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Enjoy the Many Features of Alder Creek Farm this Summer

Posted by on Jul 20, 2018 in Tillamook County Pioneer | Comments Off on Enjoy the Many Features of Alder Creek Farm this Summer

Almost two decades ago, a 60-acre dairy farm in Nehalem went up for sale. The farm – which stretched all the way to Nehalem Bay – included an old-fashioned barn and had always been a haven for native wildlife who found refuge in the forested hills and pasture land.
Not wanting the fate of these piece of property to fall in the wrong hands, five friends decided to purchase the former dairy farm and lease it to the Lower Nehalem Community Trust for habitat restoration. In 2005, the Trust purchased the farm.

Since then, the Trust has purchased more than 250 additional acres to fulfill their mission of preserving land and nurturing conservation values through partnerships.
For 13 years, the Trust has continued to improve and restore Alder Creek Farm by adding a one-acre community garden that helps feed the local food bank; a greenhouse; ethnobotanical trail; native plant nursery and of course turning the more-than-50 acres into a wildlife sanctuary. Over the last decade the Trust and their volunteers have restored historic riparian vegetation and wetland habitats and removed invasive plants to allow for the introduction of native species. They’ve also purchased the several acres adjacent to the farm that includes the original farm house in order to create an educational learning center.
This summer, the Lower Nehalem Community Trust is inviting guests out to the farm to experience its plunder in a number of different ways. From getting your hands dirty in the garden to taking a walk after dusk to discover the different species of moths, each event highlights a different and important aspect of the farm.
“We want people to come experience Alder Creek Farm in person,” said Trust Board Member Roxanne Balmer. “We encourage people to come out here and go for a walk, go birding, and experience this place in a respectful way. It’s what it’s here for.”
Balmer said each of these free education events are a way to get people involved and invested in Alder Creek Farm and the work that the Trust does, as well as teach them new ways to enjoy the outdoors and the importance of conservation.
Upcoming events include:

•Sustainable Earth Friendly Gardening: July 28, 10 a.m. – Noon Experience a taste of gardening at beautiful Alder Creek Farm & Wildlife Sanctuary, and join volunteers for a morning working in the organic community garden. Learn about growing food in our unique climate and their approach to gardening together and sharing our harvest with the North County Food Bank. The community garden is all organic for a responsible and sustainable approach to protect our environment and watershed.
•Moth Talk & Viewing: July 28 from 8 – 10 p.m. Join naturalist Jim Johnson for a rare evening viewing moths under the stars at Alder Creek Farm. Jim will demonstrate how to safely attract, trap, document, and release moths. What draws a moth to flame? How can you tell a butterfly from a moth? Where do moths go during the day? Come see a dazzling array of local moths and learn about the secret life of these mysterious visitors. Jim will also discuss crowd-sourcing ecological data online, and he’ll answer questions about how to get started as a citizen scientist on websites like iNaturalist and eBird.
•Dragonflies of Alder Creek Farm: July 28 from 12:30 – 2 p.m. Join naturalist Jim Johnson as he shares his wealth of information and knowledge regarding odonoates, and shares tips and tricks on how to spot and identify them. Learn how dragonflies find a mate, how they’re able to fly so fast (and forward and backward!), and how they’ve evolved over the centuries. Find out how to attract these creatures to your yard, and why you want to. Then, take a tour of Alder Creek Farm in search of dragonflies and damselflies that call the Farm home. Wear comfortable shoes and be prepared to walk in tall grass.
•Alder Creek Farm & Nehalem Teaching Trail: Aug. 11 from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Enjoy a walking tour of the wildlife refuge and natural area of Alder Creek Farm including the Community Garden, a developing Teaching Trail, and the Farm’s diverse wildlife habitats; Alder Creek where otter and beaver live, the uplands and Sorrel Woods area where hawks soar, and the grassy meadow and pond where elk roam and blue heron hunt. We will discuss the Farm’s unusual ecosystem and LNCT’s restoration progress, goals, and objectives.
•Emerald Necklace Tour: Aug. 18 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Begin at Alder Creek Farm for a tour of LNCT’s conservation lands along Nehalem Bay and the scenic north edge. This string of conservation parcels is dubbed the emerald necklace because it has beaded together some amazing natural habitats to protect important wetlands, vistas, green space, and waterways. The last stop on the tour is Elk Meadows, a Manzanita nature park featuring a winding trail, stands of alder trees, and a sweet wetlands.
•Beaver Trails Tour: Aug. 18 from 9 a.m. – Noon Connecting the beauty of beavers and their role as engineers in natural landscapes, Lower Nehalem Watershed Council and community partners will lead participants on a tour of beaver habitat sites throughout the Nehalem Watershed. The tour will stop at 2 – 4 locations where participants will be able to see different examples of active and historical beaver activity. Alix Lee, coordinator for the Lower Nehalem Watershed Council will lead the tour and provide narrative on beaver ecology, history and importance for maintaining healthy ecosystems on the North Coast.

Each of these free events are part of the Explore Nature series of hikes, walks, paddles and outdoor adventures. Hosted by a consortium of volunteer community and non-profit organizations, these meaningful nature-based experiences highlight the unique beauty of Tillamook County and the work being done to preserve and conserve the area’s natural resources and natural resource-based economy. You can register for one, or all, at
The Explore Nature Series events are paid for in part by the Economic Development Council of Tillamook County, Visit Tillamook Coast, and the Travel Oregon Forever Fund. For more information, or to join in on the fun, visit

Source: Tillamook County Pioneer

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Garibaldi Museum Annual Silent Auction Events, Preview Fri. July 27th; Auction July 28th

Posted by on Jul 20, 2018 in Tillamook County Pioneer | Comments Off on Garibaldi Museum Annual Silent Auction Events, Preview Fri. July 27th; Auction July 28th

The Garibaldi Museum needs your support! On Saturday, July 28th the museum is holding our annual Silent Auction fundraiser. All funds collected will go towards a new educational mural that will feature the maritime history of Tillamook Bay. This exterior mural will show how connected we all are to our local maritime history.

Please join us Friday, July 27th from 4 to 7 p.m. for wine and a sneak peek at the items that will be auctioned. The Nestucca Bay Creamery will be supplying the cheese for this event. The Silent Auction ends at 4 p.m. on Saturday July 28th.

We have handmade items, gift certificates, game tickets, show tickets, and many more items. The items are listed on our website at:
By attending this event you will also show your passion for our rich history of Tillamook Bay. Let’s get together and make this happen.
A giant size thank you goes out to the businesses and friends that have donated to the mural project.

Source: Tillamook County Pioneer

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Oregon State Parks Prohibit Campfires, Open Flames in all State Park Properties – Includes Beach Fires

Posted by on Jul 19, 2018 in Tillamook County Pioneer | Comments Off on Oregon State Parks Prohibit Campfires, Open Flames in all State Park Properties – Includes Beach Fires

July 19, 2018 – Immediate Release **
OPRD is prohibiting all campfires and open flames in all state park properties effective 10 a.m. today (7/19/2018). The ban is in response to Governor Brown’s declaration of a fire emergency. The campfire and open flame ban includes campgrounds, day-use areas, and all areas of the Ocean Shore and beaches managed by OPRD.
The fire ban applies to wood, charcoal, and other flame sources that cannot be turned off with a valve. Liquid fuel stoves or cooking devices that can be turned off with a valve are permitted, but cannot be left unattended.

The fire ban is expected to last at least one week, but will be evaluated based on weather, resource conditions and input from Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) and other state and local fire officials.
Up-to-date info about fire restrictions at state parks is here:

Source: Tillamook County Pioneer

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Grant’s Getaways: Wheeler Railriders

Posted by on Jul 19, 2018 in Visit Tillamook Coast | Comments Off on Grant’s Getaways: Wheeler Railriders

Summer has arrived in the Oregon country! It is a time when brilliant sunshine rules the days. Join me for a new way to explore Tillamook County that will get your heart rate going and leave you with a mile-wide smile.Nate Bell will show you to your seat when you join the Oregon Coast Railriders’ new Nehalem River run.“The easiest way to mount up in our railrider carts is to simply back in, plop down and then simply kick your leg over. That’s the best way to do it,” noted the longtime lead guide.Three times a day each Saturday through Wednesday, Bell and his wife, Tara Spires, lead guests on a pedaling adventure that starts in Wheeler, Oregon.Kim Metlen designed the cars and launched his railrider business in Joseph, Oregon.“This is the fifth year we’ve been doing this and it’s the fifth site we’ve opened,” noted Metlen. “We started out with two seaters and now we’re doing nothing but four seaters. We can take up to forty guests during each trip. So, if you can get up on that seat, we want to take you.”If you’re lucky, you might cross paths with lifelong local and historian Don Best. He’s an author and video producer who knows all about Oregon coast railroading launched more than a century ago.He said Wheeler history is alive, and you can see the signs along the waterfront: “This is where the Lewis Shingle Company was located. Right here and it was a huge with seven saws. They would bring the giant logs right here from the water up into the mill.”Wheeler not only thrived on timber but salmon too. There were half a dozen canneries all along the waterfront. The Nehalem River railroad also carried tourists by the thousands each summer.“You could get on the train in Portland at 9:30 in the morning and be walking on the beach at 2:30 in the afternoon,” said Best. It’s just like in the mid-west where they’d build a railroad and suddenly communities would spring up along the rail line.”The railrider peddling experience is sublime and relatively easy with just a one-percent grade on a two-hour trip that rolls on unused track.Bell said the best part is the lack of crowds: “We don’t get in anybody’s way because no one else is using this rail line right now. That’s what I love about it.”The Nehalem River run shows off Tillamook County countryside that you miss driving 50 mph on US Coastal Highway 101.Bob Waldron said it’s good to see new life for an old rail section: “Oh, there’s one stretch where you have a beautiful and spacious view of the river both up and down. It is simply beautiful and breathtaking scenery as you pedal your way up the canyon.”So, check it out! It’s the sort of adventure that puts a smile on your face and leaves you wanting more.The Nehalem River Run aboard Oregon Coast Railriders departs Wheeler each Saturday through Wednesday at 9am, noon and 3pm.The post Grant’s Getaways: Wheeler Railriders appeared first on Tillamook Coast.
Source: Visit Tillamook Coast

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Local conservation groups stage Beach Walk & BioBlitz

Posted by on Jul 19, 2018 in Tillamook County Pioneer | Comments Off on Local conservation groups stage Beach Walk & BioBlitz

By Dan Haag
On Monday, July 16, 34 people gathered on Neah-Kah-Nie Beach for “Conserving Our Land, Beach and Sea Walk and BioBlitz.” It was a chance to get an up-close look at beach life during low tide and to become citizen scientists for a morning.

Friends of Cape Falcon Marine Reserve, Lower Nehalem Watershed Council, Lower Nehalem Community Trust, and Oregon Coast Aquarium partnered to lead an educational walk exploring the connections between headwaters and local seas. Oregon Shores Coast Watch was also on hand to lend their expertise.

BioBlitz attendees gather around a tidepool to catch of glimpse of local sea life. Photo by Dan Haag

The event was part of Explore Nature Tillamook Coast’s summer schedule of educational outdoor events.
So what exactly is a BioBlitz?
Overall, it serves as a fun, intensive survey of a defined area on a single day with the goal of identifying all the species to be found in that area at one time.
According to Sam Droege of the USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center and one of the founders of the modern-day BioBlitz concept, “the name and concept of the BioBlitz is not registered, not copyrighted, not trademarked, and not a government thing. It’s an idea that can be used, adapted, and modified by any group, who should freely use the name BioBlitz for their own purposes.”
This particular event was designed to shine a light on the significance of all five of the Oregon Coast Marine Reserves: Cape Falcon, Cascade Head, Otter Rock, Cape Perpetua, and Red Fish Rocks.

Ian Throckmorton of Oregon Coast Aquarium, right, helps identify species found during the recent BioBlitz. Photo by Dan Haag

“The importance of doing this is the Marine Reserves,” said Ian Throckmorton of Oregon Coast Aquarium. “We’re looking to raise awareness of the Marine Reserves while engaging folks in citizen science and help deepen their understanding of these areas.”
The morning provided a snapshot of biodiversity and gave attendees the opportunity to help build an understanding of what is living on the coastal edge. It also provided a chance to help local organizations better catalog and monitor the species of the region.

Chrissy Smith of Cape Falcon Marine Reserve, right, shows BioBlitz attendees a hermit crab found in a tidepool. Photo by Dan Haag

“The BioBlitz showcased efforts that many organizations are taking to conserve and make people aware of protections around our natural environment,” said Chrissy Smith, Outreach Coordinator for Cape Falcon Marine Reserve. “It also helped us capture some of the life living at the edge of the marine reserve.”

Fawn Custer of Oregon Shores Coast Watch gives BioBlitz attendees an idea of sea life found on Neah-Kah-Nie Beach. Photo by Dan Haag

Location was the star of the show: the end of Neah-Kah-Nie Beach connects with Cape Falcon Marine Reserve & Lower Nehalem Community Trust’s Peregrine Point, a protected lush green forest rising from the sand that extends the protected lands of Oswald West State Park. Combined with a morning low tide and mild conditions, it was BioBlitz heaven, with tide pools full of a variety of sea life waiting to be discovered and inventoried: sea stars, hermit crabs, limpets, varieties of seaweed, and more.
Nehalem resident Glenna Gray attended the event with her grandson as part of his homeschooling curriculum and was thrilled with the opportunity.
“I got so much out of the event,” she said. “The leaders opened my eyes to many more inhabitants of the beach biome that I had never noticed on my own. It was a gift to interact with the leaders of our local non-profits who are working to protect our jewel on the edge.”
Alix Lee, Coordinator for Lower Nehalem Watershed Council, enjoyed helping the group learn something new about a familiar place.
“It’s always a great experience to introduce someone to a new animal, plant or environment that they may have never seen, even if they’ve visited that stretch of beach hundreds of times,” she said. “One participant was so fascinated with the olive snails but confessed to never having noticed the “trails” in the sand despite visiting the beach regularly.”
Afterward, the group gathered at the Manzanita Visitors Center for lunch and to share pictures, catalog species data and identify what they’d seen.
With such a strong turnout and dedicated partners, Smith is confident the BioBlitz program can be expanded even further locally.
“In the future, we hope to grow efforts to catalog the life in this conservation corridor to the rain forest reserve as well as the edge of Cape Falcon Marine Reserve” she said.

To learn more about Oregon’s Marine Reserves, visit
To discover other Bioblitz events within Oregon’s Marine Reserves, visit Check out Explore Nature’s schedule by visiting

Source: Tillamook County Pioneer

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