Predaceous Diving Beetles- Ahoy!

Green Team Week April 7th to April 11th

Written by Jesuit Volunteers Dane Breslin and Rebecca Strohm

West Linn High School @ Clackamas-Willamette Confluence April 8, 9 & 10th

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West Linn High School students visited the Clackamas-Willamette Confluence this week to do a few different restoration activites.  First students planted did a little native planting to provide food and habitat for native animals and help prevent erosion Having planted before, students were experts and planted 140 trees and shrubs.  Also on the agenda was bioengineering.  Students installed live dogwood stakes into the wetter areas of the Confluence site.  Dogwoods having a specific hormone that allows them to take root and grow into a new tree after being staked into the ground.  Students installed 150 dogwood stakes that will grow into beautiful dogwood trees.  Students also spread 14 bales of straw around the exposed bare ground.  Removing invasive blackberry and ivy in the beginning of the year left the ground exposed except for the native plants.  The straw will help the soil retain moisture during the hot summer months and help in preventing the soil from eroding.  Students also found a few long-toed salamander and a variety of birds on site including an osprey and red-tailed hawk.  Thanks for the hard-work and dedication West Linn!  See you next time!

Gladstone High School @ Clackamas-Willamette Confluence April 10th

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Gladstone High School made a trip out to the Clackamas-Willamette Confluence this week.  It was invasive removal day and first up was a little round of riparian metaphors.  Students related regular household items to ways in which riparian areas benefit the environment.  For instance an ice cube tray could represent cold water.  Large trees along a stream bank provide shad over the creek which can assist in cooling the water, allowing more dissolved oxygen for aquatic organisms.  A coffee filter could represent native plants which assist in filtering run-off that is flowing into streams.  After riparian metaphors students got to work removing invasive species.  This particular site is home to many invasives including Armenian blackberry, English Ivy, holly, clematis and morning glory.  Students dug and pulled these invasive species, removing about 50 sq feet.  Thanks for bringing the sunshine and enthusiasm Gladstone students!

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Wednesday, April 9th

Rachel Carson Environmental Middle School at Willow Creek

This Wednesday was particularly sunny down at Willow Creek and Rachel Carson Middle School visited the old site for macro invertebrate surveys, coffee bagging and site tours. We also had some special guests with us from SOLVE, and the Rachel Carson students did a phenomenal job of explaining what we were doing and made everyone feel welcomed.

Here is a run-down of the day:

First, we did macro invertebrate surveys, which were especially exciting as we found huge predaceous diving beetles, a plethora of damsel fly larvae, and four large dragonfly larvae.  As always, a few students “accidentally” fell into the creek while collecting macros with long nets.  Overall, the surveys were a success and Willow Creek is teeming with life!  Students then coffee bagged native plants to give them a better chance of survival midst the sea of invasive, fast growing, Reed Canary Grass. The coffee bags are placed on both sides of the native plant and held firmly into the ground with biodegradable stakes.  The bags themselves are generously donated by Boyd’s coffee and naturally break down over time, while also preventing Reed Canary Grass from growing too close to the native plant.  To wrap up the day, each Rachel Carson group went on a site tour and got to look at pictures of the site from nine years ago!  The change has been amazing!

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Thank you Rachel Carson, it has been so awesome working with you this year!

Dane Breslin

 

 

Spring Brings Bees and Straw

Green Team Week March 31st- April 5th

Written by Jesuit Volunteers Dane Breslin and Becca Strohm

Gladstone High School @ Clackamas-Willamette Confluence 4/1

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Students from Gladstone High School made their first trip out of the new trimester this week to the Clackamas-Willamette Confluence.  This site is brand new this year and needs lots of work.  It is home to a variety of invasive plants including Armenian blackberry, English ivy, clematis, morning glory, trees of heaven and holly.  In the future this site will become essential side channel habitat for fish and other wildlife in the Clackamas and Willamette rivers.  Since it is the very end of our planting season students started out by planting some native shrubs in an area that used to be all blackberry.  Students planted around 75 shrubs including Oregon grape, salmonberry and some snowberry.  In addition to the site being full of invasive plants it is also full of trash.  An old dumping ground, the site is full of litter including some pretty creepy, old toys.  Students collected around 20 lbs of trash which we hauled out to be disposed of properly.  Great job Gladstone students- thanks for the enthusiasm!

Clackamas High School @ Rock Creek 4/3, 4/4

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Students from Clackamas High School enjoyed a beautiful day at Rock Creek this week.  They participated in a variety of activities to help restore the area.  First off students spread 10 bales of straw around the bare ground where blackberry was removed and new native plants have been planted.  The straw is to help retain moisture so that when it rains the bare ground does not just become mud and erode into the stream.  Students also planted about 15 more native plants and coffee bagged.  Coffee bags are put around plants in grassy areas to help suppress the grass and other weeds.  The next day students mulched, removed blackberry and put up beaver caging.  Mulching also helps to suppress weeds and retain moisture around the plants.  Students mulched in a perfect doughnut shape around 100 native trees and shrubs.  In addition students removed about 30 square feet of invasive blackberry roots and protected 30 saplings with beaver caging.  Thanks for the hard work CHS students- see you next time at Rock Creek.

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Monday, March 31st

Glencoe High School at McKay Creek

This Monday I met Glencoe High School freshman not at McKay Creek, but in the classroom where we investigated and discovered a whole plethora of interesting bugs!  With turkey basters the students combed through the muddy waters (I collected) from McKay Creek that morning.  Once a critter was found it was promptly placed under the electron microscope for further investigation.  The students found some very interesting macro invertebrates this Monday including (check guide thing for names).

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Overall, it was a wonderful day by the microscopes! Thanks Glencoe!

Wednesday, April 2nd

Rachel Carson at Willow Creek

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This Wednesday Rachel Carson Environmental Middle School met at the Willow Creek old site where we went on site tours, studied macro invertebrates and installed William’s bee boxes!  Starting off the day students got a chance to see the site Rachel Carson has been stewards of for 10 year.  The next group worked with Nicole collecting macros with long nets from the stream and then siphoning them off into smaller trays for a closer look. The last group worked with me and William who is doing a project on bees.  He actually built two bee boxes himself and we spent the day planting native plants that will attract the bees.  We also traveled to the new site and worked to install the box he made into an old tree.  I look forward to William’s presentation at the West Side Summit!

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Thank you for a beautiful day Rachel Carson!

Thursday, April 3rd

City View Charter at School

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This Thursday Nicole, Becca and I visited City View Charter School toting bags of trash, cans of spray paint and minds filled with imagination- TRASH ART DAY!  Last week, we collected old plastic bottles, candy wrappers and a host of other items from Philips Creek. We cleaned the items and on Thursday students cut them into pieces and, spray painted them and then glued them together to make a beautiful dragonfly mural.  We started the event by doing our own small trash pickup at the school and discussing the problems we all face with litter in the environment. Great job City View Charter!

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Forest Park Elementary at Cedar Mill Creek

On Thursday Nicole and I met with Forest Park Elementary school students and planted all of the remaining native plants at Cedar Mill Creek- around 50 overall!  That is quite impressive given that most of the planters were less than five feet tall.  Also, one of the students worked with me and offered to do a planting demo for the Summit. He did an excellent job explaining how to safely get our beloved native plants into the ground. Thank you Forest Park!

Friday, April 4th

Valley Catholic High School at Johnson Creek

This Friday, Valley Catholic High School met at Johnson Creek and we planted 280 native plants!  The classes worked like machines expertly digging basketball sized holes, massaging roots to stimulate growth and graceful plant dancing once the holes were filled.  To celebrate our last day together we had delicious doughnuts generously donated be Sesame Donuts. The folks at Sesame even gave me a free coffee for coming in- Thank you so much!  Valley Catholic I will miss you all and thank you for being such excellent planters!

Saturday, April 5th

Forest Grove High School at Gales Creek

This Saturday Forest Grove High School met at Gales Creek and we did a plethora of activities. We started the day with coffee bagging the 70 native plants that we installed the previous visit.  The coffee bags will give our natives a head up in the continuous battle with Reed Canary Grass.  Next, we installed the remaining native grasses by the stream (which was very muddy). The hope is that these native grasses will actively complete with the Reed Canary Grass for dominance of the area.  Lastly, we got into the stream itself and collected macro invertebrates. We found the most AMAZING variety of bugs including Mayflies and a Caddis fly the size of my pinky finger!  To wrap up the day Ben Crabtree (the “best teacher ever” according to a number of students) treated us all to homemade brownies which competed with the donuts I provided.

This was our last visit and I will miss you dearly Forest Grove High school!

Best,

Dane Breslin

 

 

Tiny Spineless Critters- cheers to Macros!

Green Team Week March 17th to March 21st

Written by Jesuit Volunteers Becca Strohm and Dane Breslin

Portland Lutheran School @ Beaver Creek March 19th

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Portland Lutheran was out with SOLVE this week to help restore Beaver Creek.  Upon arriving at Beaver Creek students found a large contraption called a “fish catcher” which (despite the name) is meant to survey fish populations.  Baby salmonoids are headed to the ocean after being spawned upstream and are surveyed by the Portland Water Bureau and then put back in the creek to be on their way.  This will give a clearer picture of what fish are in Beaver Creek.  After checking out the “fish catcher” students spent the day planting, removing blackberry and doing GIS work.  Students took water quality points and GPS coordinates of specific spots along the creek which they will be able to make into a map of Beaver.  Students also planted about 10 trees and 100 native shrubs along the bank as well as removing 20 sq feet of blackberry roots.  Great job Portland Lutheran!  Your enthusiasm and energy always inspires me- thanks for the hard work!

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Wednesday, March 19th

Rachel Carson at Willow Creek

This Wednesday something interesting happened at Willow Creek; Rachel Carson Environmental Middle School FINISHED planting all of the native trees and shrubs left at the site! This means that approximately 400 native plants have been added to Willow Creek this school year. This is an incredible accomplishment!  On top of planting native, Rachel Carson students continued learning native plant identification (many groups received 90-100% on the quizzes) and removed invasive blackberry roots form the newest planting site. Great job Rachel Carson, you are all amazing students!

Thursday, March 20th

Glencoe High School at McKay Creek

This Thursday, Glencoe High School freshman examined macro invertebrates from McKay creek using class room microscopes. The classes seemed to react with disgust, surprise and amazement at what they found- a large variety of tiny, spineless critters moving through the wetland.  Each student drew their favorite macro and worked in groups to identify what they found. The classes found damsel flies, water mites, aquatic snails and more. One group collected the water used with me in the morning. We all got a bit muddy gathering the macros. Thank you for all of your help and enthusiasm Glencoe!

Best,

Dane

 

March- friendly worms, small storms & loads of trash!

Green Team Week March 3rd to March 7th

Written by Jesuit Volunteers Dane Breslin and Becca Strohm

Clackamas Middle College @ Phillips Creek March 7th

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Clackamas Middle College made a trip this week to Phillips Creek to do both a native planting and a litter clean-up.  Students learned the path of litter from throwing it onto the side of the road to rainwater gutters, to creeks, to rivers and eventually out to the ocean.  Plastics can be eaten by marine life including birds, fish and turtles which believe the plastic is food.  The plastic can get lodged in their digestive system or can cause the animal to believe they are full, causing them to starve due to lack of nutrients.

Look at all that trash!

Look at all that trash!

Overall students collected 400 lbs of garbage around Phillips Creek and the streets around CMC including a shopping cart and a few rugs.  In addition students planted 150 native trees and shubs around Phillips Creek.  Thanks you CMC students and I look forward to another sunny day at Philips Creek!

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Monday, March 3rd

 Valley Catholic High School at Johnson Creek

Valley Catholic High School visited Johnson Creek this Monday to do a bioengineering activity with Green Team.  The group installed 100 live dogwood stakes, 50 Sitka Willow Stakes and 50 Schooler Willow stakes behind the school. The stakes contain a rooting hormone that allows them to be propagated quite easily, and will eventually grow into adult shrubs which will hold onto the soil and prevent erosion. Although our time together was fleeting, I truly enjoyed live staking with Valley Catholic and look forward to our next event!

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Tuesday, March 4th

St. Thomas More at Cedar Mill Creek

St. Thomas More second graders visited Cedar Mill Creek and planted 60 native shrubs with Green Team this Tuesday.  The group also installed approximately 50 Willow stakes into the muddy soil at Cedar Mill.  These stakes will one day grow into adult Willows which have incredible root systems which will do an amazing job of reducing erosion by holding onto the soil!  Though the students were small, they worked quickly and efficiently in groups with a parent. Digging a basketball sized hole, massaging roots, giving the plant a “haircut”, and doing a small plant dance after leveling the area around the plant proved to be second nature to the students of St. Thomas More.  Additionally, many of the students found squirmy worm friends, but were careful to put them in safe place before continuing.  Overall, the day was quite nice and I was most impressed with everyone’s behavior. Thank you St. Thomas More, please come out with Green Team again soon!

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Wednesday, March 5th

Rachel Carson at Willow Creek

Rachel Carson Environmental Middle School came out to Willow Creek’s new site this Wednesday remove blackberry roots, plant native trees and shrubs and learn some native plant identification.  The group was very successful and planted approximately 130 native trees and shrubs on the hill by the road.  This very same hill, which is notorious for having monster blackberry roots, now has the potential to become a healthy riparian area.  The group was also quizzed on their ability to identify native plants with only buds and leave scars as hints!  Overall, everyone did an incredible job and I always enjoy working with Rachel Carson students!

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Additionally, fantastic job to all of these students at the Rachel Carson Science fair. I was very impressed!

Thursday, March 6th

City View Charter at Council Creek

City View Charter visited Council Creek this Thursday and helped Green Team maintain the numerous recently planted native, as well as planting some native themselves!  The students planted 76 native trees & shrubs, and then coffee bagged and mulched each plant.  Invasive Reed Canary Grass inundates Council Creek yearly; the coffee bags staked around each plant keep the grass from getting sunlight and give the native plant space to grow.  Mulch around the plant holds onto moisture, keeps the plant warm and also helps prevent Reed Canary Grass from growing densely next to the plant.  Overall, the group did an excellent job, even in the pouring rain! Thank you City View Charter!!

 

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Forest Park Elementary at Cedar Mill Creek

Later the same day, Forest Park Elementary visited picturesque Cedar Mill Creek with Green Team.  The elementary students had some help from parents planting around thirty native trees & shrubs.  Students had a blast getting their gloves muddy and had fun naming their different plants silly names.  The sun came out near the end of our session and we all appreciated the beams of light moving through the Alder Trees on site.  Overall, Forest Park Elementary students were very well behaved and followed direction precisely. Thank you so much!

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Best,

Dane

Preventing Plastic Soup

Green Team Week Feb 24th to Feb 28th

Written by Jesuit Volunteers Dane Breslin and Becca Strohm

Spring Mountain @ Mt Scott Creek Feb 24th

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Spring Mountain Elementary came out for a slightly rainy day this week for bioengineering and some native planting.  Students installed 50 spirea stakes along the side of Mt. Scott Creek.  These stakes will take root and help to hold in the bank preventing erosion into the creek.  Students also planted 35 native trees and shrubs.  Spring Mountain Elementary students were Green Team Masters when asked the benefits of having native trees and shrubs instead of the invasive ivy which was at Mt. Scott.  They knew all the reasons including that native trees and shrubs provide food and habitat for native animals, help to prevent erosion by diversity in root structures, provide shade to cool the creeks down and can filter runoff flowing into the stream.   Great job Spring Mountain Elementary!  We’ll see you next time at Mt. Scott Creek.

Sam Barlow High School @ Beaver Creek Headwaters Feb 25th

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Sam Barlow came out for their second time to plant native trees and shrubs at Beaver Creek.  Students planted around 10 native trees including Western Red Cedars and a few Maples.  Red Cedars are allelopathic meaning the trees excrete a chemical from its root that effects the growth of other plants around it.  Students made sure the Cedars had plenty of room by ensuring the trees had a 10 ft radius around them before planting any other shrubs.  In addition to trees students planted 65 native shrubs including Oregon Grape, Snowberry, Salmonberry and Elderberry.  These berries will provide crucial food for native habitat around Beaver Creek.  Thanks for all the hard work Sam Barlow students.

Portland Lutheran @ Beaver Creek Feb 26th

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Portland Lutheran School spent a day doing bioengineering at Beaver Creek this month.  Dennis O’Connor from Habitat Concepts came out to teach them about bioengineering techniques and help to install some waddles along the bank.  What is a waddle you ask?  Waddles come in different types and PLS students installed a straw waddle and some fascine bundles.  The straw waddle is a 15 ft circular bundle of straw that students staked right along the side of the bank.  This will help to hold the bank in, preventing soil from falling into the creek from erosion.  The fascine bundles are a collection of live stakes tied into bundles that are placed into a small trench and staked in.  The live stakes were made from willow, dogwood and spirea which will eventually take root, becoming shrubs with extensive root structures that will also hold in the bank.

In addition to installing waddles students also live staked amongst the Reed Canary Grass next to the creek.  These stakes will eventually grow into small trees, shading out the Reed Canary Grass.  In the afternoon Roy Iwai from Multnomah County came to give a talk on the fish populations in Beaver Creek.  Students learned about the native and invasive fish populations in Beaver Creek and the problems associated with both a rural and urban stream.  All and all a great day out at Beaver Creek. Thanks for the enthusiasm Portland Lutheran!

Clackamas High School @ Rock Creek Confluence (2/27) and Rock Creek Troge (2/28)

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Clackamas High School students spent a two days at Rock Creek planting native trees and shrubs.  First students visited the Rock Creek Confluence with the Clackamas River for a very rainy day.  Representatives from Clackamas River Basin Council came out to inform the students about the larger project that is happening at the sight which includes in-stream installation of woody debris.  Students then got to work planting 175 native trees and shrubs along the hillside of Rock Creek.  Throughout the day students found a salamander and a native tree frog!

The second day students made a trip out to Rock Creek again but this time farther upstream.  Students were joined by 11 Japanese exchange students from the ESL school of Pacific International Academy at Marylhurst University.   The exchange students worked together with Clackamas students to plant but in addition got to work on their English skills including a lot of pop culture which was exchanged.  Overall students 120 native trees and shrubs along Rock Creek.  Thank you CHS and Marylhurst students- what a great day!

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Monday & Tuesday, February 24th and 25th  

Glencoe High School at McKay Creek

This Monday and Tuesday, each of Linda Wolf’s biology classes began the day with a litter in the environment presentation.  As a class, we examined the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and how plastic has detrimental effects on sea life.  When plastic escaped into our water system is breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces which become ingested by sea life and create a plastic “soup” in the ocean. After a short video explaining the garbage patch and a discussion on how to reduce the amount of plastic we use, the class headed outside for some mulching!

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Some ideas of how to reduce the amount of plastic include:

1)      Having and using a reusable water bottle rather than single use water bottles.

2)      Asking for ceramic mugs at coffee shops rather than to-go mugs. If you need to travel, bring your own mug!

3)      Use reusable shopping bags at the grocery store- many sea turtles eat plastic bags thinking they are jelly fish!

4)      Recycle all that you can!

5)      Try not to purchase items that are heavily packaged.

As a group we picked up around seventy pounds of trash and mulched over 400 native trees and shrubs! Excellent job Glencoe High School!

Wednesday, February 26th

Rachel Carson Middle School at Willow Creek

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This Wednesday Rachel Carson came out to Willow Creek for some intense Riparian restoration. As always, the class broke into three groups; planting, winter twig identification and blackberry removal.  Britta and Phil led the planting and filled in the hill by the road which had been recently cleared.  Our teachers lead the blackberry removal effort as there is (what seems like) thousands of roots which still require removal.  I led the winter twig identification station and quizzed each group on their understanding of Sam & Ted (opposite leaved plants) and some of the other common plants we install regularly.  Overall, I was very impressed with everyone’s work and continuously enjoy Rachel Carson students’ love of environmental sciences! Great Job!

 

Spring Is Coming!

Green Team Week March 10th to March 14th

Written by JVC Northwest Members Dane Breslin & Becca Strohm

Sabin-Schellenberg @ Rock Creek Troge March 10th

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Students in the Sabin-Schellenberg School of Forestry spent a day bioengineering at Rock Creek.  Dennis O’Connor from Habitat Concepts instructed the students on methods, techniques and benefits of bioengineering.   Students learned about how to live stake and how to install straw waddles and fascine bundles.  The waddles help as a barrier to soil that is falling into the stream.  The fascine bundles are made from live stakes of willow and dogwood that will take root and hold onto the soil, preventing erosion.  In addition students installed 50 stakes along the bank of Rock Creek.  Thanks Sabin students!

Sam Barlow @ Beaver Creek Headwaters March 10th

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Sam Barlow students spent a rainy day at Beaver Creek planting native trees and shrubs.  Barlow students have become master planters and planted 75 native shrubs despite the weather.  Thanks for the enthusiasm Sam Barlow!   After three rainy days of planting we are almost done- see you next time!

Rex Putnam @ Boardman Wetlands March 11th

Another trip out to Boardman Wetlands this week for Rex Putnam students to help restore Boardman Creek.  A few students were brave enough to cross the stream on our makeshift “bridge” in order to plant 10 native trees on the other side.  Despite the danger students surprisingly didn’t get wet when making this trek and successfully planted 10 willow and dogwood trees in the wetland.  The rest of the class spent the day beaver caging.  Recently we have found evidence of returned beavers at Boardman Creek which is pretty exciting and shows Rex Putnam student’s work is paying off.  But beavers do like to snatch our newly planted willow saplings so students put chicken wire around over 50 of our smaller willow trees to prevent beaver from taking them.  Soon those willow will grow nice and tall and the beaver will be able to take branches without risking the death of the entire tree.  Thanks for all the hard work Rex Putnam!

West Linn @ Clackamas Willamette Confluence March 11th and 12th

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West Linn students came out for the first time in the new year to  help restore habitat around the Clackamas-Willamette Confluence.  Students learned a little plant identification before getting started planting including what Western Red Cedar, Douglas Fir, Oregon Grape, Salmonberry and Red Osier Dogwood look like.  Students had to be able to distinguish between native trees and native shrubs which can sometimes be difficult when they are saplings.  We plant our native shrubs 3 ft from other plants but are native trees must be 10 ft from other plants in order to ensure they have enough space to grow their roots.  West Linn students did a great job and planted 30 trees and 91 shrubs!  In addition students collected 280 lbs of trash!  An exciting point of the day was spotting two bald eagles fly overhead.  Thanks for the enthusiasm and hard work West Linn students!

Spring Mountain Elementary @ Mt. Scott Creek March 11th

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Spring Mountain Elementary made a trip out to Mt. Scott Creek this week.  Students mulched our newly planted natives, pulled English ivy and wrote a reflection.  Mulching is a new activity of the year so first we talked about the benefits of mulch.  Mulch is made of cut-up tree bark.  It provides many benefits for native plants including providing nutrients as the mulch breaks down into the soil, prevents weeds from growing around the plants and can help the plant drink because it can retain moisture.  Students mulched over 30 plants around Mt. Scott Creek.  In addition students pulled 30 sq feet of ivy which is still creeping back up around our native plants.  At the end of the day students worked on a reflection of their time throughout the year at Mt. Scott Creek.  Great job Spring Mountain Elementary students!  See you next time

Clackamas High School @ Rock Creek Troge March 13th

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Clackamas High School came out to do some native planting along Rock Creek this week. Students were greeted by a beautiful day with sunshine and a balmy 60 degree temperature!  First off we did a a review of the benefits of having our native plants instead of the invasive plants. Native plants provide habitat and food for native animals, especially birds, help to prevent erosion by having diverse root structures that hold onto the soil, stabilizing the bank, can filter out toxins and pollutants from runoff as it flows towards the stream and large trees provide shade which can help cool down the water in streams, creating a better environment for aquatic life.  Clackamas students planted 15 trees and over 200 shrubs in different areas along Rock Creek.  In addition students put beaver caging around 13 Red Alders saplings to protect them from beaver until they grow bigger.  Thanks for bringing the sunshine CHS students- thanks for doing great work at Rock Creek!

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Thursday, March 13th

Gilkey Middle School at Cedar Mill Creek

This Thursday, Gilkey Middle School did an exceptional job planting and mulching forty native trees and shrubs at Cedar Mill Creek.  The sixth grade students and their parents started the day by getting into planting groups and hauling buckets of mulch, plants and shovels to the site.  At the site there was a short planting demonstration and then the students did a top notch job of getting the sapling safely into the soil.  We also reviewed the importance of mulch and how it keeps the plant moist, warm and well fed!  During the middle of the day a native plant identification training session was held and the sixth graders learned about native opposite leaved plants, S.A.M. & T.E.D. (Snowberry, Ash, Maple, Twinberry, Elderberry, and Maple).  After memorizing these six plants the alternating leaved plants were much easier to learn.  We ended the day with a truly enjoyable stroll back through the sunlit forest.

Thank you so much Gilkey Middle Schoolers! I had an excellent time planting and mulching with you all and really enjoyed your class!

Valley Catholic High School at Johnson Creek

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Valley Catholic High School students were blessed with exceptionally nice weather this Thursday while planting around sixty native trees and shrubs at Johnson Creek.  The sun was out and the Indian Plums were beginning to bloom as students worked in pairs digging basketball shaped holes, trimming roots, removing nursery soil and making sure their young plants were firmly rooted.  Though our time together was short lived I had an excellent time with this class and am quite impressed with their planting abilities.  Thank you so much for coming out Valley Catholic!

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Friday, March 14th

Tobias Elementary School at Beaverton Creek Tributary

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Tobias elementary school students were very busy this Friday mulching all day with Green Team.  Each class worked in pairs and took around a half a bucket for each plant.  Before we began we discussed the differences between mulch, manure and compost. We also talked about the magic of mulch, and how it truly offers so much support to our young plants be acting as a source of nutrient, a guardian against close growing weeds, and an emergency supply of heat and water.  By the end of the day, over 300 native trees and shrubs were safely nested in a ring of mulch and what was once a GIANT mound of mulch appeared quite small. Thank you Tobias Elementary, it was wonderful mulching in the sunshine all day with you!

MULCH- a native plant’s best friend

Green Team February 17th-21st

Written By Jesuit Americorps Volunteers: Dane Breslin & Becca Strohm

Clackamas High School @ Rock Creek Troge- Feb 21st

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Clackamas High School students made their first trip of the year out to Rock Creek this week.  Students participated in a variety of activities throughout the day.  First students made willow and dogwood stakes from harvested trees.  They created bundles which would be installed into a small trench along the side of Rock Creek.  The bundles were secured with the 40 stakes students made.  Hopefully these stakes will take root, holding onto the soil, preventing more erosion and also providing shade once they grow tall.  Students also installed beaver caging to some of our newly planted trees.  Beaver are present at Rock Creek which is wonderful but they also like to take our small seedlings so students made cages around 15 Alder, Willow and Cedar trees.  Finally students also removed some invasive blackberry to make room for more native plants.  Thanks for all the work Clackamas students.  We’ll see you next time at Rock Creek.

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Aloha High School At Butternut Creek

Wed. February 12th & 13th

This Wednesday and Thursday, Aloha High School came out to Butternut Creek behind their school and did some incredible work with Green Team.  Each class started with planting as there are numerous plants we need to get in the ground before the end of April.  Next, we had to move the mulch pile off the sidewalk which took considerable strength and then spread the mulch in a circle around the base of each native plant. This mulch will help keep the plant warm and moist, as well as help prevent weeds from taking over. While all of this activity was occurring, another group constructed beaver cages to keep the rather active beavers from taking down the brand new plants. Overall, the group planted thirty native plants, mulched fifty plants, and installed twenty five beaver cages! Awesome job Aloha- this was the best of time!

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Tobias Elementary at Beaverton Creek Tributary

Fri. February 14th

This Friday, Tobias Elementary came out to the small tributary by their school and planted forty native plants as well as did macro invertebrate surveys with Nicole.   Long nets were used to gather macros from the stream and plastic magnify glasses gave students a closer look at our local bug life.  Then, students would learn to the simple steps to successful planting with me. Overall, we planted forty plants and were witness to some incredible critters in the stream. Thank you for being such wonderful students Tobias and for having excellent behavior!