Text and photos by SOLVE Jesuit Volunteer Northwest AmeriCorps Member Lauren McKenna
Spring is ALMOST here, as Forest Grove High School found out during their recent visit to Gales Creek. The blackberry (oh dear!) is showing some green; the salmonberry’s butterfly shaped leaves are taking flight (not literally); the red alders are dangling with catkins, getting ready for pollination season; the elderberry leaves are growing larger each day, soon to ready as a stinging-nettle-sting remedy; the stinging nettle (yes, it’s native, and yes, when prepared right, is edible, healthy, and deliscious!) is in abundance; and the willow buds are blooming…in all of thier fuzziness!
The coming of spring also means the end of planting season, when native plants still hanging out in nursery pots are leaving their dormant stage and will begin sending out new growth. In order to ensure good planting, the high school cleared a large area (about 20 by 20 feet) of blackberry roots and planted salmonberry shrubs and cedar trees! A lot of work, but well worth the extra care so that later in the summer, the newly planted nativer are not covered with new blackberry growing from roots still in the ground.
Thank you, Forest Grove High School and Mr. Crabtree, for your hard work and eye for detail! We love working alongside you… Gales Creek is looking wonderful!