The Wonders of Nature

Written by SOLVE Jesuit Volunteer Corps Northwest member Nicole Poletto

Clackamas Middle College @ Phillips Creek on 12.6.12

Students came to Phillips Creek one more time before their break for the holidays to continue their stewardship efforts.  Since they were now pro’s at invasive removal and native planting they learned another skill in restoration efforts: live staking.  We LOVE native plants but there is something extra special about Willow, Red Osier Dogwood, Ninebark, and Douglas Spirea.  You can cut off a branch (1-2 inches in diameter) from one of these mature shrubs, stake it into the ground, and it will grow into another shrub!  Oh, the wonders of nature!

The students prepared 2-3 foot stakes out of live Willow and Dogwood cuttings and hammered them into the ground right next to the creek.  At this time of the year, the energy of plants is dedicated to growing roots rather than leaves and branches, thus, the stakes will establish a root structure that will hold the bank in place as well as provide shade for the creek!

Once the stakes were installed, the students got to work planting more native species and destroying invasives!  We planted 90 plants and put a lot of Blackberry to bed.  Thanks Clackamas Middle College for all of your hard work!

Kristina, her family, and all other students affected by the Clackamas Town Center shooting are in our thoughts.

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