Our Mission and Vision ^

Mission Statement: Developing awareness, appreciation and stewardship of Creation through education, exploration and interaction with nature.

Vision Statement:

  • Our goal is to guide children and adults in exploration of the unique ecosystem that exists within the old growth forest surrounding Drift Creek and the nearby marine environment.
  • The Center will foster appreciation for the important ecological contributions of the coastal rain forest, the relationships between the living and nonliving elements and the forest’s connection to the marine environment.
  • The Center will raise awareness of human impacts on the forest and will educate visitors to act as stewards of this and other environments.

 Advisory Board Members ^

Jim Anderson, secretary (2010 –>)
Joe Ebersole, vice-president (2009 –>)
Bruce Flaming, president (2006 –>)
Louise & John Gingerich (2006 –>)
Brenda & Tony Kauffman (2006 –>
Glen Oesch (2006 –>)
Rich Swartzentruber (2011 –>)
Karen Tieszen (2012 –>)
Jon Yoder (2006 –>)

Past Members

Larry and Mary Jane Eby (2006-2008)
Mervin Kropf (2006-2009)
Ken Snyder (2006-2010)
Kayla Mast (2010-2011)
Dennis Rothrock (2010-2011)


Our Strategic Plan… ^

Strategic Plan Goal The mission and vision of Drift Creek Nature Center is intended to strengthen the mission and vision of Drift Creek Camp through the following strategies: I.  Program: to extend, enrich and enhance existing programs and develop and implement new programs to promote creation care and sustainability II.  Management: to support and participate in current camp management practices III.  Human Resources: to provide assistance recruiting staff with environmental education training and experience, and supporting them with resources and ongoing training IV.  Funding: to promote the unique ecological setting and conference facilities to outdoor education groups and support fundraising efforts V.  Physical Plant: encourage development of sustainable physical infrastructure It is our desire for guests of Drift Creek Camp to experience renewed appreciation and gratitude for creation through learning about the diverse species and ecology in this beautiful setting. We believe this will inspire deeper reverence and respect for God’s awesome creation and attentiveness to its stewardship.

I.    Program Strategy a.  Nurture relationships with Nature and Environmental Learning Centers and their programs through research, field trips, and shared experiences. b.  Develop an inventory of the natural resources in the Drift Creek watershed for reference, promotion, and display using photos, drawings/paintings, posters, slide shows, and models. c.  Research the Native American and early settler history and culture of the area surrounding Drift Creek Camp. d.  Nurture our relationship with the Siuslaw National Forest Service to gain an appreciation for their goals, guidelines and resources and understand the fire, harvest and reforestation history of the forest surrounding DCC. e.  Develop environmental education curriculum and resources for use by all DCC guests. f.  Collect field guides, maps, reference materials, exhibits and displays, video materials, interpretive resources and equipment for use by guests and camp staff to experience and appreciate the unique ecology of the area. g. Include energy efficiency and sustainability practices in the educational experiences at Drift Creek Camp. h. Develop a strategy for collecting and recording stream data (flow, temperature, quality, etc.) and weather data (temperature, rainfall, wind).

This year we will… a.  Continue on the mailing lists for Environmental Education Association of Oregon, National Association for Environmental Education and Children and Nature network. Host a  Family Nature Retreat and Mushroom Retreat in cooperation with Friends of Straub Environmental Learning Center. Explore potential for participation in outdoor education programs and National Environmental Education Week (April 10-16) activity. b.  Continue the development of our native species inventory with continued visits by specialists and begin projects researching the geology and soils of our site. c.  Continue seeking opportunities to learn about the Native American and early settler stories for the area. d.  Work with the Siuslaw National Forest district ranger and staff on local invasive species management, restoration projects, trail improvement and maintenance, partnership in National Public Lands Day (September 24) and seek assistance with our research projects in forestry and geology of the Drift Creek Watershed. e.  Continue development of environmental education curriculum and resources to support all the programs sponsored and hosted by Drift Creek Camp and begin development of a comprehensive (citizen science) forest and stream survey/identification/monitoring program with opportunities for all guests of DCC to participate. Encourage the use of Quest and Orienteering activities in the summer camp program and with guest groups. Continue participation in Environmental Education seminars, workshops and webinars. f.  Keep our inventory of all print materials, video resources and equipment in the Nature Information Center current and posted on our website with efficient reference and checkout procedures. Add 1 dozen mask and snorkel sets and forest measurement tools to our available resources. g.  Identify and promote energy efficiency and sustainability practices in the educational activities at Drift Creek Camp. h.  Continue monitoring stream temperatures, research strategy for monitoring stream flow, and begin sharing live DCC weather data from our weather station to our website.

II.    Management Strategy a.  Operate within the organizational structure as approved by DCC board of directors. b.  Cultivate a cooperative working relationship with Drift Creek Camp board, staff and membership through representation on/from DCC board, regular communication, and working together whenever possible. c.  Support creativity, enthusiasm, problem solving and quality work of advisory group members and volunteers, respecting their abilities and contributions. d.  Be concerned with the satisfaction of group members, volunteers and guests of Drift Creek Camp.

This year we will… a.  Report president, vice-president, secretary, and advisory board membership to DCC board by March meeting. Form an education task force to be responsible for the development of environmental education curriculum and related resources and identify a list of ‘consulting members’ to serve as advisors on special projects. b.  Distribute reports of DCNC advisory board meetings and activities to the DCC board of directors and friends of DCNC, Conversely, reports of DCC board meetings and activities will be reported to DCNC advisory board members at their regular meetings. A DCNC advisory board member will serve on DCC finance and program committees. c.  Encourage DCNC advisory board members to volunteer for a DCC program or activity. d.  Work with DCC staff to assure adequate maintenance and signage for all the primary nature trails, provide trail guides for self-guided nature walks and promote the use of guest evaluation forms at all DCC sponsored events.

III.    Human Resources Strategy a.  Maintain a list of outside volunteers and specialists who may help to expand and support our curriculums and programs. b.  Work with DCC program director to assure a well qualified camp naturalist is on staff for summer camping programs. c.  Explore relationships with Universities offering degrees in Environmental Studies to explore internship, research, and thesis opportunities. d.  Provide an adequate level of on-site staff to manage the expanding Nature Center activities, resources and programs.

This year we will… a.  Nurture our relationships with nature specialists who have volunteered in Drift Creek Camp activities and expand the list to include specialists in entomology, geology and vermiculture. b.  Orient the DCC summer camp naturalist to all the available resources in the Nature Information Center and the natural features at DCC and surrounding area and summer camp counselors in the activities they will assist in leading. c.  Assist program director in recruiting and resourcing university students to serve as summer naturalists. d.  Assist camp directors in recruiting adult volunteers to assist with daily maintenance responsibilities and child care freeing onsite staff for more active leadership in nature activities.

IV.    Funding Strategy a.  Develop annual budget for the development and operations of the Nature Center for camp directors and DCC finance committee. b.  Be alert for grant opportunities related to Nature Center projects and pass them along to DCC directors and finance committee. c.  Work with DCC directors and program committee to recruit outdoor education rental groups.

This year we will… a.  Develop a design and cost estimate for completion of Nature Information Center picture window, cabinets, furniture and equipment. b.  Seek grants for Nature Center staffing and ecology projects and report them to the DCC camp directors and finance committee. c.  Develop a promotional flyer and video, continue advertising our desire to host outdoor education programs for the schools in Lincoln and neighboring counties, and publicize our unique natural setting and rental facility to groups with outdoor education interests.

V.    Physical Plant Strategy a.  Work with DCC directors and facility committee to plan and design the physical resources necessary to attain the mission and vision of DCNC. b.  Assist DCC directors and facility committee in achieving sustainable energy and water usage, and developing a power supply and waste plan in order to reach and maintain a responsible ecological footprint.

This year we will… a.  Develop good signage, provide escape from the elements and insects (screened outdoor instructional area), and maintain the organization of reference materials to create a welcoming environment for our guests. Improve trails, benches and interpretive resources to encourage recreational use of the area for hiking, birding, photography and meditation. Provide a round table with chairs, complete the cabinets and upgrade the picture window in the Nature Information Center. Seek approval of our restoration proposal from the Forest Service. b.  Work with camp directors and board of directors to move forward with the micro-hydro generation project and implementing energy efficient practices.

Brief History of Drift Creek Nature Center ^

Drift Creek Nature Center grew out of a long tradition of interest in creation appreciation and stewardship by former directors and members of Drift Creek Camp. The program for the 46th DCC annual members meeting, November 3-5, 2006, focused on Creation Care and Stewardship of the Environment featuring hands-on outdoor activities on stream ecology, birding and ecology of the forest floor. Following these activities, an ad-hoc group gathered to discuss opportunities to develop an organized effort to promote creation care through DCC programming. This resulted in the formation of an advisory board to the DCC board of directors. This seven member working board held its first regular meeting the following Wednesday and continued regular monthly meetings, took several field trips together and communicated frequently on its email discussion group. In addition, a group of interested individuals kept posted on our development through a ‘Friends of Drift Creek Nature Center’ email discussion group.

2007 Annual Report
In the year since last November, much work has been done to bring the dreams of a nature center at Camp to reality. Mission and Vision statements were crafted and approved by the DCC Board of Directors. A strategic plan was made, operational procedures proposed and organizational structure is being developed. A variety of resources have been acquired and the construction of cabinets to house them in has begun. A web site has been designed and published. Funding is being solicited with the goal of finding resources beyond regular giving to DCC.

2008 Annual Report
The Drift Creek Nature Center advisory board’s second year was busy and productive. We decided to publish a newsletter ‘Footprints’ to report on our activities.

On March 22, we met with Conrad Gowell (river keeper) from McMinnville and a student at University of Puget Sound who is doing research on the Drift Creek Watershed.

Mervin Kropf, Nissi Gershom and John Gingerich attended a 1-day professional development event in Eugene on April 2 sponsored by the Environmental Education Association of Oregon. They had the opportunity to make some good contacts, gather some good resources, and learn about the extensive network of environmental education efforts in Oregon.

On May 24, we hosted our first bioblitz, an intensive effort to identify and document as many species as we could within a 24-hour period. It was an extraordinary success; we were blessed with beautiful weather, a remarkable team of knowledgeable experts, and identification of 200+ species. A DVD was made documenting this event, and several of the experts have returned to continue the search and the list has grown to over 340 species; the results are reported on our website.

We added some eye-catching exhibits to the Nature Information Center, a black bear hide, red-tailed hawk and mule deer.

Kenton Brubaker, Eastern Mennonite University biology professor emeritus volunteered for a third consecutive summer working with naturalist Nissi Gershom to develop and lead a variety of nature activities. A few of the bioblitz experts returned to assist with these activities.

Anna Williams and Tony Kauffman attended a Sustainable Energy Systems  Workshop August 16-17, at Opal Creek Ancient Forest Center. They gathered some important information and made some important contacts to facilitate the research, design and development of a micro hydro generating system for DCC.

This fall we were blessed to have Laura and Jesse Sigmans join the DCC staff bringing their many gifts and enthusiasm. We have seen many of our dreams come to reality in the few months they’ve been here; improved nature trails, facelift and organization to the Nature Information Center, a new map, activity sheets and trail guides, and a creek level gauge, We have purchased a trail camera to capture photos of nocturnal animals.

2009 Annual Report
New Member: Joe Ebersole
Continuing Members: Bruce Flaming (co-vice president), John (president) and Louise (secretary) Gingerich, Brenda and Tony Kauffman, Glen Oesch, Jesse and Laura Sigmans, Ken Snyder, Anna Williams (co-vice president), Jon Yoder
Retiring Members: Larry and Mary Jane Eby (continue as honorary members)

Biodiversity Survey: We have continued our effort to identify the biodiversity unique to Drift Creek Camp with significant gains in fungi, lichens and mosses. We now have 530+ species identified; 300+ with photos taken on site. We’ve had continued interest, visits and support from the specialists involved. Another spring event is planned. There is a complete inventory in the Nature Information Center and on our website.

Nature Information Center: This valuable resource continues to develop under Laura’s leadership and through the generous contributions of many. This year’s additions include:
• trail guides coordinated with new trail signs and markers and ecology field guides developed
•  salmon life cycle, copper salmon art, elk skull, butterfly and animal tracks displays
•  a microscope camera and 14 aquatic nets have been added to our resources
• the Biodiversity Survey inventory has been printed in booklet form
• 15 lessons for summer camp, each including creation care content, have been revised based on this years use
• Resources have been organized and stored in a file cabinet in the office
• a piece of library furniture for organizing and displaying our growing collection of children’s books
• a donated cabinet has been refinished for the 50 gal. donated terrarium for summer camp use
• numerous printed resources have been donated bringing our total to 400+, with nearly 100 children’s books,  90 field guides, and 20 unique pocket guides. There is a complete inventory in the Nature Information Center and on our website.

Professional Development; board members continue to participate in professional development activities:
• Water, Wetlands and Waterfowl; Project Wet and Project Webfoot workshop at Friends of Straub Environmental Learning Center
• Connecting Children with Creation and Creator, Spirituality and Ecojustice in the Pacific Northwest” conference at LaSells Stewart Center at Oregon State University
• North American Association for Environmental Education conference in Portland
• Annual Mushroom Festival in Yachats with “Ecology of Plants & Fungi of Drift Creek” slideshow
• Oregon Parks and Recreation Department Grant Writing Workshop in Newport
• Let’s Go Outside; Project Learning Tree workshop at the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge
• Alien Invasion: Plants on the Move!; Project Learning Tree workshop at Mt. View Elementary School in Corvallis

Looking Forward; our board is working on plans for the following projects:
• Family Nature Retreat in cooperation with Friends of Straub Environmental Learning Center
• Restoration Projects in cooperation with Forest Service and Salmon Drift Creek Watershed Council including organizing a National Public Lands activity next fall
• Trail system upgrade and maintenance plan; seeking potential grant funds
• Promoting DCC for hosting Outdoor School and other Environmental Education programs
• Development of a Forest Monitoring Project for summer camp. outdoor school and other guest participation

2010 Annual Report
Continuing Members: Joe Ebersole, Bruce Flaming (vice president), John Gingerich (president), Louise Gingerich (secretary), Brenda and Tony Kauffman, Glen Oesch, Ken Snyder, Jon Yoder
New Member for 2011: Jim ANderson, Dennis RothRock
Honorary Members: Larry and Mary Jane Eby and Anna Williams

Biodiversity Survey
Interest in our biodiversity survey continues. We now have 590+ species identified; a gain of 60 this year.  A complete list is posted on our website. <http://driftcreeknaturecenter.org/biodiversityDB.htm>

Nature Information Center
This valuable resource continues to develop through the generous contributions of many. This year’s additions include:
•    Cabinet doors installed by Tony
•    Pacific Northwest butterfly slide show photographed by Jake Hurlbert from the collection donated by David McCorkle. Laura Sigmans developed a set of ID cards from the photos.
•    MacIntosh G4 Tower Computer donation
•    12 orienteering compasses donated by Bruce Flaming
•    DeLorme Earthmate GPS unit donated
•    3 William Sullivan Hiking Guides donated by the author
•    A set of Bird ID Cards has been developed with photos of 55 species identified at DCC
• A DCC Weather page has been developed for our website
•    Professional Weather Station donated by WeatherConnection.com
•    Numerous printed resources have been donated bringing our total to 500+, with over 120 children’s books, 90 field guides, and 20 unique pocket guides. There is a complete inventory in the Nature Information Center and on our website. <http://driftcreeknaturecenter.org/print_materials.htm>

New Programs
•    Drift Creek Camp hosted a Family Nature Retreat in partnership with Friends of Straub Environmental Center (FSELC) in Salem. Seventeen adults and 17 children in 11 different family units participated.
•    We also hosted a Fall Mushroom Event in partnership with FSELC with expert instruction and identification by Jake Hurlbert and enthusiastic participation by all.
•    Participants in both programs expressed interest in repeat events and suggested a Spring Wild Flower & Mushroom Event.

Looking Forward; our board is working on plans for the following projects:
•    Promoting DCC for hosting Outdoor School and other Environmental Education programs
•    Development of a Forest Monitoring Project for summer camp, outdoor school and other guest participation