Taking a walk on the wild side

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Written by SOLVE Jesuit Volunteer Corps Northwest Americorps member Nicole Poletto

Reynolds HS @ Beaver Creek on 4.9.2013

Today was Reynolds High School’s last outing of the year to Beaver Creek!  Throughout the year, students visited with their AP Environmental Science class and stayed after-school to steward the creek.  This was their 7th time to the site since the beginning of November!

We kicked off the afternoon by conducting a salamander survey.  Salamanders like to live in very moist soil, so we walked through the riparian zone overturning rocks and logs looking for hiding salamanders.  Unfortunately, we had no luck – but no results are also results!  As we continue to restore Beaver Creek we will continue to provide habitat for these creatures!

Since the students were already pro’s at planting, we quickly planted 30 Douglas Fir and Cedar trees.  All of these trees will grow tall and provide shade for Beaver Creek!  After we planted, we continued our walking tour but instead of focusing on salamanders, we focused on native plants and birds!  On our walk, we discussed the Ethnobotany of our native plants, like 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.  We also continually stopped to identify the myriad of bird calls occurring all around us!  We also saw a baby invasive Nutria (or swamp rat) swimming along in the creek.  Wildlife is all around us, all you have to do is pay attention!

Students took the same test that they took in the beginning of the year to see how much they had learned through their SOLVE stewardship.  Here are the results:

Pre-test: 4.42/19

Post-test: 11.5/19

IMG_4503

It looks like we made a world of difference at Beaver Creek.

Thank you Reynolds High School for dedicating your evenings to making sure our watershed remains healthier for generations to come!

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