Aunt Caroline’s Park Riparian Restoration

When: Completed 2020
Where: Aunt Caroline's Park, Shady Cove

Objective: A stream-side forest restoration project to improve water quality, increase native plant diversity, and increase community awareness of the importance of urban riparian areas

Incised, eroding streambank

Indian Creek traces the northern boundary of Aunt Caroline’s Park, a 3.7-acre urban park located in the City of Shady Cove. The community regards Aunt Caroline’s Park as a valuable and beloved feature of the city, yet the stream corridor running along the park was suffering from long-term effects of urbanization. The creek had become incised, and much of the streambank within the park had begun to fail. Understory vegetation was absent along some stretches of the creek, and noxious weeds – including blackberries – were starting to take root in disturbed areas.

The City of Shady Cove requested assistance from RRWC to restore the riparian vegetation along the south bank of the creek. One acre of streamside riparian area was treated, including bank shaping, invasive weed treatment, native riparian shrub planting, and community outreach. We worked with a local 5th-grade class to help with the planting, and we also installed an interpretive sign about the importance of urban streams and riparian areas.

Shady Cove 5th graders planting native shrubs

The project site now serves as an example of what a healthy riparian area should look like. Sediment inputs into the creek have been reduced; the vegetation will – over time – create shade and cool the creek’s water; and important park infrastructure has been protected.

This project would not have been possible without the funding and support from the following:

Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board, City of Shady Cove, Shady Cove School, Southern Oregon Fly Fishers