Encaging West Linn at Abernethy

Written by Jesuit Volunteer Northwest Member, Charlie

This week was West Linn’s final visit to Abernethy Creek this year. [studio audience: Awwwwwwww…] But what a glorious visit it was. Perfect weather, enthusiastic students, our task was completed: Abernethy couldn’t have asked for a better situation.

After removing invasive species, bioengineering, planting native trees and shrubs, coffee bagging, and mulching, this week’s task was to further protect some of those young, vulnerable, native plants. This time we weren’t protecting them from invasive plants like the coffee bags or drying out like the mulch, but from animals, beavers to be exact. Having beavers on our Green Team sites is a great thing. It not only tells us that our sites are inhabitable, but also the beavers add woody debris and complexity to our streams and rivers. However beavers’ favorite snack is young saplings and they sometimes have a habit of mowing down recently planted trees at our sites. Therefore we need to make beaver cages to protect the trees until they grow large enough to handle being a beaver snack. Now these aren’t cages to trap beavers or keep them in a cage, its to keep them out (unless you bend your mind and look at the whole world as the inside of the cage, sure, then we are caging beavers in). Students constructed over 50 cages out of garden fencing, and then placed them over willow and alder saplings (the beavers’ favorite snacks), and staked them down. Great job guys!

We really appreciate all of the work West Linn has done at Abernethy this year, and we at SOLVE have really enjoyed working with them to improve the watershed of Abernethy Creek!

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