SPRINGFIELD, Ore. — Clearwater Park will be a bit greener by the end of the week. The Lane Metro Youth Corps will plant hundreds of native plants around the park’s newly constructed boat ramp. The native plants, including trees and shrubs, will require less water and provide food and habitats for local wildlife. The corps will also add plants to the bioswales around the park’s parking lot to remove silt and pollution from storm water runoff.
The addition of native plants is part of Phase 2 of the Mill Race Ecosystem Restoration Project. The $408,000 project is sponsored by the city of Springfield and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and funded by a $204,000 grant from the Oregon State Marine Board and Willamalane Park and Recreation District.
Phase 1 of the project was completed last year and included a trailhead at Clearwater Park, interpretive kiosk, flush restrooms, benches and an extended parking lot. The expansion of the parking lot added 46 single car spaces, 22 bat trailer spaces and new tie-down and ready areas. Other projects in Phase 2 include a new inlet and access to the Springfield Mill Race, with a paved parking area and habitat restoration.
The Lane Metro Youth Corps has partnered with the Willamalane Park and Recreation District to accomplish the goal of preserving natural areas, protect wildlife habitat and protect water quality in rivers, creeks and streams.
The Lane Metro Youth Corps is part of the Looking Glass Riverfront School and Career Center, which is an accredited alternative school; It offers education and vocational training for youth, ages 14 to 21 years old to support the development of knowledge, responsibility and necessary social skills.