Invasives, Natives, and Stream mapping, Oh my!

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Written by SOLVE Jesuit Volunteer Corps Members Lauren McKenna and Nicole Poletto

Portland Lutheran @ Beaver Creek 10/25/2012

Portland Lutheran students came out to Beaver Creek, lunch in hand, prepared for a full day of restoration activities.  It was hard to say which of the three stations the students were most excited for: stream mapping, invasives removal, or native planting!

Mr. Tarbell guided the students in collecting water quality measurements and GPS locations along the creek.  Some of the students plunged in the creek above their waders after falling in some underwater holes – at least it was a nice sunny day to dry off!

Another station was Invasives removal with Nicole (SOLVE).  An area upstream had been taken over by Armenian Blackberry, and it was up to the students to ensure that it didn’t come back!  Armed with shovels, the students determinedly pulled and dug the roots out.  Soon this area will be ready to be planted with native species thanks to Portland Lutheran!

The opposite of removing invasives is planting natives! Lauren (SOLVEwas ready with some native Plant ID and planting at her station.  Some students named their plants and prayed over them, ensuring that they grew big and strong!  Invasive Reed Canary grass was ripped out and replaced with natives that will grow tall one day and shade not only the creek but also shade out the invasive grass!

Invasive removal and planting in one day? Phew! That is a lot to take in!  The students reflected on the activities through poems, drawings, and writing while gazing at some native plants for inspiration.  One poem written by a student was:

Big Leaf Maple

The Big Leaf Maple seemed very small

The plant was worth nothing at all

And looking up now

You’ve got to say “Wow!”

‘Cause the tree’s become very tall

~ Anonymous

We had an awesome day with you Portland Lutheran! It is amazing how much difference one day of stewardship can make!

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