Written by SOLVE Jesuit Volunteer Corps Northwest Member, Gina Graziano
AP Environmental Science at Valley Caholic, being the incredible class that it is, and having the leadership of Ms. Cole, our wonderful former SOLVE employee and Green Team leader extraoridnaire, can’t just stick to one section of the site when doing restoration work! They have done such a masterful job taking care of the forested area near Johnson Creek that they were ready and eager to check up on the area of the site VCHS students worked on in past years.
We talked about the urban gardening philosophy, that just like you can’t just plant a tomato plant and expect it to be ready to eat 50 days later with no visits inbetween to prune, weed, etc., you can’t just plant native trees and shrubs in a wetland and expect them to survive without a little help along the way.
Students recovered some pre-made cages in the grass, dug them up (which was no easy feat), and put them together while other students built some cages from scratch. While beaver are a native animal and we are happy they live in Johnson Creek, we need to protect our trees and shrubs while they are saplings so they can be snacks for beavers when they are mature and can handle being chewed on.
We caged Alder, Oregon Ash, Elderberry, and more to cage. And just like that class was over and we headed in! Students even started carrying all of our tools back to the truck before SOLVE staff had to ask for help!
Thank you, VCHS, for all of the spectacular work you do for Johnson Creek, and increibly helpful attitudes every time you come out.
Thank you, Clean Water Services, for funding this project.