Ask Mary

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is Mary of the Marys River?

The exact origin is unknown. The name was first documented in 1846. Some say an early settler, Adam E. Wimple named the river for his sister, Mary. 

What can I do to help restore the river?

We are grateful for your interest in preserving, protecting, and restoring the Marys River Watershed. If you are interested in lending a hand with our work, please consider becoming a  Volunteer. There is a multitude of other things you can do, too, to help! Please know that all storm drains flow directly to the river, so please consider washing your car on grass instead of cement, limiting the use of pesticides/fertilizers on your lawn, and never pour anything directly into a storm drain. Similarly, planting native plants can add habitat for bees and other critters that call the Marys River home, too. These are just a few ideas of many! Please Contact us if you would like to learn more. 

If you are interested in helping to engage with and further our work, please follow us on social media and/or Donate to support our work. We also encourage spreading knowledge and awareness of how simple acts like recycling can go a long way in keeping our rivers and lands clean. 

What kind of landowners do you work with?

We work with landowners across the Marys River watershed on everything from in-stream restoration, fish passage barrier removals, riparian plantings, invasive species removals, upland prairie restoration, and more. Our restoration work is grant funded, and the work that we can get funded by grantors is often limited to areas outlined in conservation plans. If you are a landowner (or a renter with landowner's approval) interested in working with Marys River Watershed Council, please inquire using our website Contact form and we will get back to you as soon as we can. 

Where does your funding come from?

Grants fund most of our projects. We do not receive tax income of any kind. We also receive funding from donors and from other organizations contracting with us to do work directly.

What kind of monitoring data do you gather? How can I access it?

We have been gathering continuous temperature data at 18 sites across the Marys River, with some sites having 10+ years of data. This data, alongside data gathered from partners across Benton County, has helped us identify areas where our restoration will have the greatest impact. We also have gathered eDNA data at sites across the Marys alongside the Bureau of Land Management, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the US Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station to identify presence/absence of Pacific lamprey, steelhead, Chinook salmon, Western ridged mussels, and other key species. We also have lent a hand with the Benton Soil and Waters Conservation District Upper Muddy Strategic Implementation Area to gather eColi samples, as well as year-round continuous dissolved oxygen, temperature, and other data. 

If you are interested in accessing data, you can Contact us, and we will share what we can if we have permission from partners and the bandwidth to do so.

Will Marys River Watershed Council present to my class/group?

Our K-12 Education program currently works with a wide variety of classes for both in-classroom and field lessons in public schools across Benton County. We similarly occasionally present at a wide variety of Oregon State University departments and to groups such as the Scouts, Master Naturalists, the Lions Club, and so on. If you are interested in seeing if we have the bandwidth to set up an outreach engagement, please Contact us. 

A lot of our work is funding dependent, as our organization has a very small staff and very limited funding to support this kind of work since most grants won't cover it. Because of this, our capacity is limited at times. We encourage you to reach out and if we can, we will schedule something.

How can I volunteer? Can I put together a volunteer group?

We seek volunteers throughout the year to lend a hand with plantings, invasive species removals, cleanups, K-12 field trips, events, and other work both in the field and in the office. If you are interested in being added to our volunteer list, please sign-up here: Volunteer

If you have questions about volunteering or if you have a group of volunteers, please Contact us. Similarly, please contact us if you would like to lend a hand with something specific that the volunteer list might not include. 

What is involved in serving on the Board of Directors?

Thank you for your interest in learning more about the roles and responsibilities of our Board of Directors. Please  Contact us, and we will get back to you as soon as we can. 

I am a contractor and am interested in soliciting to see if my services could be of help. How do I communicate with you?

Please reach out via our Contact page. If we do not respond, it means we unfortunately do not have the capacity to work with you at this time. There is no need to follow-up. For the sake of time and resources, please do not call or mail directly with solicitations.

I have a question that is not listed. How do I ask?

Please Contact us with any other questions you may have.