Written by SOLVE Jesuit Volunteer Corps Northwest member Nicole Poletto
La Salle HS @ Phillips Creek on 3.13 and 3.14.2013
It was La Salle’s first trip out in 2013 and excitement was in the air as students returned to the site and saw all of their progress from the past few months. We like to plant plants in the rainy winter season when all of the energy of the plant is devoted toward growing roots rather than leaves and branches. Now that it seemed spring had sprung, we needed to get the plants in the ground! The first class of students focused on planting the rest of the native plants at the site.
However, it is not enough to plant our natives and call it a day! We need to take care of our baby natives in order to make sure that they survive, which is why we mulch them! Mulch helps the plant retain water in the warm summer months with the students wont be there, it helps the plant retain nutrients, and it also helps suppress weeds around the plants.
We had a mulch assembly line making donuts around the baby natives which quickly made it clear to see all of the progress we had made.
After all 5 classes we planted 95 plants, mulched 600 plants with an entire unit of mulch, AND did a litter cleanup!
Unfortunately, Phillips Creek is often filled with litter – but not today! The students collected the trash from the riparian zone to keep out from eventually making its way to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. We found cool items like parts of vending machines, salmon mugs, shopping carts, and even a TV!
Thanks to La Salle, our plants are ready to complete with Blackberry and Phillips Creek is ready to thrive!