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Summer of Discovering Nature Events at N. Oregon Coast's Alder Creek Farm

Published 07/22/2018 at 4:42 AM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection Staff

Summer of Discovering Nature Events at N. Oregon Coast's Alder Creek Farm

(Manzanita, Oregon) – What was once an indistinct piece of land on the north Oregon coast is becoming a hotspot for outdoorsy activities and learning. The Alder Creek Farm near Nehalem is hosting a series of summer events that are unique in their opportunities for outdoor fun while immersively learning about this area’s wildlife, fauna and other means of recreation and repose.

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The Alder Creek Farm has many facets: a one-acre community garden that helps feed the local food bank; a greenhouse; ethnobotanical trail; native plant nursery and of course it's famous for turning more than 50 acres into a wildlife sanctuary.

This summer, this place where the wild things are turns into a bit of an Oregon coast attraction, with several programs put on by the Lower Nehalem Community Trust (LNCT) and the Explore Nature series of Tillamook Coast.

Starting July 28, there’s Sustainable Earth Friendly Gardening. Experience a taste of gardening at beautiful Alder Creek Farm & Wildlife Sanctuary, and join volunteers for a morning working in the organic community garden. Learn about growing food in this unique climate and their approach to gardening together and sharing the harvest with the North County Food Bank. 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.

If you like moths, you’re in luck. On July 28 the farm features Moth Talk & Viewing from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. Join naturalist Jim Johnson for a rare evening viewing moths under the stars where he’ll also demonstrate how to safely attract, trap, document, and release moths. What draws a moth to flame? How can you tell a butterfly from a moth? Where do moths go during the day? Come see a dazzling array of local moths and learn about the secret life of these mysterious visitors. Johnson will also discuss crowd-sourcing ecological data online, and he'll answer questions about how to get started as a citizen scientist on websites like iNaturalist and eBird.

The spectacular dragonflies of the Oregon coast are on the agenda on July 28 from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. Johnson shares his wealth of information and knowledge regarding odonoates, and shares tips and tricks on how to spot and identify them. Learn how dragonflies find a mate, how they're able to fly so fast (and forward and backward!), and how they've evolved over the centuries. Find out how to attract these creatures to your yard, and why you want to. Then, take a tour of Alder Creek Farm in search of dragonflies and damselflies that call the Farm home. Wear comfortable shoes and be prepared to walk in tall grass.

August 11 brings the Alder Creek Farm & Nehalem Teaching Trail. It’s a walking tour of the wildlife refuge and natural area of Alder Creek Farm including the Community Garden, a developing Teaching Trail, and the farm’s diverse wildlife habitats. Alder Creek is a bustling area where otter and beaver live, the uplands and Sorrel Woods area where hawks soar, and the grassy meadow and pond where elk roam and blue heron hunt. From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The Emerald Necklace Tour happens August 18 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Here, you’ll engage with the Trust’s conservation lands along the Nehalem Bay and its scenic northern edge. This string of conservation parcels is dubbed the emerald necklace because it has beaded together some amazing natural habitats to protect important wetlands, vistas, green space, and waterways. The last stop on the tour is Elk Meadows, a Manzanita nature park featuring a winding trail, stands of alder trees, and a sweet wetlands.

The Beaver Trails tour also happens that day from 9 a.m. to noon, which looks at the beauty of local beavers and their role as engineers in natural landscapes. The tour will stop at two to four locations where participants will be able to see different examples of active and historical beaver activity.

All events are free events, and they’re a part of the Explore Nature series of hikes, walks, paddles and outdoor adventures. Hosted by a consortium of volunteer community and non-profit organizations, these meaningful nature-based experiences highlight the unique beauty of Tillamook County and the work being done to preserve and conserve the area’s natural resources and natural resource-based economy. You can register for one, or all, at explorenaturetilllamookcoast.com. Lodging in Manzanita, Wheeler - Where to eat - Manzanita Maps and Virtual Tours

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