The Oregon Garden
Wetland Research

by Deborah Hill and Renee Stoops
Photos by Peter Marbach and The Oregon Garden - Click to enlarge

The Sustainable Plant Research and Outreach (SPROut) staff are dedicated to on-going research and experimentation in The Oregon Garden Wetlands. SPROut is a program that works to increase the use of plants for environmental purposes. Click here for more information.

Staff research at The Garden focuses on native wetland plant establishment, invasive species control (plant and animal), maintenance methods, and water flow regulation. We experiment with different forms of planting stock, different planting methods, species survival tendencies, and expected growth rates. 

Visitors enjoy close-range views of the upper wetland ponds. There we strive for a balance between aesthetics and ecological conservation. In the beginning we used heavy maintenance machinery. But now we employ manual techniques such as hand pulling and pruning, and other creative approaches. 

As The Garden’s irrigation needs change and as Silverton’s water use changes, we must adjust for different water flow amounts while preventing erosion, protecting our plant communities, and maintaining water quality. Over the past two years, we have nearly doubled the flow moving through our wetlands, which has restored some water flow to Brush Creek previously lowered due to Petitt Reservoir. This has prompted a nearby land-owner on Brush Creek to launch a substantial wetlands restoration project.

The Oregon Garden Wetlands serve as a learning showcase in wastewater wetland systems for anyone building similar wetlands. And for visitors interested in wetland ecology, volunteer help is building our new interpretive trail around the lower limited-access ponds. Come see what is thriving here, what functions well, what lessons we’ve learned, and which issues need more research.

This photo was taken in early spring, 2001, when the trees and shrubs were still small enough to let us get in to the wetlands with
big machinery. This is a "spider hoe", typically used to walk up streams; it has a 'soft touch' and was able to scoop out reed canary grass (invasive exotic weed) without damaging the compacted clay liner at the bottom of the upper wetland ponds.


 The Oregon Garden Wetlands

Water Quality Research

Barley Straw Algae Control Research


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