Glencoe High School did it again. They restored the wetland area of McKay creek in incredible time and with incredible zeal. We thought the area of blackberry they removed the first couple of days with green team was outstanding and yet they did it again!
They continued to cut down and dig out Armenian Blackberry, making the area behind their school look completely different. Students recalled the many reasons why we removed all that blackberry in the first place. Despite its big, juicy berries great for pie-making, blackberry creates a monoculture where it grows. It outcompetes native species from growing, takes over an area, and has little to no natural predators.
Students also geared up and headed out to the very wet wetlands to plant Douglas Spirea, Pacific Willow, Schoolers Willow, and Elderberry. We wanted to plant these species of trees and shrubs in the wetland because they will create dynamic root structures which will prevent erosion and create shade. Shade will keep McKay Creek cool as well as stop the Reed Canary Grass from growing so vigorously.
Just shy of the wetland, in the shady area, students planted Red Osier Dogwood to further stabilize our banks and shade out Reed Canary Grass. In our newly exposed upland area once covered in blackberry, we planted Doug Firs and Snow Berry. Students also sprinkled hay around out newly exposed ground to prevent erosion and sediment runoff during the rainy season. With the Doug Fir, Snow berries, and straw lined ground, it feels like some sort of winter wonderland out there! Even though the weather would rain, sprinkle, pour, and then repeat, these students did not let up. They kept great attitudes and were always focused on the restoration at hand!
Another awesome restoration activity accomplished! Our site is going to be so much healthier thanks to all of you students at Glencoe High School!