After our initial discussion about watersheds, planting native trees, and doing overall stream restoration, the sight of old coffee bags was a confusing one as we loaded the SOLVE van. We carried them down to Willow Creek, still unsure as to their relevance to our day’s activities. Then we heard that all of these plants that Deer Park Academy students got in the ground in the fall was not the only step needed in the restoration process.
We learned that Reed Canary Grass, a vigorous invasive species at Willow Creek and many wetlands throughout the Pacific Northwest, can grow taller than our new, baby saplings. With the threat of Reed Canary Grass stealing sunlight and nutrients from our native trees and shrubs, we laid coffee bags next to these plants to delay and mitigate the growth of Reed Canary Grass.
After we coffee bagged many trees and shrubs, we noticed that quite a few of our new willow stakes were beginning to bud!!…and that beavers have been snacking on them. While we love having a healthy population of native beavers on site, we need to protect our native trees and shrubs while they are still small. We placed beaver cages around some plants and secured them with wooden stakes.
With our last ten minutes, we explored Willow Creek and were in awe of the snails, shade, and more.
Thank you Clean Water Services for funding this project!