Celebrating Earth Day at Herbert Farm and Natural Area

By Peter Moore and Michel Wiman

May 2022

What better way to celebrate Earth Day (April 22, 2022) than spending a fine spring day at Herbert Farm and Natural Area planting wildflowers?

Fourteen volunteers, five Institute for Applied Ecology (IAE) staff and one City of Corvallis staff did just that.

IAE has been helping restore Herbert Farm to prairie, oak savanna and riparian habitats since 2013, through funding from Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, who hold a conservation easement through the Willamette Wildlife Mitigation Program (in turn funded by Bonneville Power Administration), Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board and US Fish and Wildlife Service, among others.

For Earth Day, 2000 native plants were donated to the cause by Sevenoaks Native Nursery and Heritage Seedlings & Liners. These two nurseries have been stalwarts for supplying plant materials for this restoration site, and we are very grateful for these donations. See also previous blogs: https://appliedeco.org/nursery-supports-the-restoration-cause/; https://appliedeco.org/the-fruits-of-our-labors-restoration-progress-at-herbert-farm-natural-area/; https://appliedeco.org/farmland-transformed-to-diverse-habitats-seven-years-of-restoration-at-herbert-farm-natural-area/

The species planted included Virginia strawberry (Fragaria virginiana), Oregon geranium (Geranium oreganum), slender cinquefoil (Potentilla gracilis), common selfheal (Prunella vulgaris) and California compassplant (Wyethia angustifolia).

After all the rain that we have had In Oregon recently, the soil has plenty of moisture, which should be ideal for the plants to get established, and since it was a mostly sunny day, it was ideal for the people doing the planting. Many thanks are extended to the volunteers who turned out to make a direct impact at this site, and to the City of Corvallis for hosting.

After the event, we decamped to Common Fields in Corvallis, where we continued to celebrate Earth Day as part of a larger Earth Day Oregon awareness-raising campaign that aims to amplify Oregon environmental organizations. Businesses donated to IAE in honor of Earth Day to show their support for our planet. Aided by the Earth Day Oregon campaign, IAE joined together with Corvallis Environmental CenterSeeds to the SOL, Chintimini Wildlife Center to publicize the shared activities and events for our community to help celebrate Earth Day.

IAE staff and volunteers planting at Herbert Farm on Earth Day, April 22, 2022.

Karen DeWolfe, Outreach Coordinator from the Corvallis Environmental Center, and Michel Wiman. Communications and Fundraising Coordintor for Institute for Applied Ecology, planting at Herbert Farm and Natural Area, April 22, 2022.

Volunteers planting at Herbert Farm on Earth Day, April 22, 2022.

Volunteers planting at Herbert Farm on Earth Day, April 22, 2022.

Once established in future years, there will be some nice showy blooms of Oregon Geranium (Geranium oreganum).

Slender cinquefoil (Potentilla gracilis) flowers will be in full bloom by the end of May.

Common selfheal (Prunella vulgaris) may not be as showy as some native wildflowers, but are pretty when in flower, and an important component of the prairie vegetation.

This event was part of an Earth Day Oregon campaign, bringing together environmental nonprofits with business partners.