Summit Creek Planting

Sage Brown   Website




Bitteroot blooms on north-facing cliffs in western North America.

The Paiute name for bitteroot is kangedya. Traditional Native American uses of the plant included eating the roots, mixed with berries and meat, and using the roots to treat sore throats.



The Last Darkness

The Last Darkness


Scott Bowler, ONDA member from Portland

Scott Bowler, ONDA member from Portland

The desert speaks for itself, but very softly. I support ONDA to promote and enable discovery of the amazing beauty and recreational opportunities of the high desert by much broader groups of people; and most especially to protect forever the full and diverse landscape of the Owyhee Canyonlands, a place without parallel or equal in our country.”

Organizer: Beth Macinko

Start Date: November 1, 2023

End Date: November 4, 2023

Region: Malheur River Basin

Difficulty Rating: Level 3: Challenging

Maximum Group Size: 15 participants

About the place

Summit Creek is a tributary of the Malheur River that provides critical habitat for bull trout, redband trout, and other native fish and wildlife species. The Prairie City Ranger District have implemented a large scale restoration project along the creek, this planting will contribute to the overall restoration of the area by enhancing native vegetation along the creek to provide shade and cool water for native fish, improving ground water storage capacity and increasing wildlife habitat. ONDA volunteers will be planting willow, dogwood, and other native plant species.

Since 2014, ONDA has helped the forest to implement a variety of ambitious, multi-year projects restoring key fish habitat on headwater streams, including past work along Summit Creek.

About the stewardship work

You will work with ONDA and Malheur National Forest staff to conduct two days of riparian planting along Summit Creek, planting a variety of riparian species the Forest Service had grown into seedlings.

We typically head to the work site at 8 a.m. and stop work by 4 p.m. in order to leave time in the afternoon to clean-up, relax, and cook a well-deserved dinner. No previous planting experience is needed to attend this trip. ONDA and Forest Service staff will provide all instruction and necessary tools to do the job. All that is required is a love of the high desert, a big smile and a willingness to learn.

Trip timeline

  • Wednesday, November 1 (5-7 p.m.): Volunteers should plan to arrive in the evening with enough time to set up, meet others at camp, and spend some time talking about the weekend ahead.
  • Thursday, November 2: Our first of two work days. We will meet with Forest Service staff and carpool to the work site. After a brief safety talk and a discussion of the restoration efforts, we will begin planting. Plan to be away from camp from about 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Friday, November 3: Our second day of work planting along Summit Creek. Plan to be away from camp from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Saturday, November 4:  After a good night’s rest, volunteers can pack up and head home or take their time exploring the area before hitting the road.


We will be car camping at Big Creek Campground which has potable water and vault toilets and is a short drive from the work site. ONDA will bring extra group camping supplies such as tables, chairs, and back up water. Since camp is at the vehicles you will be able to have all the amenities you can fit in your car. Further details describing camp and driving directions will be provided to participants in the information email three weeks before the trip.


Level 3

Participants will be bending down, carrying boxes of plants, digging holes and navigating uneven terrain. Everyone can find a task that works best for them and work at a comfortable pace with frequent breaks.

Participant responsibilities

Participants are responsible for their own food, camping gear as well as transportation to and from the trip, carpooling will be facilitated. Sturdy ankle-high boots are required for this trip. Volunteers should be prepared to be away from camp all day each of the work days. A more complete packing list will be sent out three weeks before the trip starts.

Gear provided

ONDA will provide tools for the work, work gloves, and eye protection. We will bring some group camping equipment (tables and chairs), extra snacks and drinks, and expert leadership.


An ONDA registration application and medical form are required for this trip.

 Apply Now

What happens next?

You will receive a confirmation email within 2 weeks of submitting your form. The confirmation email will provide information regarding which trips you are on the “participant list” for, and which trips are full, and therefore you have been placed on the “waitlist.”

Six weeks before the start of the trip, the trip leader will send out an RSVP to make sure everyone is still able to participate. Based on RSVPs, open spaces will be backfilled with people from the waitlist.

Three weeks before the trip start date, registered and confirmed participants will receive driving instructions, maps, car-pooling options, and additional information in an email sent by the trip leader

If you have any questions in the meantime, please don’t hesitate to contact the trip leader.