In a world where chaos reigned… The oppressive rule of the evil Armenian Blackberry allowed no soul to rise up from beneath its spiny hold… When it seemed like all hope was lost forever… The woods needed a savior, the woods needed the Madeleine School!
Your favorite Portland 6th graders are back, and this time with attitude! Armed with the determination to slay and conquer the biggest, baddest, blackberry bulbs so that the innocent, defenceless natives could stand a chance, these kids know how to get the job done.
Come to Baltimore Woods to see the restoration efforts that blew away the (guy living nearby who works at a) box office this weekend!
This past Friday, the 6th graders from The Madeleine School returned to the exciting project at Baltimore Woods, our only Green Team site within Portland. This site is also unique for us because it is not truly streamside like all of our other sites. Nevertheless it is merely blocks from the Willamette River and provides a nice buffer from civilization to the water, filtering out sediment and other pollutants from the North Portland neighborhoods above. During their visit, students attacked the blackberry with full force, digging out their massive roots as well as planted several native trees and shrubs. We also had a fascinating discussion about oak savannas, a nearly extinct ecosystem that once was found throughout the Willamette Valley which consisted of open plains dotted with oak trees. Natural (and sometimes man-made) fires would sweep over the landscape burning trees and keeping plains open. Oak trees have very thick bark and low resin so they would survive fires much easier than pine trees. Once european settlers inhabited the area, they fought the fires and as a result, pine forests have been able to totally creep up and overcome these oak savannas. Community partnerships are working at the Baltimore Woods site to recreate some oak savanna habitat, and it is exciting for the Madeleine School Green Team to be a part of these efforts!
It was wonderful to have these great students out again this year, their enthusiasm and excitement about the project is really quite infectious! We also appreciated them introducing their new step to planting trees: singing. Thanks for all of your hard work!