No matter where you live in this world, you are part of a watershed, and that watershed has a name. Everything you spray, grow, flush, discard, or dispose of enters your watershed and this is a major reason why a large percentage of our freshwater systems including rivers, streams, and lakes are polluted. All of us at Mountain Rose Herbs realized that immediate recovery actions were necessary to further protect and enhance our watersheds, and this is why we created the Mountain Rose River Project which is a company run grassroots action campaign that is entirely coordinated and funded by Mountain Rose Herbs. Each year we manage 6-8 restoration projects that are fully staffed by paid employees, and these employees are compensated for their work by our Paid Time for Community Involvement Program.
Our projects focus exclusively on riparian ecosystems, stream health, and fish habitat and we work with several organizations and agencies to achieve our goals of total watershed protection.
The Mountain Rose River Project conducts the following
- Planting native trees and shrubs along eroded or compromised river banks. This work is done in partnership with any one of our local watershed councils or land trusts
- We aggressively pursue hand removal (never chemicals) of invasive species along our river corridors and we currently target English Ivy, Scotch Broom, Japanese Knotweed, and Himalayan Blackberry
- Each year we extract numerous water samples from segments of the Willamette and McKenzie rivers. These water samples are tested for impurities and pollutants and if excessive quantities are found we alert the appropriate agency for immediate action and recovery
- We currently remove an average of 500-800 yards of garbage and waste from our waterways.
- We are currently enrolled in the ODFW Salmon/Trout Enhancement Program and we will sometimes assist this agency with fish counts, macroinvertebrate populations, and river conditions.
- We have formally adopted a river side trail which spans about 4 miles. This trail is known as the "Anglers Trail" and it is located between Elijah Bristow State Park and Dexter State Park. We maintain this stretch by removing invasives, planting natives, clearing the waterway of garbage, and upkeep of the riverside trail.
- We have formally adopted 2 segments of the Willamette River through the Oregon state program called SOLV. The segments we adopted include the Upper Middle Fork of the Willamette between Lookoutpoint Point and Hills Creek and the section from Elijah Bristow state park to Dexter state park.
- We have recently finished the enhancement of our industrial campus bio-swale. The headquarters for Mountain Rose Herbs sits on 2 acres of industrial land and in order for us to prevent all of our wastewater and stormwater from entering our public waters we need the bio-swale to retain it for further filtering and purification. This alone prevents countless contaminants from entering our river systems.
Here are some photos from several of our outings where employee volunteers are planting native trees, shrubs, removing invasive species from fragile riverbanks, collecting rubbish, and learning about the sensitive ecology of our waterways from some of the experts fighting to protect these natural treasures.