Buford Park’s South Meadow Floodplain Enhancements

Friends of Buford Park & Mt. Pisgah continues to enhance habitat and trails on the 200-acre South Meadow floodplain area within Buford Park.

The ambitious effort is currently supported by grants from the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board, Meyer Memorial Trust, Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife, National Fish & Wildlife Foundation, and Oregon Wildlife Heritage Trust, as well as member and volunteer contributions.

Diverse native plantings continue

Thanks to support from the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board, the Friends in 2013 will continue controlling blackberry and other invasives and planting diverse native habitats, including rare prairie, savanna, floodplain forest in the South Meadow.  We are working to restore the remaining acreage and move this large site into a maintenance mode.

Channel restoration completed 2011

In 2011, the Friends completed a large-scale river channel restoration project that had been envisioned in 1995. In conjunction with native plantings on nearly 100 acres of former pasture, the project represents one of the most comprehensive restoration efforts in the Pacific Northwest.

Increased seasonal flows and plantings in the side channel are maturing into better aquatic habitat for spring Chinook salmon, Pacific lamprey, western pond turtle, northern red-legged frog,  and northwester salamanders. Phase III (2009-2011) project objectives can be viewed here.

By planting native streamside grasses, wildflowers, shrubs and trees, the improved floodplain habitat will not only filter sediment-laden floodwaters but also benefit a host of species, such as butterflies, foxes, migratory birds (e.g., yellow warbler) and grass-nesting birds (e.g., western meadowlark, Oregon’s state bird). View more pictures.

Shown is the “backwater” channel section where the Friends in 2006 breached a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers revetment (levee) that was built in the 1950s. Video taken from the new South Meadow Floodplain Interpretive Trail during floods of January 2012.

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