Gladstone students igniting change

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Written by SOLVE Jesuit Volunteer Corps Northwest member, Nicole Poletto

Gladstone HS @ Rinearson Creek on 3.1.2013

Spring had sprung but unfortunately, it was Gladstone’s last visit out to Rinearson creek.  Today the students learned the Ethnobotany of our native plants.  One of the plants we discussed is Oregon Grape.  It is our state flower and is anti-microbial.  If you have a cold or a cough you can crush up the leaves and stem of the plant into a tea and it will make you feel better!  After learning more about our native plants, the students eagerly placed native trees and shrubs along the creek.  These plants were for a Saturday tree planting the next morning to share their stewardship efforts with the local community (very symbolic of passing on the torch!).

This trimester they removed invasive Armenian Blackberry and English Ivy and planted some native plants.  But that’s not all!  They  also monitored the health of Rinearson Creek through a comparison survey of Rinearson and Eagle Creek.  The students tested the water quality using Vernier Lab Quest probes at both sites.  They also compared the presence of macroinvertebrates to conclude that Eagle Creek in Estacada is relatively healthier than Rinearson Creek.  Through all of our hard work restoring the riparian zone, Rinearson Creek will hopefully be just as healthy one day! 

At the beginning of the trimester, the students took a SOLVE Pre-Test and today it came full circle when they filled a Post-test to gauge how much they learned.  Here are the results:

Pre test average: 6.53 out of 19.  

Post test average: 17.18 out of 19.

Incredible job Gladstone!  That calls for well deserved celebratory Krispy Kreme donuts.  We are inspired by your dedication and enthusiasm to protect Oregon’s environment and had a lot of fun with all of you!

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SOLVE’s Annual Women in Science day will be held at Glen Otto Park in Troutdale on March 23rd from 9-1.  Girls – Are you interested in exploring a career in science? Come chat with mentors currently in the science field over breakfast!  In the afternoon we will be planting trees up the road at Beaver Creek!  Register online at : http://www.solv.org/get-involved/events/women-science-day.  See you there!

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