May 22, 2024

Whole Community News

From Kalapuya lands in the Willamette watershed

Wetlands restoration project coming up April 30

6 min read

Committees within Eugene’s neighborhood associations are working on some really interesting projects. At Friendly Area Neighbors, a wetlands restoration project is coming up April 30. Reporting for the FAN Equity Action team, Friendly Area Neighbor Nancy Bray.

[00:00:16] Nancy Bray: Hi everybody. (Hi Nancy.) I I’ve got quite a bit, quite a bit has been going on this month. (Good.)

[00:00:22] So, first thing is that the restoration part of the Westmoreland Wetlands Project is going very well. We had our Citizens Science training this last Saturday with (City of Eugene) Diane Steeck and we had nine people there, including a U of O Environmental Studies intern.

[00:00:43] What we did was, each pair of people adopted one of those areas that we covered with groundcloth, and we have a very detailed form to fill out every two weeks on different things we’re observing for. It’s really quite cool. So that’s going very well.

[00:00:58] The next big work party is Saturday, April 30th, from 9:00 a.m. until 11:20 a.m.. This work party, we need as many people as we can get there, because we’re actually going to be removing the non-native species from those five plots. So I will get it in the Friendly Flyer.

[00:01:17] From 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. is the work party and then 11:00 a.m. to 11:20 a.m., Diane will do a tour of the native plants in the two wetlands.

[00:01:25] John Q: Nancy was asked about the intern.

[00:01:27] Nancy Bray: I ran into somebody at Delta Ponds when I was birding who I know who is a professor of Environmental Studies. I was telling him about the project. He said, ‘Oh, I think I might know a student who’s looking for an internship,’ and it all worked out great. Yeah. So what he will do is actually he’s going to do a mapping of where the native plants are and the number of them.

[00:01:50] John Q: Another part of the project is the public art.

[00:01:53] Nancy Bray: The mural and kiosk designs are under review and this is taking longer than we had predicted. There is a new public art committee with this city and we are the first mural that they have reviewed and they had some really good questions. However, they don’t meet very often. Our next meeting with them will be in person April 7th, so that we’re not going to know until then what the next steps might be, which is why everything is postponed.

[00:02:23] But the really good news is: Just today we received the extension on the grant that we’d requested. (Ah, yay.) So rather than having to have the project completed by June 1st, we now have until Sept. 15, which should be just fine. It won’t be raining I hope. Well, we need rain, but you know what I’m saying? We need it dry to paint. And April/May is not the best time to be trying to paint. So anyway, this gives us more time to get both the mural and the kiosk designs approved. So that’s good news.

[00:02:57] And then I just wanted to mention that our lead consultant on this project is Esther Stutzman, who is a Kayapuya elder, lives in Yoncalla. And she has been in the news! Because Esther and her family and some others have just published a Kalapuya-English dictionary, very intensive longtime project. So there’s a very nice article about that on OPB news.

[00:03:25] And then I don’t know if you’ve seen the Weekly this time, but on the cover is Esther Stutzman. (Really? Wonderful!) She is one of “10 Lane County Women Who’ve Made A Difference,” so she was being honored. And just to say, the person who wrote that story is our FAN neighbor, Susan Palmer, and Susan is one of the people in our Citizen Science training.

[00:03:50] So it’s just, it’s like, oh man, this is really cool. So, some really good news there.

[00:03:56] John Q: FAN reported to the NLC Transportation Committee recently on traffic calming and street art projects. Scott Baskett.

[00:04:04] Scott Baskett: If you’ve been down Jefferson Street the last month, you’ve probably seen that they have speed cushions now between 13th and 28th. The speed cushions were done in two days. And the first day they were too gentle. And so a lot of the neighbors were not too impressed.

[00:04:23] In fact, one of the members of the Transportation Committee was talking to a neighbor and the neighbor said, ‘Is this a joke?’ Because it looked like just asphalt blankets almost, and it wasn’t going to do much of anything. And then the next day of construction, the humps were noticeably higher when you traveled over them and just eyeballing them. They came by and redid some of them that were not too impressive between 28th and 25th Place, and so they’re now a bit higher and there’s more of a rise going over them.

[00:04:54] So we’re hoping that will slow down some of the traffic because that’s such a long stretch of roadway that people just really go way above the speed limit. In fact, if you went the speed limit, you would have a number of people tailgating you.

[00:05:09] I was at one of the Friendly Area Neighborhood meetings and there was a policeman there. If I remember right, he said that they average speed was about 35. So, we’re hoping that that will at least moderate it a little bit. And they’ll do a test after six months of everybody getting used to the new speed cushions. The city’s goal is to get it to 85 percent of the traffic going at the speed limit or under. (We’ll see about that.)

[00:05:36] I have noticed in some instances where the speed cushions have moderated the travel a little bit and people will brake and then go over it. Trucks or cars that will soak up some of those humps, they’ll go probably the speed that they used to. But I’ve also seen cars that will almost stop at a hump and they’ll collect about half a dozen cars behind them because they’re going so slow.

[00:06:03] John Q: Scott also mentioned street art projects.

[00:06:06] Scott Baskett: The newest one is art on Jefferson Street crossings. They’re also going to be putting in two more crosswalks on 20th and also 27 Place, which is near right near 28th Place.

[00:06:19] But that they were going to put in some street art, I think that’s really in the planning stages. People are speeding around Washington Park, which is between Washington and Lawrence and 19th and 21st, people go speeding down there. Of course there are kids around there, so they were talking about maybe doing art projects instead of crosswalks. And that might signal to people that there’s people going around there, using the park, and maybe it might be a good idea to slow it down. There’s a lot of complaints in Washington Street about speeders coming down the hill. And it’s a pretty, fairly steep hill and they worry about the speeding there.

[00:06:59] They were talking about problems with vegetation crowding into sidewalks, and branches coming down where you might brush into it. You know, the problem around here and probably around a lot of Eugene is, that the sidewalks are incomplete because a lot of it is private property. And how are you going to induce someone to put in a sidewalk?

[00:07:20] John Q: Speaking at the FAN board meeting for Ready Friendly, Thia Bell.

[00:07:24] Thia Bell: Ready Friendly has been moving right along with its radio program.

[00:07:28] Thanks to the publicity, we’ve gotten three new FRS members and one’s a GMRS with a ham and continuing with our second Sunday exercises. For four years, we’ve been hoping to get some sort of a cargo container or something to start stocking things that could be needed in the neighborhood, but that’s still a pipe dream.

[00:07:50] Carlos Barrera (FAN Chair): Yeah, that’s also a hope of mine or a dream of mine for CERTs, is to have a large steel storage container where rescue equipment and other things could be kept.

[00:08:02] John Q: FAN committees featuring citizen science, innovative transportation projects, and emergency preparedness. To get involved, contact your neighborhood association.

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