Sunshine isn’t the only thing to be thankful for!

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Written by SOLVE Jesuit Volunteer Corps Northwest member Nicole Poletto

La Salle Catholic College Preparatory @ Phillips Creek on 11.14.12 and 11.15.12

With 2 full days of sunshine, nothing could stop La Salle in their restoration efforts!

Wednesday’s classes focused on planting native trees and shrubs.  They learned how to identify natives based on plant parts and lateral bud arrangements (alternate, opposite or whorled).  They also learned fun facts about the different native plants that they would be planting.  After three dedicated classes of planting there were 125 plants in the ground. Not bad for a day’s work!  Looking back on their work, each student took note of their favorite native plant and wrote a poem about it.

Thursday’s classes were energized and ready to rip out Blackberry roots!  We needed to make more room on the stream bank in order to continue to plant.  Some pesky Blackberry roots still remained in our way and we wanted to make sure they would never come back!  A few eager students rolled a dead Willow tree into the stream as a snag to improve channel diversity.  Other students quickly got to work clearing the Blackberry canes and digging out the gnarly roots.  At the end of the day we made room to plant about 50 more plants!

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, we aren’t only thankful for the sunshine.  We are thankful that La Salle is dedicated to restoring the riparian zone and for all of their hard work.  With their help, Phillips Creek quickly transformed from a pile of Blackberry bushes to a sea of diversity with almost 300 native plants!

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