Written by SOLVE Jesuit Volunteer Corps Northwest Member, Charlie
Last week was this year’s Rex Putnam Green Team’s last visit out to their site at Boardman Creek. During this final time out at the creek, students took a much deserved break from all of the hard work they have done in order to take some time to observe the results of their labors out at the Boardman Wetlands.
When we first arrived at the site, it was nearly indistinguishable from the last time we were there only a few weeks ago. It seems that this warmer weather and longer days have really flipped the “grow!” switch in the blackberry and reed canary grass. The path we had cut through the blackberry on the margin of the site back in October is starting to grow closed, and the reed canary grass among the plants we had planted is already 6-7 feet high and flowering! It suddenly became obvious to everyone why we had put so much effort into placing down coffee bags around the plants to prevent the grass from growing right next to our young natives and shading them out. Despite all of the nasty invasives that are thriving at the site, also thriving are the willow stakes we planted in the ground last winter. Nearly every stake is leafing out and well on its way to becoming a large tree. We all look forward to the day when these trees will shade the banks of Boardman Creek, keeping the reed canary grass at bay with its only enemy: shade.
After touring the site, we then walked around the neighborhood surrounding Rex Putnam school and Boardman Creek and distributed newsletters of articles, poems, and art students had created about their work at Boardman Creek this year. Residents were interested to hear about what all of these high school students were doing in their backyards and were very excited about the positive impact this green team has been doing in their community.
This year’s Rex Putnam High School SOLVE Green Team has a lot to be proud of, they did a tremendous amount of work at this very impacted site. However if this final visit taught us one thing, it’s that there is still much work to be done. We at SOLVE have had a wonderful first year working with Rex Putnam at Boardman Creek and we look forward to working again with you next year!
Thank you Oak Lodge Sanitary District for funding this project!