Shannon Chinnock (Chickasaw, Cherokee, Blackfeet) told her story using a PowerPoint presentation during our internship celebration. It was filmed and is now being shared in this month’s newsletter (link). We were grateful to her for her enthusiasm during the internship, plus her engagement in the final construction of the greenhouse and the development of our new native plant nursery beds. She especially enjoyed meeting the landowners who have become such valuable partners by allowing our teams to refine their habitat restoration work skills.
Shannon graduated several years ago from Chemeketa Community College with a degree in horticulture, so she was excited when she learned about the career opportunities we are providing to Native and other students of color through our internships. She has been a tremendous support to us this fall and we look forward to continuing our work together this winter.
Shannon has now been hired by our Board of Directors to serve as our Habitat Restoration and Nursery Coordinator. Her first assignment will be assisting our team with our latest habitat restoration project. Our newest landowner, Amy, owns a 9-acre farm near Stayton in the North Santiam watershed which partially burned in the Santiam Canyon Wildfire on Labor Day 2020. Amy reached out to us as we were giving an introductory presentation to the North Santiam Watershed Council’s board of directors at a meeting earlier this fall. We are currently finalizing that scope of work and completing an initial site assessment. We will continue soil and site assessment on Amy’s land this winter. Initial work will be followed by invasive plant removal in the winter and spring months, and then we will repopulate several plots on her farm with Native plant species in the fall of 2024 after the rainy season begins.