Rachel Carson puts some muscle into Blackberry removal

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Written by SOLVE Jesuit Volunteer Northwest member Lauren McKenna

Rachel Carson @ Willow Creek 11/14/2012

Roots, roots, and still more roots!

Rachel Carson was at it again, at Willow Creek removing invasive blackberry, that is.  On just the fifth day at this Willow Creek site, Rachel Carson has cleared about a gymnastics-floor-size area of Armenian blackberry… talk about brute strength and stamina!  Though the removal of blackberry canes and gnarly roots has left the place looking like the craters of the moon, soon it will be planted with an array of native trees and shrubs like willows and Pacific Ninebark.

Basic plant anatomy

Students were just as excited as ever to be digging out roots from the mud.  They found lots of worms (our soil-loving friends the annelids) and iridescent beetles, as well as a plethora of molded over teddy bears fished out of the creek itself ( as one parents asked, jokingly, “Is this [teddy bear] an invasive species?!”)!  Meghan (SOLVE) taught the students some plant ID skills while their teachers led a parking-lot mapping station where they discovered that the parking lot by Willow Creek has over a million gallons in runoff!

Good work Rachel Carson!  Thank you to the students, teachers and parents who worked so hard!

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