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The Corvallis School District has agreed to repair damage from landscaping work that scraped too much vegetation from a portion of Dixon Creek that runs through the Corvallis High School campus.

Individuals contacted the city of Corvallis and the Gazette-Times as well as posted items on Facebook and neighborhood group email lists after residents noticed the work that was done around July 1 where Northwest 13th Street dead-ends at Buchanan Avenue.

Brenda Downum, communications coordinator for the district, said that a seasonal landscaping crew removed both invasive species and native plants. The work occurred in about a 100-feet section of the creek bed. Several trees were taken down as well.

Downum said the goal of the work was “improved visibility (and) to eliminate the risk of illegal camping and undesirable activity in the area that contributed to safety concerns on the school campus.”

Jonathan Pywell, the urban forester for the Corvallis Parks and Recreation Department, said the district needed permits to do the work because of its impact on riparian zones, wildlife, stormwater runoff, water quality and erosion control.

“Waterways such as Dixon also have state and federal rules that need be followed,” Pywell said, because Dixon empties into the Willamette River.

City officials visited the site and have come up with a plan that the district must complete by July 30 (see information box).

Key concerns of the city, said Pywell, are to have erosion control measures in place before the rainy season begins in the fall.

School district officials said they will comply with the city’s requirements and, Downum said, “share updates to keep the community informed and involved.”

“Our hope is that we can turn this situation into a learning opportunity for our staff, students, and community,” said Kim Patten, director of facilities and transportation. “Activities will include effective restoration and preservation of the riparian zone, the development of a long-term management plan, and increased educational outreach of the wildlife habitats that are present on our school campuses.”

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Contact reporter James Day at jim.day@gazettetimes.com or 541-758-9542. Follow at Twitter.com/jameshday or gazettetimes.com/blogs/jim-day.

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