Oswego Lake Watershed Council

Celebrate Arbor Month with us!
Upcoming Events and Volunteer Opportunities!

Spring is finally here setting the backdrop for a plethora of opportunities to get outside, learn, and enhance the health of the LO urban forest! Check out our full calendar of events HERE.

Saturday, April 1st, 11am-2pm
Soil Your Undies for Science with OLWC and Lake Oswego Public Library! 

Join us for at the kickoff event for the LO Read’s 2023 pick, The Seed Keeper by Diane Wilson, and learn how healthy soil is fundamental to all life on earth. OLWC and LOPL are “soiling” undies for science this spring and you can participate! CLICK HERE for more info!

Monday, April 3rd, 6:30pm
Respond to Racism Community Meeting: Indigenous Spirit: Weaving Justice in a Wounded Land with Rev. Dr. Randy Woodley, PhD 

Respond to Racism has invited Dr. Woodley to speak in concert with LO Reads 2023 about racism and our relationship with the earth. Sign up link: HERE


Saturday, April 8th, 10am at the Oswego Heritage House
First Foods & Indigenous Cultural Lifeways of the Columbia River Basin

As part of the LO Reads program and on behalf of OLWC, Friends of Tryon Creek Executive Director Gabe Sheoships, will share a broad cultural history of the region and discuss how this informs his work at Friends of Tryon Creek. Gabe will also share why Indigenous land management practices are crucial to address modern climate change challenges and other environmental adaptation strategies. More info about this exciting educational talk HERE!

Wednesday, April 12th, 6:30pm on Zoom 
Restoring Healthy Soil with Cuauhtemoc Villa
In conjunction with our 3rd annual Soil Your Undies challenge and in partnership with LOSN, we are fortunate to have Cuauhtemoc Villa, soil educator and acclaimed soil expert, join us virtually on Wednesday, April 12th to discuss probiotic techniques you can apply to your own gardening and home landscaping to build healthy microorganism communities and support the bioremediation of other natural systems. Cuauhtemoc brings a lot of energy and new knowledge to emerging soil science, so you don’t want to miss this exciting educational opportunity. Register for the Zoom event HERE!

Saturday, April 15th, 10am-1pm
Lake Oswego Sustainability Resource Fair at Lakeridge Middle School

Stop by OLWC’s table and learn about sustainable practices and care for LO’s natural resources! We will be handing out materials for the 3rd Annual Soil Your Undies challenge, provide info on our neighborhood Urban Forest Committees, host crafts, and more! More info about LO’s 2nd Annual Sustainability Resource Fair HERE!

Wednesday, April 19th, 11am-12:30pm and
Friday, April 21st, 4:00pm-5:30pm
Westlake Oak Woodland and Native Plant Walking Tours

As part of the LO Reads program, join OLWC for a walking tour of local seeds, soils, flowers, and trees, connecting with the land and relearning local foods, plants, and medicines. Oswego Lake Watershed Council and partners have been working to enhance habitat with Westlake Homeowners Association since 2018. This beautiful Oregon White Oak Woodland is home to a diversity of wildlifre and native plant communities, including centuries-old white oaks and a diversity of wildlife and native plant communities! On this family friendly walking tour, we will observe wildlife, wildflowers including camas and trilliums, native flowering shrubs, snags, oak trees and more! We will also learn how this woodland fits into larger systems – land tending, climate change, fire, active management, food systems, watershed health, upland successional processes, and partnerships will be highlighted.

Sign up for Wednesday’s tour HERE!
Sign up for Friday’s tour HERE

Saturday, April 22nd, 10am-12pm
Earth Day Beneath the Oaks: OLWC Work Party at Westlake HOA

On Saturday, April 22nd, celebrate Earth Day by joining Oswego Lake Watershed Council for a morning of land tending and restoration at Westlake HOA Oak Woodland. This beautiful oak woodland habitat is home to 300-year-old white oaks and a diversity of wildlife! We will be pulling invasive species and planting native species depending on the weather! Volunteers will learn about Oregon White Oak ecology, indigenous land tending, and the cultural value of Oak ecosystems. Please stop by, learn about oak woodland ecology, and lend a hand as we enhance this unique oak woodland!  Advanced Registration is required. Please CLICK HERE to sign up.

Lake Oswego Sustainability Resource Fair
Lake Oswego High School Green Team

Sylvia Finds a Way

A Book Review by Mary Ratcliff, OLWC Board Member

Are you looking for a book to share with your young budding naturalists? You should check out the delightful new children’s book by Stephanie Shaw, Sylvia Finds a Way.

Read Mary’s full review HERE!

This year we’ve been using grant support from Oregon Department of Forestry to fund a collaborative urban forestry project in the neighborhood of Mountain Park with a focus on reducing wildfire risk. Starting in November, ODF Fuels Reduction crews have been expanding on work accomplished this summer, working on common land in MP removing invasive understory and small diameter trees like invasive English hawthorn, English holly and sweet cherry. Opening up the landscape will reduce the risk of wildfire spreading and allow for more native regeneration which will diversify the MP plant community.

Oregon White Oak

What do oaks mean to our community?

Oregon white oak restoration is 100% a community initiative, so we asked folks in the OLWC network to share personal stories about their favorite oak trees and ecological and cultural aspects about oaks they appreciate in general.

Click HERE to read the collection! 

Canada Thistle

Weed of the Month: Canada Thistle

Canada thistle (Cirsium arvense) is a widespread invasive weed found in all parts of Clackamas County.  Unlike the many native thistles found in Oregon, Canada thistle can quickly overrun an area and displace native plants, reduce agricultural yield, and create problems for grazing animals when they infest a field or pasture. They also cost a lot of money and time to control.

Canada thistle is not from Canada, so let’s not blame our northern neighbors for the headaches this weed brings to farmers and land managers across the country.  This perennial noxious weed originated in southeast Europe and Asia



2023 Local Native Plant Sales

Whether you’re planting or planning, good things to know!

Click on the image above to find local sources of native plants, including local plant sales, as well as retail, wholesale and native plant seed suppliers.

For more resources including what plants to use for different conditions (sunny & dry, shady & wet, etc.), you may want to also look HERE.


Black Lives Matter

Black Lives Matter

The murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor at the hands of the police have reinvigorated national conversations around racial justice, and police violence against Black people. We condemn this racial violence.

Environmental justice is inherently linked with social and racial justice. We cannot have a safe and healthy watershed unless we address the conditions that harm folks who live in our community. We envision a world where a black man can hike through our local parks and birdwatch without fear of surveillance or violence. Where everyone can breathe, and have access to clean air and clean water.