The Gladiators of Gladstone, planting professionals!

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Written by SOLVE Jesuit Volunteer Corps Northwest Member, Nicole Poletto

Gladstone High School @ Rinearson Creek 11/2/12

The dedication of Gladstone students to invasive removal definitely paid off; there were barely any left in sight!  Blackberry, Reed Canary Grass, Purple Nightshade, and English Ivy: all gone!  You know what that means, planting season has begun.

The bankside was covered in natives waiting patiently in their nursery pots to be woken up and planted in the soil.  One of the favorite natives of the day was Oregon Grape!

Oregon Grape (Mahonia aquiforium) – your majestic state flower!

Oregon Grape is a common evergreen shrub with spiny, waxy leaves.  It grows edible, although not delicious, bluish-purple berries.  But wait, this is Oregon’s state flower?  It doesn’t look like a flower to me!  But in early summer, it sprouts tiny yellowish-green flowers, hence, why it is your beloved state flower.  This sturdy plant likes to be planted in groups of 3 or 5, because together, they can fight out invasives!

The students were Pros in the planting method, so they even learned a new method called the slice method!  The slice method is used in very wet soil especially.  Students with boots braved the muddy soil and lovingly planted Alders and Dogwood.  Others scaled the hillsides (following the great example set by Mr. Zerzan) and planted the natives quickly and efficiently!

75 native trees and shrubs in the ground and only one yellow jacket sting?!  That is what we like to call success! Way to go Gladiators!

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