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City, volunteers work to improve creek shoreline

The city and a group of volunteers are restoring native plants along the Claggett Creek shoreline at Ben Miller Park.

The goal is to reduce erosion and keep silt and dirt out of area waterways. Elizabeth Sagmiller, the city’s environmental program coordinator, said that part of Claggett Creek “has steep, eroded banks and poor water quality. … Allowing plants to crowd the site will mimic more of a natural condition found in undisturbed areas outside the city.”

Last summer, volunteers and crews removed some 20 cubic yards of trash, debris and invasive plants.

In February, city staff along with the Claggett Creek Watershed Council and Keizer Rotary Pioneers members installed some 200 native plants, adding weed mats to block weed growth. Highway Fuel donated compost.

About 350 more plants will be put in by the end of April, Sagmiller said. Ultimately the goal is to block most access to the creek in that area.

“The outcome of this effort will be a stretch of riparian corridor that is occupied by a variety of native plants, which will filter impacted water and create shade and habitat for wildlife,” Sagmiller said.

The project is a requirement of the city’s Total Maximum Daily Load Implementation Plan for the Willamette Basin.