A Blueprint Summer

Written by Marissa Eckman

During the month of August Johnson Creek Watershed Council teamed up with The Blueprint Foundation to go on not one but two community science surveys and both in the same week! We started our week by getting our feet wet on a beaver survey. We split into two teams to tackle two different reaches in the watershed. One group ventured through Crystal Springs Creek via the Reed College Canyon. Although we did not find any recent beaver activity we did see old beaver chews and evidence of a lot of other wildlife. Youth identified deer tracks, coyote scat, and lots of spiders!

A TBF youth posing with a large beaver dam in Tideman Johnson Natural Area.

The other group slipped into waders and meandered up the creek through Tideman Johnson Natural Area. The group found two beaver dams one of which is new this year! The Blueprint Foundation has been helping JCWC track beaver activity for several years which helps to inform JCWC’s management practices in the surrounding areas.

Three days later we met up at Centennial Pond along Mitchell Creek in Pleasant Valley for a dragonfly survey. Unfortunately the conditions were not great for dragonfly sightings. Dragonflies prefer warm weather and do not appreciate a breeze. Although we did not see any dragonflies, the youth were able to use the knowledge they used on their beaver surveys to identify beaver chews and slides at the site. We also watched a coyote scamper away and heard a few frogs!

A group of TBF youth and mentors getting ready for dragonfly surveys.

Thank you so much to The Blueprint Foundation for spending time with JCWC during your busy summer of activities! Here’s to more fun in the future!

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