Valley Catholic: Blackberry Removal All-Stars & Amphibian Enthusiasts

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Valley Catholic High School completely transformed our Johnson Creek site yesterday.  At 8:45am, the site was covered in blackberry.  Blackberry stems were intertwined, covering snowberry, and deeply rooted into the soil.  After the first class, a few snow berries were newly exposed and we could begin to see the origins of each blackberry stem.

Freshmen in Ms. Lacks’ Biology classes continued to cut down and dig out blackberry.  By the time Ms. Cole’s Biology and Environmental Science classes came out after lunch, the site was already looking quite different.  These last two classes helped to make sure all the roots along the path were dug up.  Our soil is just about ready to plant some awesome native trees and shrubs that will stabilize our banks, filter toxins from the school and nearby houses, and shade out invasive species from taking over.  Not to mention, we also built quite an impressive pile of dead blackberry roots, illustrating the extent of the students’ work.

Some adorable Amphibian friends even came out to check out our fantastic work.  Students got to see and hold a couple of Rough Skinned Newts and Ensatina Salamanders living in our nutrient rich soil.  After determining these were quite possibly the cutest Amphibian friends we’ve ever made, we put them in a safe spot out of the way of our restoration.

All in all, students had a very successful day out at Johnson Creek.  Thanks so much for all of your hard work!  Day 1 of restoring Johnson Creek: accomplished.

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