Woodland Tour Provides Education to Yamhill County Students

450 Yamhill County fifth grade students visited the Cruickshank Woodland School for the 54th annual Woodland Tour. Dave Cruickshank had the forest trails cleared and ready for the six educational stations placed along the trail. The stations included:

● Fire Prevention and Safety presented by McMinnville Fire Department
● Forest Management presented by OSU Extension Forrester
● Outdoor Behavior presented by Yamhill County Sheriffs
● Plants & Wildlife presented by Yamhill Soil & Water Conservation District & Miller Woods
● Forest Harvest & Products presented by Talk About Trees
● Soils & Watersheds presented by US Department of Agriculture/Natural Resources Conservation Service

Many thanks to the volunteers and instructors who donated their time and talents to provide valuable education in a beautiful, fun and hands on learning environment. And thank you to the Cruickshank family for providing and preparing the woodlands for this annual event each year!

Take Mom to Miller Woods for a fun hike this Mother’s Day.

She’ll be surrounded by wildlife “moms” and their babies! Be sure and bring your camera for the many photo opportunities.  You will see and experience spring flowers in bloom and new life so you’re sure to capture some Kodak moment. This photo, of a Northern Pygmy Owl sitting in her oak tree nest at Miller Woods, was taken by Chemeketa Student Laura Willoughby. 

Yamhill SWCD Participates in Slug Summit Hosted by OSU

Crop damage or loss from slugs and snails has become a growing concern throughout the Willamette Valley for many agricultural sectors. Growers representing various seed crops, Christmas tree and nursery industries as well as agricultural consultants and representatives from the Oregon Department of Agriculture, USDA-ARS, Natural Resource Conservation Service, various SWCDs and the Farm Bureau all gathered to the discuss current state of the problem and potential strategies to develop university and field based research solutions. The group shared experiences, barriers and unknowns that concern them and the OSU Crop and Soil Science researchers communicated the current level of knowledge on this topic.  The group “brain stormed” and prioritized future actions that the university could take to guide the agricultural industry in finding promising solutions.  The Summit was sponsored by OSU Crop and Soil Science Department.

Regional Conservation Partnership Program Awarded to Yamhill and Polk Soil & Water Conservation Districts and Partners

The soil and water conservation districts serving Polk and Yamhill counties will share a $2 million prairie restoration grant awarded through the US Department of Agriculture’s new Regional Conservation Partnership Program. The funds will be used to reimburse landowners for restoring endangered upland oak habitat at various sites over the next five years.

District Works with Yamhill-Carlton Winegrowers Association to Host Vineyard Development Tour

Over 35 people joined the Yamhill-Carlton Winegrowers Association and the Yamhill Soil & Water Conservation District (District) to discuss trends in vineyard development and erosion control.  The group visited Yamhella Vineyard to observe and discuss erosion control measures they’ve  implemented, including cover cropping, mulching, contour seeding and installing coir logs.   A special thank you to Ken Johnston for hosting us at the vineyard and sharing your experience from this past season.  If you would like more information, contact the District at 503-472-6403 or We’re here to help!


Eileen Stark's New Book - "Real Gardens Grow Natives"

Eileen Stark, Portland author of Real Gardens Grow Natives, made a special appearance at the Native Plant Sale on February 7 to sign her new book.   Eileen is a landscape designer and consultant who specializes in developing Northwest wildlife habitat gardens.  The book features 200 full color photographs of native plants and wildlife, and includes advice for easy maintenance using organic methods. The books are $25 each and are available at the District office. This beautiful book would make a great Mother’s Day gift!

2015 Native Plant Sale a Big Success

Thank you to everyone who helped support the 2015 Native Plant Sale on February 5, 6, and 7!  The Yamhill SWCD sold over 30,000 native plants, trees, and shrubs.  Some plants will be used for very robust conservation projects while many others will be planted in private gardens and landscapes.  People enjoyed learning more about all the benefits of naturescaping with native plants which influence wildlife habitat and encourage pollinators. Volunteers donated over 200 hours to prepare for the sale, assist during the sale and help with post work clean-up. We couldn’t do it without you, so thank you very much.  

View Photo Gallery Here!

OSU Agricultural Composting Workshop

The OSU Agricultural Composting Workshop will be held 2 days in April.  On April 3, you will be part of a small team that will build a compost pile using a wide variety of materials.  On April 10, you will evaluate the performance of your compost pile.  This course is designed for agricultural professionals and on-farm composters.  The registration fee covers the resource notebook, lunch and workshop materials.
WHEN:  April 3 and April 10, 2015
WHERE:  North Willamette Research and Extension Center, 15210 NE Miley Rd., Aurora
REGISTRATION FEE:  $90 per person

Keeping our Streams Clean of Pesticides

On Saturday, December 6th the Greater Yamhill Watershed Council and the Yamhill SWCD in cooperation with many partners were able to collect 39,218 pounds of unlabeled, restricted use or banned agricultural pesticides.  This event gave local residents and agricultural businesses the opportunity for safe handling and disposal of these chemicals.  Throughout the day 54 participants stopped at the Wilco Agronomy Center at Whiteson to give their chemicals to Clean Harbor Services, a contractor who specializes in hazardous waste disposal, to ensure the chemicals are disposed of safely and in an environmentally conscious way.  We also collected triple rinsed plastic containers for recycling. 

Changes in Recycling Tunnel Sprayer Retrofit Kit Cost Share Program!

recycling tunnel sprayer

In 2012, the Yamhill Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) received a $75,000 grant through the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) Conservation Innovation Grant program, to demonstrate new recycling tunnel sprayer technology in vineyards in Yamhill County.  The grant has allowed the district to provide incentive payments to eligible vineyard producers to purchase recycling tunnel sprayer technology.