A day of planting at Phillips Creek

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Written by SOLVE Jesuit Volunteer Corps Northwest Member Nicole Poletto

Clackamas Middle College @ Phillips Creek on 11.8.12

After a lot of hard work, sections of the Blackberry roots were cleared and only soil was left in its wake.  The bankside was ready to be planted. Clackamas Middle College was geared up and ready to fill the empty space with native trees and shrubs.

The class period began with some tips on Plant Identification.  The lateral buds are very handy for Plant ID, especially now that many of the natives are losing their leaves!  The buds may be alternate, whorled, or oppositely arranged.

The arrangement of lateral buds can help you discern Plant ID! Can you tell the arrangement of these buds? Alternate, Opposite, or Whorled?                                                    (Left to Right: A,O,W,A)                                          Photo: ohioplants.org

If you find a plant that is oppositely arranged, you are in luck!  There are only about 6 natives that we plant that are opposites, and those are our friends SAM and TED.

S: Snowberry                                       T: Twinberry

A: Alder                                                 E: Elderberry

M: Maples                                             D: Dogwood

Once we understood Plant ID and planting technique, we went to work putting plants in the ground!  Each class adopted one area at a time.  By the end of the day, the bankside was no longer barren, but filled with plants!

We ended the day with a writing reflection, writing poems and drawing pictures of our favorite natives.  Here are some samples of the reflections below:

“Ode to the Sword Fern”

The sword turned green

The majestic guardian

of the forest.

It holds the fort,

No soil escapes its grasp.

It stands proud and tall,

Immovable in its life.

The sword fern

is there forever.

“Douglas Fir”

Oh Douglas Fir,

how you sway so sweet,

you make me complete.

You’re native in my state

with the shade you will create.

We got about 150 plants in the ground, which is incredible!  Thanks for your dedication Clackamas Middle College!

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