On October 1st, seven Valley Catholic High School classes worked hard at clipping away overgrown, invasive Armenian Blackberry from behind their school. However, before we got to work in the blackberry patch each class played several rounds of the Riparian Metaphor Game under the fantastic new shelter built near Johnson Creek by an eagle scout- it serves as a perfect shelter from the rain!
Each class cleared a fairly large area of blackberry using loppers. It was essential that the students leave part of the blackberry stem visible above ground so that other classes can come into the area in the near future and actually dig up the roots. If the large root structures are not removed then the blackberry will come back again. Once the blackberry was clipped, students with rakes collected piles of the cuts and consolidated them into one pile. By the end of the day we had cleared so much dense blackberry that we had a massive pile of clippings and cleared land with blackberry roots primed for being removed!
I was personally amazed at how hard everyone worked through shifting weather events that ranged from torrential rain to warm sunshine. Valley Catholic biology and environmental students, you all did an amazing job and the results look incredible. After digging up the blackberry roots we will plant more native plants to prevent erosion and hold down the soil with deep, fibrous roots.
Keep up the great work!