Muddy business

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Written by SOLVE Jesuit Volunteer Corps Northwest Member Nicole Poletto

Rex Putnam High School @ Boardman Wetlands on 11.9.12

It was the last class of the day on a Friday afternoon.  What better way to get the weekend started than with some planting with SOLVE?  Terry from Oak Lodge Sanitary District was also there to support our planting efforts on the beautiful sunny day.

A few students came running to Boardman, eager to get started on the afternoon’s activities.  They were shocked to see a new route available to get to their restoration area. A wall of Blackberry that had once blocked their path had been destroyed!  After a lesson on learning Plant Identification, the students trampled over the Blackberry brambles to begin planting in the wetland.

Soon, Douglas Spirea, Black Twinberry, and Pacific Willow were popping up throughout the sea of Reed Canary Grass.  Douglas Spirea, referred to as Cotton candy by Rex Putnam students, is a native that prefers the wetland environment.  That is because in full bloom, Spirea has a cotton candy-like flower that grows from its terminal bud.

Douglas Spirea, “Cotton candy” plant           Photo:

At the end of the day, the mud that coated our gloves (and some faces) was well worth it.  We planted 28 plants that would grow tall and shade out our Reed Canary grass enemy.  Awesome job Rex Putnam!

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