Written by SOLVE Jesuit Volunteer Northwest Member, Charlie
Last week a very unique group of students came out to one of our Green Team sites: La Salle High School’s Spanish 3 classes. SOLVE‘s Green Teams are usually Environmental Sciences classes, Biology classes, or just an environmental student club or group, but we at Green Team Headquarters were excited to see that a Spanish class was interested in coming out to one of our Phillips Creek sites and help improve its watershed. They had been learning all about invasive species in Spanish speaking countries such as in the Galapagos islands and became interested in doing something about it closer to home here in the great state of Oregon. Therefore they came to attack the especies invasivas in their own backyard.
Phillips is ravished by a number of awful invaders, while it does have the most common invaders, Armenian blackberry, english ivy, and reed canary grass, there are many others that have made their appearance such as deadly nightshade and morning glory. All of these, if left to their on devices will push out the natives, preventing the creek from getting much shade and providing little bank stabilization with their shallow roots, turning the creek bank into an eroding canyon. I cannot think of another site that reads more like a list of SOLVE‘s most wanted plants.
Right away these Castilian conversationalists got to work on pulling up these foreign invaders, pulling ivy, digging up blackberry roots, hacking away at grass. By the end of their time there, the entire site had transmogrified from an overgrown weedy wasteland, to a promising area of young recently planted natives that now have a little more breathing room to grow up nice and tall.
The Phillips Creek Watershed and SOLVE offer you a nice “Gracias!” for all of your hard work in making positive impact for your community!