For many schools in the Portland area, this week is spring break (wooo!) but before embarking on their week of vacation and relaxation, Portland Lutheran 7th and 8th graders came out for a visit to the beautiful Beaver Creek in Troutdale.
The morning was spent working on a community newsletter that we hope to pass out to the residents living next to and around Beaver Creek. Students composed poetry, essays, and drawings about their experience working at Beaver Creek. We will compile some of these pieces together into a newsletter so that the neighbors understand what Portland Lutheran has been doing at this site, why, and to encourage the local community to get engaged. We look forward to passing these out the next time Portland Lutheran comes.
Students also sampled the creek to see what kinds of aquatic macroinvertebrates are living there this time of year. (aquatic meaning water dwelling, macro meaning large enough to see without a microscope, invertebrate meaning a creature without a backbone, essentially a bug) Portland Lutheran also did this in September, during their first visit to the site. Back then, the stream was ankle-deep and it was easy to sample from the bottom of the stream. This time, the creek was more than chest deep and flowing very swiftly due to the rain and snowfall Troutdale recently has been having. Therefore we were unable to get samples from the bottom of the stream, but instead we sampled from what was living among the grass on the side of the stream. Despite the swift current and the murky water we still found a lot of life including mayflies, worms, water boatmen, a young crayfish, and minnows (okay so minnows are not technically invertebrates, but still cool!).
In the afternoon, everybody grabbed a shovel and hiked upstream about a half a mile to plant some trees at a restoration site along the creek that Portland Lutheran hadn’t visited yet. At this site, Beaver Creek flows through a beautiful canyon with small waterfalls and lots of lush plant-life. This Green Team of master planters got nearly 100 plants planted in record time and so we spent the rest of the time we had exploring and hiking around this beautiful site. Flowers were blooming, birds were singing; it was obvious spring had sprung.
What a wonderful beginning to spring break.