Written by SOLVE Jesuit Volunteer Northwest Member Nicole Poletto and Meghan Ballard, SOLVE Green Team Program Coordinator
This morning we got a break from the hot summer weather and experienced what seemed to be the first official dreary drizzle of fall – the perfect setting for invasive species to meet their doom. Students from Mr. Zerzan’s class at Gladstone High School came out to Rinearson creek to remove the invasive species trying to take over the native plants Gladstone had planted last year.
The students learned to identify Armenian Blackberry, English Ivy, Reed Canary grass, and Deadly (purple) Nightshade. It is important to remove these foreign invaders because they not only choke out our native species but they have simpler root structures which contributes to erosion along the stream bank. Students snipped the long and thorny Blackberry canes with laupers while others dug out their ginormous roots to ensure that they could not grow back. Students with shears destroyed the sea of Reed Canary Grass and Deadly Nightshade next to the stream bank, showing the invasives they are not welcome out here in the Northwest. We even had a new friend – Frederick the spider cheer the students on as they cleared out the plants invading his home.
Despite the time crunch, Gladstone made 2 huge piles of conquered invasives. Take that invaders! Thanks Gladstone Green Teamers for all of your awesome work today and we can’t wait to plant natives with you next time!