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Oak Grove Restoration
Elijah Bristow State Park
Elijah Bristow State Park oak grove prescribed fire
Prescribed fire in the Fall of 2004
Historically, Oregon white oak trees were abundant throughout the Willamette Valley. Growing as solitary monarchs or woodland groves, vast prairies of grasses and wildflowers carpeted the ground beneath them. Periodic burning by Native Americans maintained the oak groves and the prairies. As settlement progressed through the valley, burning ceased, and non-native weeds were introduced.
 
Today, oak groves have disappeared at an alarming rate due to development. OPRD is committed to preserving oak groves within park properties and we are in the process of inventorying oak groves for health condition and restoration needs.

Restoration in Progress
Restoration efforts began in 2001 and continue today.  Research plots were established to monitor vegetation changes over time, ensuring that the objectives are being met.
             
               
Prior to restoration efforts in the winter.                    Current condition in the summer.
 
  Restoration efforts include:

  • Removal of Douglas-fir trees, which compete for much-needed sunlight, water and nutrients
  • Re-introduction of fire to the oak groves
  • Removal of invasive weeds
  • Planting of native grasses and wildflowers
 

Partners in Restoration
Partners in the restoration efforts include:
 
Oregon Department of Forestry
Dexter Fire District
Land Watch of Lane County
The Nature Conservancy
 
 

More Information
Links to Similiar oak restoration projects:
Oregon Gardens
Marion County Parks, Bonesteel Park
Mount Pisgah Arboretum, Eugene