ADRIAN — The organizer of a grassroots conservation group is hoping a new endeavor will encourage more people to get involved with efforts to preserve and improve a natural habitat.
Tim Davis, with Friends of the Owyhee, said his group recently signed an Adopt-A-Park agreement for Succor Creek State Natural Area.
The area encompasses more than 5,000 acres south of Adrian, and the Succor Creek Canyon runs through the property, according to a news release from Oregon Parks and Recreation Department.
“It is home to rare plants and animals and special geologic features, and it provides spectacular sight-seeing, hiking, rock hounding, camping and other outdoor recreational opportunities,” states the release.
Only an hour drive from Boise and Ontario, Davis said, the Succor Creek area sees a lot of day and weekend use.
“The park gets used a lot and there’s not a lot of love given to it,” he said.
That’s where his group comes in.
Having grown up in the area, Davis talked with representatives from Parks and Recreation about getting involved with upkeep of the area.
“We see it as a way of helping them out and helping the community, by keeping a park that’s used by a lot of locals cleaned up and kept up,” he said.
In the past few years, Friends of the Owyhee has assisted the state agency with invasive weed control, and riparian area cleanup, according to the news release.
One of the group’s annual endeavors is a trash and noxious weed cleanup. During this year’s event, held last week, Davis said they hauled out 1,200 pounds of trash in one day.
The total weight was mainly comprised of Scottish thistle, Davis said.
The group focused on “the ones that we can attack manually and remove from landscape without causing long-term effects,” he said.
Friends of the Owyhee even participated in historical restoration, while helping repair the Birch Creek corral in 2017.
The agreement with Parks and Recreation formalizes the groups efforts toward preservation and improvement of the Succor Creek area.
“Through the Adopt-A Park agreement, we are hoping to work cooperatively to continue these activities, as well as work on restoring areas that have been damaged in recent years,” said Jim Hutton, manager of Succor Creek, in the Parks and Recreation news release.
In addition to cleanup, the grassroots group uses the area as a base camp, of sorts, for its several education-based hikes in the Owhyee Canyonlands it provides throughout the year.
The most recent excursion was led by two geologists who “talked about the natural history of the landscape and how it all formed, he said.
“We’re always looking for more hands to be involved,” Davis said. “There are a lot of locals that love the area as a place to get away to. We’re hoping for a lot of community involvement or people bringing ideas to us or Parks and Recreation.”