Many Hands Make Blackberry Root Removal a Snap!

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Written by SOLVE Jesuit Volunteer Northwest members Lauren McKenna and Nicole Poletto

RCEMS @ Willow Creek 10/24/2012

Rachel Carson Environmental Middle School does it again!  As one student had said a few weeks ago, “This is what our school does best!”.  So true that saving Willow Creek is their specialty.  This week, another group of 7th and 8th graders from RCEMS continued work on the new Willow Creek site, just north of Walker Road (see map).  What they arrived to was a lot of blackberry roots needing to be dug up.  While some of the students dug up invasive Armenian blackberry roots (one student, aka the Root Queen, dug up nearly 20 herself!), others played the Riparian Metaphors game and colored in a map of watersheds that they live in within the bigger Tualatin River watershed.

Rachel Carson students will continue to work south of Walker Rd. (blue arrow), but have most recently been at a new, blackberry covered site (yellow arrow).

Ms. Hall and Mr Quinn also did an activity with the students, one of which resulted in a debate about what kind of trees are near Willow Creek (there are large walnut trees (genus Juglans) near the site, but also a mystery Butternut-like tree).  The students were also asked to reflect on the day of “root wrecking”, what it’s like to return to Willow Creek, their hopes for the year, and why they are doing this kind of work. Here are some thoughts and words about the day, brought to you by Rachel Carson students:

~good doings

~I hope to cut down the invasive trees or plants

~awesome, fun

~happy

~thorns

~making a difference

Thank you as always for your hard work and incredible enthusiasm for Willow Creek.  Rachel Carson, you rock!

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