Inspired by Birds

My husband, Bret Bosma, and I became Volunteer Naturalists with Greenbelt Land Trust for the first time this year.  We have been fans of Bald Hill and Fitton Green for years for a variety of reasons.  It is a short bike ride to miles of trail for running, walking our dog, and just meandering around and looking out for new plants and animals as the season change.  It has been really fun to spend time there in “official” capacity and get to know other users, volunteers, and staff and continue learning about all the fabulous plants and animals in Corvallis’ backyard. On our Volunteer Naturalist Read More

A Strangely Reminiscent Landscape

“I am so very lucky to live in this beautiful place,” is always my first conclusion as I arrive to the Fitton Green Natural Area and look out to Kings Valley, Marys Peak, the Willamette Valley and to the Cascades. This time was no different except I was strangely reminded, with some imagination, of being underway on a ship at sea. On June 25th, the Sunday following the triple digit degree Saturday, I waited till the sun was low on the horizon before whisking my mother, partner and her dog Linus off to the natural area. Getting underway, we forked uphill from the main path Read More

Reflections from a Mother-Daughter Volunteer Naturalist Morning

Ellen It was a sunny, May morning as we headed out to Bald Hill to start our volunteer naturalist walk. I was eager to show my visiting mom, Jan, what I had learned about bird and plant identification in my volunteer naturalist orientation. Although my mom is currently an immunization nurse in Colorado, her undergraduate degree is in botany and I was excited to test her knowledge with some tree IDs! Although I have been out to Bald Hill many times to run on the winding trails, this was one of my first experiences quietly walking and simply noticing. We often stopped, kneeling next to Read More

Nurturing Natural Resource Volunteers: The Oregon Master Naturalist Backstory

Jill Bushakra is a returning Greenbelt Volunteer Naturalist who is dedicated to environmental education in our community. Jill is also an Oregon Master Naturalist– a hard-earned distinction achieved through countless hours of learning about our region’s natural resources and providing service to our community through public outreach and volunteerism. In this GLT blog post, Jill describes the Oregon Master Naturalist (OMN) program and includes interviews with OMN Program Coordinators, Jason O’Brien and Brandy Saffell. Read on to learn more about OMN and how you can get involved… What is an Oregon Master Naturalist (OMN)? A visit to the website HERE explains the mission and talks about Read More

Mating call of the Pacific chorus frog can’t compete with traffic noise

Have you heard them? Each night is a spring symphony of chorus frogs calling out for mates. Recently, OSU’s Dr. Tiffany Garcia led a GLT Herp Walk at Luckiamute Meadows in Kings Valley. We caught and released amphibians, such as the Pacific chorus frog, and learned about their cool adaptations and behavior. Her research team studies the conservation challenges of the Pacific chorus frog and other species of amphibians in the Willamette Valley. We hear from Greenbelt Guest Blog Writer and Oregon State University Extension Service’s Chris Branam, who recently covered their research findings below: It’s a little frog with a big voice – and a big Read More