Happy Holly-days?

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Written by SOLVE Jesuit Volunteer Corps Northwest member Nicole Poletto

Gladstone High School @ Rinearson Creek on 12.13.2012

It is a new trimester for Gladstone High School, which means there are fresh faces on Gladstone’s Green Team! We kicked off the week with a watershed basics presentation and wasted no time to getting out to Rinearson creek to remove invasives.  There were a plethora of invasives to be found: Armenian Blackberry, English Ivy, and even English Holly.

Holly was introduced as an ornamental plant.  It thrives in our climate and can form dense thickets that dominate the tall shrub layer in the forest.  Birds can spread the seeds and if you cut it down it can regrow from stumps (just like Medusa!).

Invasive English holly (Ilex aquifolium)

Invasive English holly (Ilex aquifolium)

Unfortunately, we need to inject holly with herbicide in order to remove it from our riparian zone.  Therefore we focused on the invasives that were more in our destructive reach.  After a game of Riparian metaphors, Blackberry and Ivy didn’t even stand a chance against Gladstone students.  Shovels were piercing the earth to rip out Blackberry roots while vines of ivy were being ripped out right and left.  When it was time to head back to school, we left a pile of carnage in our wake.

Thanks for all of your hard work Gladstone. We hope that your holidays are jolly and holly-free!

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