Fall 2017 Tree Sale and Seedling Giveaway:

Dates TBA

Earth Day 2018 Potting Event:


Project Ponderosa:Teaching, Inspiring, Planting, Learning.

Ponderosa pines are a hardy, majestic native conifer which have been heavily logged. 

They are significantly more resistant to disease, mountain pine beetles, drought and wind damage than lodgepole pines. They are also fire resistant when mature, due to their thick, scaly cinnamon colored bark. 

Planting ponderosas also helps to restore forest diversity in the Sunriver ecosystem, as well as continuing the 'Tree City USA" tradition of the Sunriver community.

Over 8,000 seedlings have been potted by students at Three Rivers School since the project began 6 years ago. Potted seedlings now have a survival rate of 93% at the Penhollow Nursery, and over 70% when planted in the Sunriver common areas. The Life Skills students at La Pine High have provided the seasonal maintenance and re-potting, as well as planting each fall in Sunriver "Vegetation Restoration Zones". Over $10,000 has been raised for several organizations -- including an orphanage in Kenya and the Sunriver Nature Center and Observatory.

Volunteer Opportunities: 

There are numerous ways you can get involved in this award-winning environmental and educational project. Contact Lee Stevenson (see below) or the Nature Center.

Project Ponderosa Goals:

  • Begin to restore a durable and valuable species in our Upper Deschutes ecosystem.
  • Involve local students in potting and caring for the Ponderosa seedlings.
  • Engage and inform students of the need for restoring this once common conifer to our community.
  • Provide a source of established, potted Ponderosa seedlings to be used for...
    - habitat restoration
    - school fund raisers
    - Sunriver Nature Center sales
  • Improved forest diversity and health of the Upper Deschutes River ecosystem in and around Sunriver.
  • Sparked student interest in ecology, forestry and horticulture as well as gained appreciation for the value of forest diversity.
  • Potted trees sold to parents and homeowners to raise money for various organizations and educational/ environmental projects.
  • Enhanced property values & neighborhood aesthetics.
Project Ponderosa needs your help!  Donations of 2- and 3-gallon nursery pots may be dropped off at the Second Tern or the Sunriver Nature Center during business hours, or call for pick up of larger quantities.
Help by volunteering on one of the days listed below. (Please RSVP to us or Lee; information below).

Ponderosa Potting Day

Email Lee Stevenson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to help out!

Nursery Work Days

Email Lee Stevenson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to help out!

Thanks to the following businesses and programs for supporting Project Ponderosa:

Sunriver Water & Environmental, LLC: the primary sponsor of this project since it's inception. They provide crucial resources to the program including the nursery site, composted soil, and irrigation. Thank you!

La Pine High Life Skills Program: The special education students under the direction of Ken Thorp provide valuable seasonal maintenance at the Nursery. Thank you!

Three Rivers School: Brett Jantze and Steve Gleason, Grade 4 & 5 teachers, Tim Broadbent, Principal.

Local Landscapers: Klaver Landscaping, Twin Pines Landscaping, Deschutes Environmental Service, East Side Gardens, Landsystems Nursery, and Moonfire and Sun. Thank you!
Sunriver Resort & Sunriver Realty: for numerous volunteers on Earth Day Planting and potting events.
Sunriver Nature Center: for seedling purchases, nursery supplies and grants to local schools.

SROA and the support of local Residents. Thank you!
Lee Stevenson, a Sunriver resident, is the founder and coordinator of 'Project Ponderosa'. 
He may be contacted at:

    E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | C: 541.604.4300
 Here are a few photos from our 2015 Earth Day Tree Planting!
A special thanks to Three Rivers classes of Mr. Gleeson and Mr. Thorp
To the Life Skills class at La Pine High and to Sunriver Water & Environment, LLC
Thank you.