Walking in a Herpetofauna Wonderland

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Written by SOLVE Jesuit Volunteer Northwest Member Lauren McKenna

Timberlake Job Corps @ Boardman Wetlands 11/08/2012

Frogs, lizards, salamanders, newts… Herpetafauna as we call em!  Timberlake Job Corps trekked all the way from Estacada to give Boardman Wetlands some TLC and found lots of little reptilian critters, too!

The long day started with invasive Armenian blackberry (Rubus armeniacus) root removal, where they cleared a  huge section for the Rex Putnam High School students who also work at Boardman and will be planting native trees and shrubs there soon.  Unfortunately, if we do not remove the entire root of the invasive blackberry, it can grow back and threaten any native plants trying to grow.  The blackberry also does not stabilize the soil or provide shade for waterways.

Northwestern Garter Snake (Thamnophis ordinoides?) found slithering among the blackberry brambles!

Timberlake also planted 115 native shrubs in the wetland!  Shrubs, as opposed to trees, have many more stems and only grow to about 20 feet tall.  Pacific Ninebark (Physocarpus capitatus), Douglas Spirea (Spiraea douglasii), Scouler’s Willow (Salix scouleriana) and Pacific Willow (Salix lucida) were the star shrubs of the day.  The wetland has some 1-2 year old willows that are doing well, but it is mostly overrun with invasive Reed Canarygrass.  Reed Canarygrass’s main enemy is shade, so by planting trees and shrubs that will provide shade, we can rid the wetland of this nasty grass.

Thank you, Warren and the Timberlake students, for you hard work and dedication!

Timberlake Job Corps prepares “students for the green economy through green training in the advanced manufacturing, automotive, and construction industry areas.”  This crew of young people not only work extremely hard to do a good job and get a lot done, but also had tons of enthusiasm and a good time!

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