Into the Weeds in the Deschutes Canyon

The following is a guest blog post by Marilynne Keyser, Friends and Neighbors of the Deschutes Canyon Area (FANs) Weed Team:

How do you get folks excited about eradicating invasive weeds on public lands? Start where folks live. At least that’s what I think.

The Friends and Neighbors of the Deschutes Canyon Area (FANs), is trying to engage homeowners at Crooked River Ranch, the state’s largest Homeowners’ Association, in tackling invasive weeds on their own land and exploring natives as replacements.  Since the Deschutes River Wilderness Study Area borders the east side of the ranch, it is our hope that homeowners’ concern for weeds on their land and excitement over native plants can be translated into concern for the condition of our neighboring public lands.

Marilynne Keyser and volunteers

Marilynne Keyser and volunteers

On Saturday, March 29th, FANs offered a workshop on native bunchgrasses at my home at Crooked River Ranch.  Over twenty participants learned about xeriscaping with native bunchgrasses.  Time was spent outside identifying bunchgrasses and other native plants.  Everyone was enthusiastic about the possibilities and went home with 30 pages of material, including photographs of nine common bunchgrasses at various stages of development.

Sandberg Bluegrass plant

Sandberg Bluegrass

On April 26th, FANs is offering a weed workshop with Dan Sherwin.  Dan is the retired coordinator of the Deschutes County noxious weed program.  We will meet at McPherson Park at 9:00 am.  On May 17th, we are offering a native plant workshop with Ron Halvorson.  Ron is a retired botanist with a wealth of information about native plants specific to this area.  Both of these workshops will involve site visits, and everyone will have valuable material, including photographs to take home.

FANs is requesting a $15 donation for each workshop to support the work of the Weed Team.  For more information or to register for one of our workshops, contact Marilynne Keyser at 541-923-0558 (mtkeyser@gmail.com) our visit us on the web.

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