News for those who live, work and play in the Santiam Canyon

Beverage makers team up with nonprofit to plant trees

For the second summer in a row your beverage purchases can help pave the way for fire-recovery tree plantings in the Santiam Canyon and elsewhere in Oregon.

Oregon Parks Forever is working with four Oregon companies, Stoller Wine Group in Dayton, Sunriver Brewing, Fort George Brewery in Astoria and Portland Cider Co.

One dollar from sales of select 6-packs from the beverage makers in July and August will be set aside for the Oregon Parks Forever program, which has a goal of planting 1 million trees. 

Through Jan. 31 the program had paid for 553,000 trees, said Oregon Forests Forever officials.

Included in the parks benefitting from the program to date are North Santiam Park near Lyons and Silver Falls State Park.

In the winter of 2023 Oregon Parks Forever plans to continue its plantings at the North Santiam, which is owned by the state but transitioning to operations by Marion County. Tree plantings also are planned for Marion County parks Packsaddle, Minto and Niagara along Highway 22 and North Fork, Salmon Falls and Bear Creek in the Elkhorn/Little North Fork area. No word was available on how many trees will be planted at county facilities in the coming cycle.

“We are thrilled to have the continuing support of these fine craft beverage producers toward this important project,” said Seth Miller, Oregon Parks Forever executive director.  “With the help of these (companies) and many others, we were able to fund the planting of over a half a million trees last year.

“Trees provide the very necessities of life. They clear our air, protect our drinking water, create healthy communities and feed our souls.  Our forests provide critical wildlife habitat, natural beauty, and recreational opportunities.  They sequester carbon and help reduce soil erosion by stabilizing slopes and preventing landslides.”

Oregon Parks Forever is a statewide nonprofit organization whose mission includes working with federal, state, local and tribal public land managers to enhance and preserve all Oregon parks. Since 1995, the group has been raising funds to support programs and projects that enhance the experience of using Oregon’s parks and forests. Emphasis is placed on projects that protect existing facilities and amenities, increase park accessibility, provide healthy activities and educate the future stewards of  public lands. For more information, visit orparksforever.org/.

Silver Falls, North Santiam and Packsaddle are open. The other Marion County facilities that are part of the program remain closed because of fire damage. County parks officials and its parks commission are working on a restoration plan that they hope to present to the Board of Commissioners this summer.

In addition to the Oregon Forests Forever project, Marion county officials noted that they currently are in the process of securing 18,000 Douglas fir seedlings for North Santiam. Also, the Santiam Long Term Recovery Group planted more than 25,000 seedlings at Niagara east of Gates and Ash Creek Forest Management planted a total 6,000 trees of mixed species at Bear Creek in the Elkhorn/North Fork region and at Minto along Highway 22 near Gates.

Marion County officials said that, including the Oregon Forests Forever project, grants are being sought to plant an additional 300,000 trees of mixed species in the Santiam Canyon parks.

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