Volunteer event scheduled to produce ‘habitat piles’

North Coast Land Conservancy board president John Mersereau studies a decomposing habitat pile near the Wetlands Walk Trail at Circle Creek

Conservation Center.

Volunteers are being recruited to produce what are called habitat piles, which are termed a boon to wildlife by the North Coast Land Conservancy.

The organization is holding a volunteer stewardship event to help create habitat heaps, from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Jan. 15, at the Circle Creek Conservation Center in Seaside.

Habitat heaps are large piles of woody debris that create perching sites for songbirds, and also shelter frogs and salamanders seeking dark, wet refuges, according to a conservancy press release.

On floodplains, such as the one at Circle Creek, the debris piles slow the movement of water and create resting places for juvenile salmon.

As they age, the wood in habitat heaps slowly breaks down, adding richness to the soil.

The land conservancy said it has used habitat piles as part of its forest restoration project high on Boneyard Ridge. Now, volunteers are being sought to build piles on a former pasture at Circle Creek.

Volunteers are asked to indicate their interest by calling Melissa Reich at 503-738-9126, or emailing melissar@nclctrust.org. They are urged to wear sturdy boots and gloves.

All necessary tools will be provided, said the conservancy, although volunteers should bring drinking water and lunch. No toilets or potable water will be available onsite. And dogs are not allowed on land conservancy properties.

Circle Creek Conservation Center is at the end of Rippet Road in Seaside, on the west side of U.S. Highway 101 about half a mile north of its junction with U.S. Highway 26. Follow the road west and north a short distance, passing a gravel quarry on the left, to where the road ends between two barns.

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