Friday was the last time this year’s Portland Lutheran Green Team visited Beaver Creek in Troutdale. These kids are definite SOLVE all-stars and super-friends as they have come out to the Beaver Creek site once a month since October, each time spending a total of 5 hours restoring/exploring/learning about their local creek and watershed (most of our Green Teams come out an hour at a time).
This final visit, students first spent a little bit of time putting some finishing touches on the restoration projects they had been working on at Beaver Creek. Some plants they had planted in March needed some protection from the aggressively invasive reed canary grass that was threatening to choke the young native trees and shrubs. Therefore they staked down some biodegradable coffee sacks at the base of these plants to give the native planted plants some breathing room. After this little bit of work, it was time for a little snack from mother nature. Students tried various greens growing around them in the riparian zone such as miners lettuce and invasive garlic mustard, some of the braver ones even tried raw stinging nettle! Then students went on their favorite hike along the creek. Along the way they distributed newsletters which the students had written about their work and experience at Beaver Creek to local residents. This way the local community could understand what kind of work Portland Lutheran has been doing and why it is important for the health of the watershed. The day closed with all students working on an individual research project at Beaver Creek. Taking all of their experience in the last school year at Beaver Creek, students came up with a research question about the creek and designed a method for testing it. Students collected their data and are still working on their results this week. I look forward to hearing what kinds of things they discovered about this stream!
SOLVE and Beaver Creek really appreciate all of the hard work and enthusiasm that Portland Lutheran has brought to their visits this past school year. They definitely left a lasting impact in their community, and we look forward to working with you again next year.