Orca Recovery Day 2023 – Ayeko Farm

Orca Recovery Day Volunteers at Ayeko Farm

Ayeko Farm was founded in 2018 by Victor and Deepa Iyer to create space for BIPOC communities to reconnect with the land and their culture through food and farming. While the farm engages in traditional agricultural activities like raising goats and planting crops, they also dedicate significant time to holding cultural events and healing retreats on the property.

This commitment to community and renewal is reflected in the conservation work being undertaken on the property. Instead of just focusing on what they can extract from the farm, the Iyers also look for what they can build. Since taking over, they have planted a native forested area and pollinator-friendly plants.

They are also building a riparian vegetation buffer along Newaukum Creek that flows through the property. This buffer will provide critical wildlife habitat, filter water flowing into the stream, and improve conditions for fish.

“We’re working to heal the land. Much of the past has been taking, and we’re excited to see so many people out here to help with healing.” – Deepa Iyer, Ayeko Farm

In just a few hours, volunteers planted almost 700 native trees and shrubs on a football field-sized stretch of Newaukum Creek. This buffer will provide shade and habitat for local wildlife, including spawning Chinook salmon which make up 85% of the Southern Resident Orca diet.

Thank you to the wonderful volunteers who made this year’s Orca Recovery Day a success.

  • Zach talks about the project with volunteers
  • Volunteers planting
  • Deepa Iyer and her daughter planting
  • Children found frogs in the planting area
  • Volunteers planting
  • Pizza reward for volunteers
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