Mountain View plants Beaverton Creek’s future!

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Text and photos by SOLVE Jesuit Volunteer Northwest Member Lauren McKenna

Mountain View Middle School @ Beaverton Creek Tributary 11/16/2012

Mountain View Middle School, home of a VERY enthusiastic Green Team, went out last week to plant along their site, a tributary of Beaverton Creek (which they like to call Karper Creek after their teacher, Mr. Karper).  Before planting they learned some plant ID skills, like looking at leaf shape (which is suuuper helpful in the late fall when most plants don’t even have their leaves anymore!).  Leaves are either simple (one undivided leaf) or compound (multiple divided leaflets), pinnate (one common vein) or palmate (veins like a hand with fingers)……

After, the twenty students planted 72 shrubs like Douglas Spirea (Spiraea douglasii) and Tall Oregon Grape (Mahonia aquilfolium)!

Tall Oregon Grape (Mahonia aquifolium)

Douglas spirea (Spiraea douglasii)

They placed the Oregon Grape along a hill side, where it is drier.  The spirea went down closer to the creek, where it will thrive in a wetter and sunnier area; in the spring, spirea (part of the Rose family) is known for it’s fluffy, pink flowers that attract butterflies.  Oregon Grape, our great Oregon State Flower, has  bright yellow flower and spiky leaflets that some may say look like English Holly (an invasive plant!).  Some ways to differentiate between the two are that Oregon Grape has slightly less spiky, pinnately compound leaves and edible blue berries, while holly has simple leaves that are much sharper and poisonous berries that range yellow to red. And what better way to welcome each plant to the creek than naming them!  From Edgar to Count Leopold, many of the baby native shrubs have names fit for royalty!  Hopefully Albert the Oregon Grape enjoys his new home!

Good work, Mountain View!  Thank you for your dedication to and for taking care of Beaverton Creek!

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