Let it rain! Let it rain! Let it rain!

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Written by SOLVE Jesuit Volunteer Corps Northwest Member Nicole Poletto

Spring Mountain Elementary @ Mt. Scott Creek on 12.11.2012

It looks like Spring Mountain Elementary’s lucky streak of beautiful weather has ended.  When the students prepared for Green Team today, they needed an extra layer – a raincoat!  This however, did nothing to lower the spirits of our “Green Teamers”.  It was their last event before the holiday break and they were thrilled to get outside for another afternoon of activities.

We reviewed some of the native plants that we were going to plant (with some fun ways to remember them!): Snowberry (white berries), Ninebark (peely bark), Western Red Cedar (the tree of life) and Douglas Spirea (cotton candy).

We gave a planting review demo right in front of the skull of an invasive hog that we discovered on site! ODFW’s Invasive Species Coordinator, Rick Boatner, determined that based on an aging study out of Texas, the skull is from a five-year old hybrid (a cross-breed between a domestic hog and the Eurasian Hog).  Our new hog friend watched over the students as they began to plant.

This slope used to be full of Blackberry and now it will be full of native plants!

This slope used to be full of Blackberry and now it will be full of native plants!

“My favorite part of planting is…”

Helping the creek!

Giving the plant a massage

Digging!!

Despite the slipping and sliding down the muddy slope, we got 100 plants in the ground!

But WAIT!

That’s not all!!!!!

We even did some bioengineering!  We learned about how some of our native plants are magical!  With Ninebark, Red Dogwood, Willow and Spirea you can cut off a branch from the shrub, stake it into the ground, and it will grow into another shrub!   That is why we like to call our stakes, magic sticks.  The students were no less than thrilled to get their stakes of Ninebark and Red Dogwood malleted into the ground.

Many students were sad to go (we can’t wait until Green Team next year too). Thanks Spring Mountain, see you in 2013!

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