildlife manages the WWMP, reviews and recommends proposed habitat acquisitions, like Turtle Flats, to BPA.  A conservation easement held by the BPA will protect the floodplain habitat in perpetuity. Lane County dedicated $284,000 of the sale proceeds to the Oregon Community Foundation to help fund restoration work on the property.

Channel Restoration Planned

The purchase will make possible a major restoration at the confluence.  We’re partnering with two adjacent land owners, The Nature Conservancy and Oregon Department of Parks and Recreation, to restore nearly 200 acres of riverine habitat at the confluence, of which Turtle Flats is a part. The restoration will improve water quality for EWEB’s future drinking water intake facility and will expand side channel and backwater habitat to help reverse declining populations of salmon, steelhead and trout. The work we do to restore native plant communities will improve wildlife habitat for species like turtles, river otters and herons.

Thanks to the hundreds of you who have already volunteered to help restore this area since 2009!

The Match is Lit on Ecological Burns !

October 1, 2015 in News by development  |  Comments Off on The Match is Lit on Ecological Burns !

Conditions are finally right and today, Lane County Parks, the Friends, and The Nature Conservancy are cooperating on an ecological burn to enhance habitat in the Springbox Savanna. We’ve been stockpiling native seed from our nursery for 3 years in anticipation of this moment. “Burning is a regular and natural part of the environment in these natural areas,” said Mike Russell, Lane County Parks manager. “We work closely with Lane Regional Air Pollution Authority and our Rivers to Ridges partners throughout the area to make sure the burn is safe and will not disrupt the community.”

Next on the docket is the South Meadow of Buford Park where the Friends have been restoring floodplain and prairie habitat for 15 years. Let the regeneration begin!

2015 Ecological BurnEcological burns are a tool to manage vegetation in the Spring Box Savanna and South Bottomlands and help re-establish diverse native plant communities in these rare Willamette Valley habitats. The Willamette Valley was once dominated by oak savannas and prairies rich with diverse grass and wildflower species, but now only two percent of these habitats remain. This ecosystem requires regular disturbance, such as fire, to maintain native species and to prevent conversion of open prairie to a closed woodland or forest. Historically, disturbance was provided through regular intentional burning by native people or ignition by lightning. Many of our native prairie plants, such as camas and the federally endangered Bradshaw’s lomatium (Lomatium bradshawii), have evolved with fire for thousands of years and flourish after a site is burned.

 Ecological burns in the park’s prairies accomplish several biological and fire safety goals, including improved seed germination, removal of built up thatch and short-term soil fertilization.  All of these factors help native, fire-dependent species thrive, such as the rare western meadowlark (Oregon’s state bird), which nests in prairies. In addition, controlled burns protect the open prairie structure, as well as reduce the future risks of wildfires to local residences through the removal of standing dead vegetation. The burns also provide a training opportunity for participating firefighting crews.