Blackberry… the Never-Ending Story!

Photos and text by SOLVE Jesuit Volunteer Northwest AmeriCorps Member Lauren McKenna

Valley Catholic Middle School, 3/8/2013

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The sun is shining… and the blackberry is growing!

Valley Catholic Middle School is no stranger to invasive Armenian blackberry.  Back in December, they spent a whole day removing it from Johnson Creek behind their school.  Now, in March, they are STILL removing blackberry (we all know it is the job that is almost never done!).  However, they did get to plant about 30 native trees and shrubs in the area they cleared of blackberry, and learned about how to identify some of them, since it’s spring and they are getting leaves!

They also found a baby rough-skinned newt!  They secrete tetrodotoxina from their skin that can, if ingested or gets on an open cut or wound –and a lot of it — can be fatal (so don’t eat any… even if you are curious). They like to eat aquatic invertebrates, too (macroinvertebrates for dinner, anyone?!).

Thank you, Valley Catholic!  Your creek site is looking fresh and NEW-t!

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