Clematis and Blackberry are no match for West Linn High!

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Written by SOLVE Green Team Program Coordinator Meghan Ballard

West Linn High School @ Rinearson Creek 10/24-10/25/2012

About 90 students from West Linn High School joined us for their first trip to Rinearson Creek last week.  After a quick game of Riparian Metaphors with Sam(West Linn Green Team alumi 2011-12) we got to work to help repair the riparian zone around Rinearson Creek.

Mr. Bingham’s classes on Wednesday helped us to transform a section of Wilderness International’s restoration project at Meldrum Bar Park.  At 8:45am, the site was covered in blackberry.  Natives planted by volunteers last year were being choked out by invading Clematis.  Blackberry stems were intertwined, covering snowberry, and deeply rooted into the soil.  After the first class, a few snow berries were newly exposed and we could begin to see the origins of each blackberry stem.  Then we new where to dig the roots out.

Before!

After!

Mr. Hartmann’s classes battled blackberry on the other side of the creek Thursday.  Students cut blackberry and made great progress on digging roots.  Our soil is just about ready to plant some awesome native trees and shrubs that will stabilize our banks, filter toxins from the school and nearby houses, and shade out invasive species from taking over.  Not to mention, we also built quite an impressive pile of dead blackberry roots, illustrating the extent of the students’ work.

An adorable Amphibian friend even came out to check out our fantastic work.  Students got to see an Ensatina Salamander living in our soil.  After determining he/she was quite possibly the cutest Amphibian friends we’ve ever made, we put them in a safe spot out of the way of our restoration.

All in all, students had a very successful two days out at Rinearson Creek.  Thanks so much for all of your hard work!  Day 1 of enhancing Rinearson Creek’s riparian zone: accomplished.

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