A [Halloween] spirited day of planting!

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Written by SOLVE Jesuit Volunteer Northwest Member Lauren McKenna

Council Creek 10/31/2012

On a dark and rainy All Hallows Eve, City View Charter School sixth graders braced themselves against the rain, wind and mud for the sake of Council Creek.  Despite the wet, the occasional spider and some not-so-creepy worms, they ended up planting about 80 native trees and shrubs!  They also learned some plant identification, re-learned about riparian areas (the land near a waterway) and played a Riparian  game.  The big hill that overlooks Council Creek from the east now has dozens of douglas spirea, Pacific ninebark, swamp roses, Ponderosa pine trees, and, up a ways from the creek, Douglas fir trees (aka “Green Gold”).

Students also found lots of worms!  The worms are already doing a great job of digesting decomposing organic material in soil into rich vermicast (castings) — basically worm poo.  So, in the spirit of the worms enriching the soil for the native plants, they sang “Hermie the Worm”!

They also removed some invasive Armenian blackberry that has been growing back and may threaten the nearly planted native plants.  We talked about he difference between the native and the invasive blackberry, one of which is that the native trailing blackberry has some interesting Native American lore about it.  A woman had run away from her jealous husband and climbed a tree to get away.  The blood from her wounds she got climbing the tree fell to the grown to become blackberry, who juice is blood red! Happy Halloween!

Thank you City View for doing an awesome job.  You were real troopers in the rain!

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