In between the willows and reed canary

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Forest Grove Community School @ Gales Creek 10/4/12

Written by SOLVE Jesuit Volunteer Northwest Member Lauren McKenna and SOLVE Green Team Coordinator Meghan Ballard.

On a crisp early October morning, just outside Forest Grove, Forest Grove Community School eight graders along with their teachers met with Gales Creek.  Many students were meeting the creek for the very first time.  The enthusiastic group was ready to work hard, learn a lot, and enjoy the willows.

The group was broken up into three, rotating groups.  One group got geared up to chop up invasive Reed Canary grass (Phalaris arundinacea).  By cutting away the grass that is growing around the native plants (many of which are about 2-3 years old now), we can save the native plants from being smothered by the grass and let them grow big and healthy.  Reed Canary grass’s main enemy is shade, which is how we can ultimately get rid of it.

Another group went with their teacher Chris to the meadow behind Gales Creek to play some games and explore.  They also started to brainstorm ideas for project to do at Gales Creek in the future.  The last group relaxed under a thicket of rogue willows to play the Riparian Metaphors game and do some reflections.  Below is a poem and a leaf rubbing done by two  FGCS students.

Dogwood Leaves Rubbing


Gales Creek,

peaceful, green

growing, splashing, thriving

mud, trees, concrete, buildings

driving, developing, walking

urban, small

Forest Grove

-Student, grade 8, Forest Grove Community School


Pyrrharctia isabella: the Banded Woolly Bear caterpillar turns into the Isabella Tiger moth!

Isabella Tiger moth! (Photo: Seabrooke Leckie)

 In between rotations, students found a lot of wildlife around the creek: a birdnest, a Banded Woolly Bear Caterpillar and an Ensatina salamander (E

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nsatina eschscholtzii)!  It was an overall VERY successful day.  THANK YOU Forest Grove Community School students, teachers and parents who came out to Gales Creek.  The creek thanks you, too!


3 thoughts on “In between the willows and reed canary

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