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 Gardens irrigation needs change and as Silvertons
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 weve 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.