Watershed Project

  • Kennedy High School has established a Coast Fork Monitoring Team that collects and analyzes water samples bi-monthly from four sites along the Coast Fork Willamette River. On-site tests include dissolved oxygen, turbidity, water temperature, coliform and E. coli bacteria levels. In the classroom students conduct lab tests for phosphorous, nitrates, and ammonium. One replicate of data is sent to an analysis laboratory, provided by the City of Cottage Grove. A second replicate of data is analyzed by students in a classroom laboratory. Students performing these tests using a variety of advanced techniques, and complete their analysis using digital colorimeter.

    The data is used in a greater watershed water-monitoring program in conjunction with the DEQ and three regional watershed councils.This region-wide Upper Willamette Water Quality Monitoring and Outreach Project works to identify sources of pollution and potential


    Al Kennedy Students Become Watershed Teachers for Earth Day Event
    BY: JON STINNETT of the Cottage Grove Sentinel

    Latham Elementary first grader Kayela Hall got some help planting a tree from the Walama Restoration Project’s Stephanie Schroeder. “Now stomp the dirt down around the tree,” Schroeder said. “That’s really good.” Hall stood up, confused about her messy hands. “You’re going to want to just go ahead and wipe that dirt on your jeans,” Schroeder said. The first grader flashed a shy smile and gleefully complied. Hall and the rest of Ms. Debra Buckman’s first-grade class at Latham spent last Tuesday’s Earth Day afternoon on the banks of the Coast Fork of the Willamette. The students took lessons in stewardship from students at Al Kennedy Alternative High School.

    Walama Restoration Watershed Project helped coordinate the event, in conjunction with the Coast Fork Willamette Watershed Council, which donated some 300 trees for planting.

    “The project was extremely successful,” Schroeder said. “We were able to engage hundreds of students on the site and teach them about the nature in their backyards.”

    Al Kennedy students worked on the site a week prior to the Latham visit, clearing most of the invasive blackberries from the riverbank. Latham students were thrilled to plant native shrubs and trees like Indian plums, native ash and willow trees and red flowering currants . The students spent time at three stations, each of which taught a different aspect of riverside ecology.

    “It was wonderful to see our students step in and take the role of teachers for the afternoon ,” said Al Kennedy’s Stefan Aumack. “I was thrilled to have been a part of the event.”

    Schroeder, who said the site near the Chambers Railroad Bridge where the students worked was part of a longstanding project of the Coast Fork Willamette Watershed Council, explained the project’s long-term goals:

    “The idea is to rid the riverbank of noxious weeds,” she said. “Then we want to mend the bank by planting native plants. The goal is to spread the upkeep of the bank to landowners up and down the river.”