Written by DukeEngage volunteers, Julie Rohde and Mathias Skadow
Several students, parents, and teachers from Rachel Carson Middle School joined SOLVE for maintenance and watering at Willow Creek. This site was unique because we did not have access to a spigot and the stream bank was too steep to walk down. Instead, we put our creativity to use and implemented a water-well technique with some buckets and twine. Not only did we have to throw the buckets into the stream and reel them up but we also had to carry them up the hill to reach our site. All of the hard work was worth it because many of the plants were dry and desperate for some H2O.
Next, we continued on to remove a patch of thistle that was beginning to hog the soil from our young plants. Thistle removal is always a rewarding activity because you feel as if you have conquered the sharp thorns. At the end of the maintenance day, the group snacked on some ripe blackberries that were growing on the perimeter of our site. The berries were perfectly sweet and refreshing after a morning of heavy lifting. Although the Armenian Blackberry is often the enemy, they are extremely tasty and nutritious.