Two of Kevin Zerzan’s very enthusiastic environmental science classes at Gladstone High School joined us at Rinearson Creek for the first time this trimester. Students worked very hard to install over 200 live cuttings made from Red Osier Dogwood and Willow to stabilize eroding stream banks. Installing live cuttings is a form of stream bioengineering…
Conventionally, engineers have used only static inorganic materials that provide neither habitat for fish and wildlife, nor shade for the stream. Bioengineering techniques include effective, low cost methods for protecting and restoring riparian areas. Different species of willows and cottonwoods are used widely for bioengineering projects because they easily form roots on stem cuttings. (from http://www.oregon.gov/DSL/PERMITS/bioengineering.shtml)
These live cuttings will start sprouting new shoots later this spring and summer and will begin to stabilze the soil with their roots, provide much needed shade for the stream and enhance habitat for neighborhood wildlife. Check out the photos above of dogwood cutting students installed 2 years ago!
Also in the photos above you can see what Rinearson Creek looked like before any work was done in 2007- mowed grass all the way up to the stream banks. Mowing near the stream banks causes the grass to grow a shallower root system, letting it grow natural produces deeper roots and therefore better soil stability.
Thank you Gladstone High School! We’re looking forward to working with you again out at the stream!