Ecostewardship project at Camp Myrtlewood
The Church of the Brethren is dedicated to stewardship of creation. This is the driving principle behind the ecostewardship projects at Camp Myrtlewood.
Western Oregon is known for its natural beauty and its economic dependence upon natural resources. Coos County's economy has been hit hard by unsustainable forestry practices that have damaged the natural functions of forest ecosystems faster than they can regenerate. The result is declining water quality and availability, loss of endangered species habitat, soil erosion and infertility, planted monocultures mislabeled as forests, and a dying industry with high unemployment. These ecostewardship projects are intended to fill a gap in teaching about sustainable forestry and the value of intact forest ecosystems.
- Model a series of forest ecosystems — from a “no touch” wilderness forest to a “hands on” process of forest rehabilitation using sustainable forestry practices. We plant seedlings in the “light touch” areas to increase species diversity and riparian function, thin over-crowded areas and do nothing in the "no touch" wilderness areas except study and appreciate important features.
- Stream restoration project — Myrtle Creek above Camp Myrtlewood was splash dammed in the early 1900s. In cooperation with a variety of agencies concerned about environmental quality, Camp participated in a stream restoration project intended to increase salmon spawning beds and habitat for juvenile fish. Cultural, historical, aesthetic, recreational, silvicultural, and terrestrial and aquatic wildlife and ecological considerations are included in the project design.
- Stewardship education and outreach will be provided to annual camps interested in environmental education, home-schooled teens, and outdoor school camps from local public schools.
- Sustainable living at Camp Myrtlewood — Highlights are nutritious menus of homemade foods, recycling, slow sand water filters, Tulikivi soapstone heaters, building with cob, composting and gardening, an atmosphere that fosters lifestyles attentive to spirituality, peace, justice, and generosity.
- Purchase of 43 acres of adjacent land and stream frontage for the purpose of protecting it from clear cutting. Our plan includes the creation of a perpetual land conservancy agreement to prevent any future exploitation of the land, trees and water.