This stewardship party is primarily focused on preparing Sod House Ranch for visitors. This includes trail maintenance, expanding ADA access along trails, preparing artifacts and buildings for visitors, clearing vegetation, and other visitor services-related projects. There may also be some work removing Russian olives, planting cottonwoods at the rookery, and other habitat-related work.
Tasks for this stewardship weekend are varied, allowing volunteers to select tasks with which they are most comfortable. Volunteers will primarily be tasked with weed-eating, driving a riding lawn mower, moving gravel with wheelbarrows and rakes, and sweeping buildings.
About the Historic Sod House Ranch
Historic Sod House Ranch is home to the largest Great Blue Heron and Great Egret nesting colony at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge (MNWR). Sod House Ranch is a homestead era collection of buildings and stand of cottonwoods from the original ranch. Sod House is closed during the breeding season, so that visitors don’t disturb the nesting herons and egrets, opening August 15th, after the nesting season has mostly ended. Aside from nesting herons and egrets, Sod House is also home to the first successful Bald Eagle nest at MNWR in over 100 years. Other wildlife that may be seen at Sod House in late summer include orioles, tanagers, several sparrow species, and other passerines and staging waterbirds.
- Sod House’s historic buildings need love annually and you get to be part of that!
- An ADA accessible trail is important for creating a more equitable experience at Sod House.
- A sense of satisfaction from knowing you’re part of providing visitor access and experiences at an historic place at Malheur NWR.
- Housing will be provided on refuge at Sod House Ranch (or headquarters, weather dependent).
- Participants will be required to camp, or can find lodging in town if not comfortable with camping. In cases of inclement weather, volunteers may be put up in Refuge housing at headquarters.
- Camp kitchen will be available at Sod House.
Questions? Contact Teresa Wicks, Eastern Oregon Field Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.