Deer Park Academy students met us out at Willow Creek for their first time today. Students got acquainted with the site by playing a riparian metaphor game and touring around learning all about invasive plant species. We even saw evidence of active beaver chews on some trees. Students will be visiting Willow Creek once a week this school year, talk about commitment and stewardship!
Then students dug in to remove Armenian (aka Himalayan) that was growing up around natives planted by last year’s class from Deer Park. Not only does this invasive species negatively impact our waterways but it damages our economy as well.
From ODA Plant Division:
Armenian blackberry is the most widespread and economically disruptive of all the noxious weeds in western Oregon. It aggressively displaces native plant species, dominates most riparian habitats, and has a significant economic impact on right-of-way maintenance, agriculture, park maintenance and forest production. It is a significant cost in riparian restoration projects and physically inhibits access to recreational activities. It reproduces at cane apices (tips) and by seeds, which are carried by birds and animals. This strategy allows it to expand enmass across a landscape or to jump great distances and create new infestations. Any control strategy can be considered short-lived unless projects are planned and funded for the long-term.
This is why we commit to sites with students for the long-term so we can really make an impact in getting rid of Armenian blackberry from Willow Creek and our other restoration sites! Thank you Deer Park Academy!