This week, some of our newest Green Teams, the Sabin Schellenberg Technical Center’s Forestry Classes came out to our Rock Creek confluence site. SOLVE has been working at this site for nearly five years, and while it is one of the shadier, more forested sites we work on in the Portland metro area, it also is one of the biggest sites infected with invasive species. Huge blankets of english ivy cover some of the forest floor and trees, butterfly bushes and Japanese knotweed are found in the stream bed, and just upland from the stream are several acres of high and dense blackberry brambles. While we have made some major advances on the ivy and knotweed, the blackberry brambles are so expansive that it seemed the only reasonable thing to do about these blackberries with the resources we had was to spray them (a VERY last resort here at SOLVE). However spraying became unthinkable when a salamander survey discovered the Dunn’s Salamander living at this site. What were we to do? Cue the Sabin Schellenberg Green Teams.
Armed with weed-whackers, chainsaws, and other impressive tools, these students took it upon themselves to begin the hard-core eradication of blackberry from this site. During the two days students worked, they made a major dent in the huge expanse of blackberry growing there. While they were working, they also discovered many treasures hiding under the blackberry including a toilet, an irrigation trailer, and a car. We have been working at this site for several years and in all that time never knew that a car was decomposing away only 50 feet from us; these blackberry brambles were so high that they were able to successfully hide this sedan!
We look forward to working with Sabin Schellenberg at this site in the future. They brought such a wonderful enthusiasm and work ethic with them for this project.