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2005 USA

Youth Environmental Summit 2005



We did an initial environmental inventory in our local community in order to determine ways in which businesses and private land owners could implement best management practices with the goal of being sustainable in the environment. In most cases, we saw the need for better recycling programs, especially in the food service sector. We thought that so much waste is generated from over-packaging and disposable articles. With current consumption, we find that the infrastructure is not in place to deal with large volume of waste generated in the food industry, especially fast food. It would take a large shift in our current city infrastructure to implement a sound, environmentally friendly means of managing waste so that it can be properly recycle or disposed of.


The next idea we had focused ways of making our community more "natural". Salem, Oregon has several streams that pass through it to the Willamette River. Enhancing the riparian zones with native trees and shrubs would benefit our salmon populations; using native flowering plants would help attract native butterflies; using native plants in newly landscaped areas would create habitat for native song birds and other native wildlife. With this in mind, we came up with the idea of developing an Urban Watershed Nature Guide, which can serve as a tool for any individual or business to use when making decisions about what plants to use to attract animal species native to Oregon and our area. We aim to partner with local businesses and individuals to implement our project.

About Our Project

Project Title: Urban Watershed Nature Guide

Urban Watershed Nature Guide Index 

Native Trees  Flowering Plants  Butterflies  Birds  Mammals  Reptiles  Amphibians  Invasive Species

Project Description: The students of the Community Schoolhouse's International Schoolhouse Program created a virtual nature guide that contains information about various native flora and fauna that one might encounter in our urban area. The goal for this nature guide is to encourage private land owners and local business to promote native plants and animal abundance in our community. Using native plants to attract native wildlife helps us maintain our environment in a sustainable way and maintain the integrity of the biodiversity in Oregon and our local area. Having native plants helps avoid species extinction.


Native Shrubs to the Willamette Valley

Native shrubs are important features of our natural ecosystem. They have evolved to form important symbiotic relationships with many animals, especially butterflies as they serve as larval host plants to specific ones. Native shrubs are adapted to the climate and soil conditions of the Willamette Valley and require less maintenance than non-native species, especially in garden and landscaped areas. Oregon’s shrubs provide important food sources for the native wildlife in the ecosystems. When shrubs are out-competed by invasive species, like scotchbroom and Himalayan blackberry, valuable wildlife habitat is lost. Homeowners and landowners can help maintain the integrity and ecological value of Oregon’s native ecosystems by encouraging the growth of native shrubs by removing invasive species and planting a diversity of native ones.


Common Name: Kinnikinnick
Scientific Name: Arctostaphylos uva-ursi

Description: Kinnikinnick is a small evergreen shrub that is 3-6 inches tall and can spread to five feet wide. It is a drought tolerant shrub that likes sun to part shade. It grows very well in rocky or sandy soils. It is slow to establish, but grows quickly once it is established.

Habitat Value: Kinnikinnick is an excellent source of nectar for bees and butterflies. It is a host plant for brown elfin butterfly. Birds, raccoons, chipmunks, squirrels, coyotes, foxes, and bears eat its berries. Deer also browse its twigs.

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douglas spirea
Common Name:
Douglas Spirea
Scientific Name: Spiraea douglasii

Description: Douglas Spirea is a deciduous shrub that grows 3-6 feet tall. It is easily distinguished by it bright pink fuzzy appearance. Spirea grows quickly, is drought tolerant, and likes moist or marshy, humus-rich soils.

Habitat Value: Spirea is a nectar source for butterflies and other insects. It is a suspected host plant for the following butterflies: pale swallowtail, spring azure, Lorquin’s admiral, and other butterflies. It’s seed capsules are eaten by some wildlife and beavers for dam construction use its stems. Spirea also provides cover habitat for birds and small mammals.

nootka rose Common Name: Nootka Rose
Scientific Name: Rosa nutkana

Description: Nootka Rose is a deciduous shrub that grows 5-10 feet tall. It grows in full sun to part shade and tolerates seasonally wet and seasonally dry soils. Nootka rose has a medium growth rate.

Habitat Value: Nootka rose provides nectar for bees and butterflies. It is a documented and suspected host for Western checkerspot, mourning cloak and gray hairstreak butterflies. The leaf-cutter bee uses its leaves for building material. Rosehips are eaten by birds, chipmunks, rabbits, hares, deer, elk, coyotes, porcupines, and bears. Birds are known to use the seeds as a source of grit. Thickets of Nootka rose provide excellent cover for birds and small mammals.

pacific ninebark Common Name: Pacific Ninebark
Scientific Name: Physocarpus capitatus

Description: Pacific Ninebark is a deciduous shrub in the rose family. Typically they are 6-12 feet tall/wide and can grow to 15 feet tall. They are fast growers and enjoy full sun to part shade in moist to seasonally wet soils.

Habitat Value: Pacific Ninebark produces a small, creamy-white cluster of flowers that bloom April or May to June. The flowers provide nectar for many insects, including bees and butterflies. It is the host plant for the azure butterfly. Ninebark produces a reddish seed capsule that may be eaten by birds and small mammals. Deer browse on buds, twigs and leaves. Ninebark provides excellent cover and nesting sites for birds and small mammals.



red osier dogwood Common Name: Red Osier Dogwood
Scientific Name: Cornus sericea

Description: Red osier dogwood is a deciduous shrub that usually grows 4 to 10 feet tall and up to 18 feet tall. It grows well in moist soils and does well in both sun and shade. It is known for its excellent soil binding qualities and often forms in dense thickets. Red osier dogwood stands out visually by the bright red stems.

Habitat Value: Red osier’s creamy-white flowers serve as an excellent source of nectar for butterflies, including the orange sulfur butterfly, and many other flying insects. It is a known host plant for the spring azure butterfly and possible for some others. Red osier dogwood is an important food source for many animals. Its buds provide food for birds, small mammals and black bear. Its fruit is comprised of protein, fat, and carbohydrates. Some other animals that rely on it are rabbits, porcupines, deer, elk, beavers, and muskrat.


salmonberry Common Name: Salmonberry
Scientific Name: Rubus spectabilis

Description: Salmonberry is a deciduous shrub that is in the rose family. It is a very fast growing shrub that grows 4 to 10 feet tall. Salmonberry requires full sun and full shade and dry to moist soils. It has reddish-pink flowers, followed by yellow to red raspberry-like fruits. The root systems of salmonberry spread vigorously from underground stems, which makes it an excellent choice for steep slopes.

Habitat Value: Salmonberry is a nectar source for bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. Birds, chipmunks, squirrels, raccoons, coyotes, and bears eat its fruit. Its leaves are browsed by deer and rabbits. Salmonberry provides excellent cover for birds and small mammals.

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mock orange Common Name: Mock Orange
Scientific Name: Philadelphus lewisii

Description: Mock orange is a deciduous shrub that grows very quickly 6 to 12 feet tall and is equally wide. It grows well in full sun to part shade and dry to moist soils. Mock orange is adaptable to various sites and soil conditions. It is known for its fragrant white blooms with golden stamens. Mock orange has good soil binding characteristics, which make it useful for erosion control.

Habitat Value: Mock orange’s white blooms is a nectar source for butterflies, bumblebees, and honey bees. Its seeds are eaten by birds and leaves browsed by deer and elk.


ocean spray Common Name: Ocean Spray
Scientific Name: Holodiscus discolor

Description: Ocean spray is a fast-growing deciduous shrub or small tree that grows 8 to 12 feet tall. It grows in full sun to part shade and dry to moist, well-drained soils. It is an extremely drought tolerant, but intolerant for saturated soils. Its flowers are white to cream-colored in cascading flower clusters, up to a foot long. They bloom from June to August. Ocean spray is useful for disturbed sites and restoration projects.

Habitat Value: Ocean spray’s white flower clusters serve as a nectar source for butterflies and other insects. It is the host plant for pale tiger swallowtail, Lorquin’s admiral, echo blue (a rare butterfly), brown efin and spring azure butterflies. Birds eat the seeds, while deer and elk browse its branches. Birds and small mammals find shelter in its thick branches. Chickadees find insects for winter forage within its branches.

tall oregon grape Common Name: Tall Oregon Grape
Scientific Name: Berberis aquifolium

Description: Tall Oregon grape is an evergreen shrub that grows 5 to 6 feet tall. It grows in full sun to part shade and in dry to moist, well-drained soils. It is extremely drought tolerant, but intolerant of saturated soils. It is known for its bright yellow March flowers and holly-like leaves that are so shiny that they appear wet.

Habitat Value: Oregon grape is a nectar source for butterflies, hummingbirds, and mason bees. Its fruit is eaten by birds, foxes, raccoons, and coyotes. Deer and elk will occasionally browse the leaves and flowers.



western serviceberry Common Name: Western Serviceberry
Scientific Name: Amelanchier alnifolia

Description: Western serviceberry is a deciduous shrub or small tree that grows 8 to 15, but can grow to 30 feet, especially east of the Cascades. Serviceberry grows in full sun to part shade in dry to moist, well-drained soils. They are very drought tolerant and tolerates seasonally wet soils. Serviceberry is identified by its white spring flowers, followed by small reddish fruits that turn to black by late summer.

Habitat Value: Western serviceberry is a nectar source for bees and butterflies, including spring azure butterfly. It is the host plant for swallowtail and other butterflies. Its fruit is eaten by birds, chipmunks, marmots, skunks, foxes, ground squirrels, raccoons, and bears. It is important winter browse food for deer and elk and provides good wildlife cover.

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cascade oregon grape
Common Name:
Cascade Oregon Grape
Scientific Name: Mahonia nervosa

Description: two feet in tall and wide part to full shade also can tolerate deep shade. Dry to moist soils. Well-drained soils and lives best in shade and moist environment. Yellow flowers that turn into blue waxy fruit. Spread by underground stems like ground cover.

Habitat Value: good food for butterflies and other pollinating bugs. Rabbits, deer, elk, birds, foxes, raccoons and coyotes occasionally eat leaves and berries.




indian plum Common Name: Indian Plum
Scientific Name: Oemleria cerasiformis

Description: width is less the height. Likes soils rich in nitrogen. Greenish white flowers hang below the branches. Males bloom sooner then females. Fruits ripen fast in season. Flowers turn yellow and drop in late summer and early fall. Grows well with red elderberry.

Habitat Value: nectar source for bees and other insects. Possible source of nectar for humming birds. Small birds, foxes, bears and coyotes eat the important fruit


red flowering currant
Common Name:
Red-flowering currant
Scientific Name: Ribes sanguineum

Description: full sun to part shade. If the plant is in a lot of shade it can develop oddly. Dry to moist soils and often found in dry open woods.

Habitat Value: nectar source for bees, butterflies and humming birds. It is also a host plant for certain butterflies. The berries provide long turn food for birds and a few other animals. Twigs and foliage are browsed by deer and other animals.




red huckleberry
Common Name:
Red Huckleberry
Scientific Name: Vaccinium parvfolium

Description: part to full shade, dry to moist. Humus-rich acidic soils tolerates dry and shady conditions. Grows slowly. Small pinkish whitish bell shaped flowers appear on branches. It’s a very nice plant for landscaping and yards. Also gardens.

Habitat Value: nectar source for humming birds and bumble bees. Also eaten by many animals.




salal Common Name: Salal
Scientific Name: Gaultheria shallon

Description: grows from 2 to six feet slowly. Will tolerate full shade or sun. Performs best in wetlands forests and raised areas. Small whitish pinkish flowers urn-shaped. Dark purple or black berries. Goods soil binding characteristics. Can become hard to deal with after planted.

Habitat Value: nectar source for bees butterflies and other insects. Fruit is eaten by small birds and mammals. twigs eaten by deer. Provides cover for small animals.

Common Name:
Scientific Name: Rubus parviflorus

Description: 3 to 8 feet tall sun to part shade. Tolerates deep shade. Well-drained soils. Grows fast. Often thorn less with white leaves. It has underground stems.

Habitat Value: flowers attract bees’ butterflies and others. Deer and elk browse foliage. Red barriers that are eaten by birds and other animals. Foxes, birds and so on. Also provides good shelter for wildlife.

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