Teaming Up for Earth Day

It’s not very often that high school students get to teach adults a thing or two but that is exactly what happened last week at Glencoe High School. Wells Fargo employees came out to Glencoe early Friday morning to plant the 160 trees they had donated… plus more.

Everyone was greeted by Melisa McDonald, SOLVE‘s executive director, who thanked us all for doing our part to take care of Oregon this Earth Day. Next, Glencoe High School students told Wells Fargo employees about all of the incredible work they have done to restore McKay Creek already. They shared how our planting area was covered entirely in Armenian Blackberry, a vigorous invasive species in the Pacific Northwest, until students just recently cleared it out. It was so important to clear out that blackberry because it does not hold in our soil and thus causes erosion, takes space, light, and nutrients from native trees and shrubs and does not provide good habitat for the many birds and wildlife McKay Creek harbors. With all of that newly exposed soil, it was very important that we get plants in the ground as soon as possible to prevent further erosion. And that we did!

A Glencoe High School freshman demonstrated the proper technique for planting a native tree or shrub to ensure success for that plant. We broke up and planted over 400 trees and shrubs in no time! Glencoe High School students paired up with Wells Fargo employees to work together.

A student and Wells Fargo employee team up!

After all of our plants were in the ground, we worked to provide each new plant with tons of mulch to ensure they would stay healthy during the dry, summer months to come. Mulch helps retain moisture for the plant, suppresses weeds, and gives the plant a bit of nutrients. And in no time we had mulched all of our plants!

Wells Fargo employees bought pizza for students and enjoyed it with them after all of their hard work. Students were so grateful for the delicious (and local!) lunch and said good bye to our incredible Wells Fargo partners.

Students from the last couple of classes raked up blackberry, collected trash for a garbage art project, and spread straw all over the site to prevent erosion. We even found a garter snake during our two days of restoration work at Glencoe High School!

We can’t wait to read the community newsletter, hear your presentation for the Green Team summit and see your garbage art come together! Thanks for all you do always, Glencoe!

Thank you, Clean Water Services, for funding this project!

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