Discover Wildlife in the Willamette Valley, City of Corvallis, OR
Located in Corvallis, the Jackson-Frazier Wetland is home to 70 bird species and over 300 flowering plants, a jewel located in an urban area of the Willamette Valley.
Discover the amazing natural areas located within the cities of the Willamette Valley. In Corvallis, citizens have made sure these natural areas are conserved or reestablished as natural areas, such as the Jackson-Frazier Wetland area, providing educational opportunities to the public.
The Jackson-Frazier Wetland is a favorite place for local bird watchers and biologists. Walking along the boardwalk, visitors listen to the calls of the red-winged blackbird or spot brightly colored tanagers. Springtime means a bounty of pink wild roses, blooming all along the loop. Frog communities noisily fill the evening with their sounds. Visitors enjoy the varying habitats along the boardwalk loop.
A Natural Wetland Area
Named for the spot where the Jackson and Frazier Creeks meet to create a natural wetland area, the Jackson-Frazier Wetland area became part of the Benton County Parks system in 1992. Established in order to provide an area for education, research, and public use, the 147-acre area is located in north Corvallis. In 2003, the Jackson-Frazier Wetland expanded with donated land, 4 acres, by the Greenbelt Land Trust.
In order to protect sensitive species and provide the public and researchers access to the wetland areas, the boardwalk was designed and built. Youth volunteers from the Community Services Consortium, and other citizen volunteers donated over 2,500 hours to build the wooden boardwalk. The kiosk at the Jackson-Frazier Wetland displays the boardwalk project, including pictures of volunteers at work.
The Jackson-Frazier Wetland Boardwalk Loop
The loop begins with grassland, woodland and riparian forest. Then the wetland areas become more abundant. Marsh wrens watch from branches as visitors walk the loop. As the loop begins to circle back, visitors are deep in the wetland area, surrounded by dark, murky water, cattails, pondweed and many other plant species. Next, the prairie and grassland expands to the north with tall grass. Visitors may spot red-tail hawks hunting from above, or coyotes or red fox camouflaged in the grass. Swallows abundantly flit above, diving and soaring through the grassland.
The Jackson-Frazier Wetland blends prairie, woodland, stream-bank and wetland areas, providing a habitat for a wide variety of birds and animals. The area is home to over 70 identified bird species, and over 300 species of flowering plants. Raccoons, deer, beaver and nutria also call the wetland and grassland areas home.
The RESTORE Project
The RESTORE project or Reintroducing Endangered Species Through Outreach, Restoration, and Education, along with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, have been reintroducing native plant species to the Jackson-Frazier Wetland area. The species include the Fender’s blue butterfly and two plants, the Willamette daisy and Kincaid’s lupine. Students from the nearby Cheldelin Middle School participate in science projects at the wetland area.
Jackson-Frazier Park Information & Directions
The Jackson-Frazier Wetland boardwalk loop is approximately 2/3 mile in length or 2880 feet, an easy walk taking ½ hour to complete. The boardwalk loop includes seven observation areas, several with benches. These areas provide a place to observe wildlife or read educational signs located along the boardwalk trail. The boardwalk is wheelchair accessible, with frequent turnarounds and pull-off observation areas. Dogs are permitted on leases, as long as owners keep dogs on the boardwalk. Bikes, scooters, and skateboards are not permitted.
The Jackson-Frazier Wetland park is located in north Corvallis, with parking located off NE Lancaster Street or NE Canterbury Circle, following the path to the park entrance.
Another place to view wildlife near Corvallis, Oregon in a wetland setting is the William L. Finley National Wildlife Refuge. This wildlife refuge is located 10 miles south of Corvallis, established as a wintering habitat for dusky Canada geese, and other wildlife in the region.