Spring Mountain Weed Warriors

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Written by SOLVE Green Team Program Coordinator Meghan Ballard

What they lack in height, they make up for in enthusiasm!  The Spring Mountain Elementary School Green Team made their first visit to Mt. Scott Creek in Happy Valley last Tuesday and boy, did they make a great impression and made a BIG positive impact!

A mighty team of fifty students make up the school’s Green Team led by teacher Helen Forbes.  The students marched from their school through the forest to the nearby creek.  Nicole and Meghan of SOLVE introduced the students to the site and reminded them of why their work of removing invasive plants was so important for the habitat and water quality surrounding Mt. Scott Creek.

An invasive species is a plant or animal that is living in an area where it didn’t originate. They usually do well because they lack natural enemies and this makes it hard for native plants to compete with them. After a quick tour of the site, the students were easily able to identify the invasive plant and were eager to help us remove it. As Nicole(SOLVE) demonstrated the best ways to remove the plant, everyone was surprised at how long each section of ivy actually was! Students would pull on one leaf and end up with a seven-foot long rope of plant!

Before – Native Sword Fern being overtaken by English Ivy

After ivy removal – these Sword Ferns are breathing easier.

With so many enthusiastic workers, the removal of the English Ivy went by really quickly and we had a huge pile of ripped out ivy! The removal of ivy will give native plants a fighting chance. Next month students will plant some native plants such as the Oregon Grape, Snowberry, and Big Leaf Maple in the area.

THANK YOU Spring Mountain Elementary Green Team!!

Before, a forest floor of English Ivy

After Ivy Removal!

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