Clarno Willow Harvest #2

Spend the day at the Clarno Nursery and lend a hand preparing willows for planting later this spring!


Cottonwood Canyon Riparian Soundscape

Cottonwood Canyon Riparian Soundscape


Terry Butler, 2018 Volunteer of the Year

Terry Butler, 2018 Volunteer of the Year

“If I have to pick a favorite place in Oregon’s high desert, it would be Sutton Mountain, but I’m excited about all of the Wilderness Study Areas,” says Terry, adding, “Each is a gem to explore, and I hope they all get protection someday… I love the scale of the physical beauty of the desert.”


Spring Basin Wilderness

Spring Basin Wilderness

Spring Basin Wilderness

With 10,000 acres of undulating terrain, secluded canyons and spectacular vantages of the John Day Country, Spring Basin is magnificent to explore This public treasure, forever protected as Wilderness, offers a profusion of desert wildflowers in the spring and year-round recreational opportunities for hikers, horseback

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Organizer: Beth Macinko

Date and Time: February 29, 2020, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Place: Clarno, OR

Camp: Day trip

Difficulty Rating: Level 1: Easy

Maximum Group Size: no limit

About the place

The Clarno Nursery, officially named the Clarno Hardwood Propagation Facility, is a collaborative project between the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management. Up to 50,000 willows, cottonwoods and other native trees are harvested annually from this facility for restoration projects around the northwest. ONDA has been working with the Clarno Nursery for almost a decade and we’re keeping the cooperative spirit alive with annual winter trips to harvest materials to be used on ONDA restoration projects throughout eastern Oregon. Located along the banks of the John Day River the Clarno Nursery is picturesque as well as important to ecological restoration efforts.

About the stewardship work

The focus for this event will be cutting and collecting lengths of willow and cottonwood for ONDA’s riparian restoration projects on the South Fork Crooked River, Muleshoe Creek, and the middle Deschutes. The plants that we harvest will be cut into three-foot-long slips, tied in bundles for easy transportation, then stored in a Forest Service cooler until planting season begins in March. On the planting trips, these sticks are stuck in the ground, and in a few months you can have a nice little shrub! For this trip, volunteers can perform three different tasks: cutting the plants; collecting and transporting the plants; and preparing the plants for storage. With assembly-line efficiency, we hope to prepare well over a thousand planting sticks all while having a great time and enjoying the beautiful outdoor setting!

View Map

Sarah Graham

Trip timeline

  • Saturday, February 29 (10 a.m): Meet at the Clarno Nursery which is about a two-hour drive from Bend. (Carpooling will be available)
  • Saturday, February 29 (4:00 p.m): We’ll work until 3:30 with the hope of getting people back to Bend by 5:30 pm.


This is a day trip.


Level 1: Easy

The physical demands of this trip are relatively easy. Work involves squatting or bending over, carrying light-weight armfuls of sticks, cutting sticks with loppers, and gripping stick bundles to tie them up. The work area is flat and the greatest challenge is to avoid tripping on the small stumps once the trees have been harvested. Everyone will be able to work at their own pace and we will rotate jobs so that everyone gets a chance to learn each task. Cold and breezy weather is possible, but rain would postpone the event.

Participant responsibilities

Participants are responsible for their own food and water/beverages. Carpooling will be available with ONDA staff or other volunteers if available. Sturdy hiking boots are recommended, close-toed shoes are required (no sandals). These plots have very dense trees and likely some muddy areas so eye protection and appropriate footwear are essential.

Gear provided

ONDA will provide all the tools necessary for the work as well as extra gloves and extra eye protection if needed. Coffee and hot water for tea will also be provided to keep the chill off.


An ONDA registration application and medical form are required for this trip. Check the box next to each trip you would like to attend. You only need to fill this form out once per year.

 Apply Now

What happens next?

You will receive a confirmation email within 10 working days 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.

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

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