Oh Dogwood Shrub, Oh Dogwood Shrub, How Lovely are Your Branches!

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Photos and text by SOLVE Jesuit Volunteer Northwest Member Lauren McKenna

Oh dogwood shrub, oh dogwood shrub,

How lovely are your branches.

We’ll cut them down,

But they will grow,

Into a whole new shrub, you know!

Oh dogwood shrub, oh dogwood shrub

How lovely are your branches.

 Yes, it’s true!  When Mr. Stanley and Ms. Wolf’s Glencoe High School students went to McKay Creek last week, they probably did not think they would be chopping down native plants.  These students found themselves chopping down large Red Osier and Pacific dogwood branches and turning them into magic sticks (aka pole cutting, live stake…) that they trimmed to size and installed in both the hillside near their track and out in the wetter part of the creek’s riparian area.  A couple douglas spirea stakes starred in the show as well!

Despite muddy conditions, about 50 stakes were installed, as well as a few more native plants planted and part of the hillside cleared of Armenian blackberry.  You go Glencoe!  Our hope is that these dogwood stakes (many that were installed a year ago are growing and looking great) will survive and create shade and stabilize the soil.

Thank you, Glencoe, for your commitment so far to McKay Creek!  And here’s a very relevant joke before you all go on winter break:

Q: How can you tell that a tree is a dogwood tree?

A: By its bark!

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