Women in Science Day 2014 a Success!

Women In Science Day
March 1st, 2014
Heritage Park Community Center
DSC_0391
        Saturday, March 1st, Green Team held the annual Women In Science Day event at Heritage Village in Beaverton.  Forty young women and ten female mentors, with careers in the sciences, attended the event which included a brief presentation, mentor discussion groups and native tree & shrub planting.  Delicious breakfast and snacks were generously donated by New Seasons, Starbucks, Sesame Donuts and Einstein Bagels.
        The day kicked off with a presentation highlighting the history and importance of women in the sciences.   Historically, women have been largely excluded from the field and have been overwhelmingly underrepresented. However, all people benefit from women being involved in the science field as the ingenuity, creativity and passion of approximately half of the human population has just begun to be tapped! Green Team hosts this event in order to connect young women with mentors in the field and show them that a career in the sciences could be a welcome reality to them.
        We ended the event by heading outside and planting and mulching two hundred and twenty-five native plants and shrubs along a tributary of Willow Creek.  The event was a huge success and we here on Green Team are so thankful to all of our donors, mentors and Elizabeth Anderson for demonstrating during the event!
THANK YOU!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Erosion’s the name. Prevention by Green Team is the game.

Green Team Week February 10th – 14th

Written by Jesuit Volunteers Dane Breslin and Becca Strohm

Rex Putnam @ Boardman Wetlands

Wednesday Feb 12th

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Rex Putnam students came out for a beautiful day this week at Boardman Wetlands.  Temperatures were almost into the 50’s and with the melt of snow, the wetlands were particularly wet and soggy.  Activities of the day were bioengineering and beaver caging.  Just this week evidence of beaver activity was spotted at the wetlands, proof of the positive impact Rex Putnam’s work has had on Boardman habitat.  Students caged around 30 small willow to prevent the beaver from taking too many of our newly planted trees.  Students also installed 80 willow stakes which will hopefully grow into large willow trees, shading out Reed Canary Grass, preventing erosion and providing more great habitat for wildlife.

Thanks for all the hard work and enthusiasm Rex Putnam students.  Your work is really paying off at Boardman Wetlands!

Sabin-Schellenberg Forestry School @ Rock Creek Troge

Thursday Feb 13th

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

First year forestry students came out to Rock Creek Troge for the first time this week from Sabin-Schellenberg School.  Students participated in a variety of restoration activities all around Rock Creek.  First off we removed invasive species, both Reed Canary Grass and blackberry, from the slopes and bank sides of the creek.  We prepped this area so that next time students come out they can do a large bio-engineering project to help prevent the erosion happening along the bank side.  A few students armed with weed whackers also removed blackberry and reed canary grass along the steeper slopes.

Next up students planted 55 native trees and shrubs along the opposite bank.  These plants will also help to prevent erosion along Rock Creek.  The various root structures of the different plants will hold in the soil much better than the monoculture of invasive canary grass that was there previously.

Finally a “special operations team” helped to beaver cage some of the native plants.  Beaver enjoy a bunch of the natives we planted but particularly like Red Alder so we caged about 15 of those trees.

Thank you so much for your hard work and dedication Sabin students.  We will see you out in March for some bioengineering!

Valley Catholic High School at Johnson Creek

Tuesday, February 11th

This Tuesday, students from Valley Catholic High School came out to Johnson Creek to install approximately 125 live Willow and Dogwood stakes.  The stakes contain a rooting hormone which allows them to be propagated by simply hammering them half way into the soil.  This project was quite painless in comparison to blackberry removal and we finished quickly.  In addition to the staking itself we discussed how the fast growing, native trees would offer shade to the creek and reduce erosion through their complex root systems. Great job Valley Catholic and thank you for coming out!

City View Charter @ Council Creek

Friday, February 14th

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

City View Charter came out to Council Creek and did so INCREDIBLE work.  The class split into two groups and switched half way through the time period.  One group went with Becca and installed two hundred live Willow and Dogwood Stakes. This group also coffee bagged some of our native plants so that they would have a leg up against the surrounding Reed Canary Grass. The second group did macro invertebrate surveys with Nicole and I. We found many small bugs friends in the stream including mayflies and damsel flies (as well as others).  This means that the stream is healthier than a stream where  we only found one time of macro invertebrate.

Overall, we had an excellent time and City View Charter was well versed in their watershed health knowledge!

Thank you!

Forest Grove HS Braves the Storm

Forest Grove High School @ Gales Creek January 11th, 2014

Written by: SOLVE Jesuit Volunteer Becca Strohm

Forest Grove High School students braved the rain, wind and mud- all in the name of Green Team!  A contingent of students endured the weather on a Saturday morning to do some native planting and bioengineering.  First off we learned some ethnobotany and fun facts on some of our native plants, including;

Grand Fir needles can be used to make a tea

  Pacific Willow was used to make baskets.   Women who used to weave baskets of           willow never got arthritis because Pacific Willow also has asprin-like properties.

Ponderosa Pine needles can be eaten like seeds.

Western Red Cedar or the “Tree of Life”- it is said that if one stands with their back           to a Cedar, you will gain great strength for the day.

After a little plant identification, students planted around 40 trees and shrubs!

After a break for lunch and a warm-up in the bus, students came back out to do some bioengineering.  Students harvested willow and dogwood branches and then made them into live stakes about 3 feet long.  Next they were installed into the ground, right by the edge of the Gales Creek in hopes they will take root and help to hold in the soil, preventing erosion.  About 45 stakes were installed by Forest Grove students.  Thanks for all your hard work through the storm  Forest Grove!  We’ll see you next time at Gales Creek!

Willow Stakes and Winter Snow

Green Team Week December 2nd to the December 6th

Written by Jesuit Volunteers Dane Breslin and Becca Strohm

A Shout-out to our Green Team students who work at Beaver Creek!  This article was in the Gresham Outlook this past week.

coho return

East Side Sites

West Linn High School @ Clackamas-Willamette Confluence December 3rd and 4th

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

West Linn students in Mr. Hartmann and Bingham’s classes came out to do some native planting at the Clackamas-Willamette Confluence.  First students learned a little bit about plant identification for our native species.  Different plant parts can help you distinguish between plants including the terminal bud, lateral buds and lenticels.  Lenticels are pores on the steam which allow for gas exchange, depending on the plant they can be more distinct.  The lateral buds are the most common way to distinguish trees because they are all quite distinct and in different patterns.

Unfortunately, for the first class on Wednesday, the little saplings were frozen in their pots. We did our best to ‘hug’ them and heat them up.  By the second class, the day had warmed up significantly and the plants were more easily removed from their pots.

Thank you for your enthusiasm and flexibility West Linn!

Overall West Linn planted 165 plants!  Thanks for a great job West Linn students!

La Salle High School @ Phillips Creeks December 4th and 5th

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

La Salle students planted 100 native trees and shrubs at Phillips Creek this week.  Despite the cold, students were able to dig holes and with a little coaxing get our native plants out of their frozen buckets.  Students also learned a little plant identification skills including our friends SAM and TED which are our native trees and shrubs that have opposite lateral bud arrangement.  These include snowberry, ash, maple, twinberry, elderberry and dogwood.  While planting we perfected the perfect sized hole by finding a basketball and laying it inside insuring our hole was basketball sized.  La Salle students also picked up a bunch of trash lying around Philips Creek.  Thanks for your dedication in the cold La Salle students!

West Linn High School @ Clackamas-Willamette Confluence December 5th

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

West Linn students came out for a final day on Thursday but it was so cold the night before the ground was frozen over.  This made planting our native trees and shrubs too difficult so instead students did some invasive removal and litter clean-up.  Students found a few tires, a soccer ball and a bunch of other litter clearing 50 lbs of trash.  There was also lopping of blackberry and some pulling of ivy.  Great job West Linn and thanks for your enthusiasm!

WEST SIDE SITES

Glencoe High School at McKay Creek

Monday 12/2 and Tuesday 12/3

This Monday and Tuesday, Glencoe High school installed over three hundred and sixty Red Osier Dogwood stakes. Each stake contains a growth hormone that gives it the potential to one day become a full grown Dogwood!

The classes first learned how to prepare live stakes. The steps are listed below.

1)      Harvest up to ¼ of an adult Red Osier Dogwood, or Willow.

2)      Cut branches into 2 foot long segments. Make sure that the bottom is cut at an angle, so that the stake will move into the ground easier.  The top should be flat, making the stake easier to mallet.

3)      Remove any side branches or buds from the stake. All energy in the stake must go towards developing root structures, not buds and leaves.

4)      Attach pink tape to make locating plants later easier.

5)      Find a wet area and mallet the stake halfway into the ground.  Place within one foot of each other to more effectively shade out the invasive Reed Canary Grass.

Glencoe installed stakes in several different areas behind their school building. The hope is that by spring forests of Dogwood will battle with Reed Canary Grass, hold onto loose soils, and create new habitats for native animal life.  After each class, students drank warm cups of hot cocoa and worked on reflections for Honoring Our Rivers!  It has been a joy serving with Glencoe this year and the changes we have made to McKay Creek are already visible!

Thank you for all your hard work.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

City View Charter School at Council Creek

Thursday 12.5

This Thursday, City View Charter School braved the cold and learned how to make and propagate Willow stakes at Council Creek.  We started above the creek with a Willow stake making class.  Then, the students worked in pairs down in the wetland to break through the frozen ground and install the stakes they made.  Even though it was freezing cold, the sun did come out and the landscape quite literally glittered with frost and snow.  City View installed around sixty Willow and Dogwood stakes and then headed back to the class to complete a reflection on bioengineering and planting this semester.

I am so proud of this class’s hard work and amazed at their vigor for environmental restoration (even when the weather is trying).

To all of my classes this week I want to thank you and wish you a happy holiday season!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Dreaming of spring & loving the snow,

Dane

A little salmon, plant dancing and stinky bob- just another week for Green Team!

Green Team November 11th to 16th

Written by SOLVE Jesuit Volunteers Dane Breslin and Becca Strohm

East Side Sites

Clackamas High School @ Rock Creek Troge 2 November 13th

Clackamas High School students in Mr. Gwin’s class made their first trip out to Rock Creek this week.  Students began the day by playing the ever-run game Riparian Metaphors!  Comparing common household objects with different aspects of a healthy bank-side helped everyone to remember the goals for Rock Creek.  Some examples were an ice-cube tray representing cold water which provides habitat for fish species and  a camouflage t shirt representing native trees and shrubs that could provide habitat and cover for native animal species.  After the game students got to work cutting down invasive Armenian blackberry and removing its canes.  By the end of the day we could see the stream through some of the blackberry that used to block our view!  Great job Clackamas students!

Gladstone High School @ Rinearson Creek November 14th Last Day Celebration!

photo 2 (5)

Gladstone students spent their last day at Rinearson Creek learning plant i.d and planting native plants.  Before planting began students learned the benefits of native plants and trees in comparison to the invasive plants we have removed.  Native plants provide food and habitat for native wildlife, help to hold the soil, preventing erosion on stream banks and can filter out toxins that may be flowing into a stream through run-off.  Next students i.d skills were homed as they learned all the native plants they would be planting, including Snowberry, Western Red Cedar, Dogwood, WIllow and Nine Bark.  Sixty-six shrubs and trees were planted!  Great job Gladstone!  For an end of the year celebration students enjoyed Krispy Kreme doughnuts on their walk back to school.  Thanks for everything you’ve done on the new site this year Gladstone- it’s looking great because of you!

Clackamas Middle College @ Phillips Creek November 15th

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Clackamas Middle College students went out to Phillips Creek this week to do some native planting.  Before beginning students learned about plant I.D in order to tell our native species apart as they planted.  For instance there are different lateral bud patterns that can help you determine what a tree or shrub is; opposite, alternative or whorled and whether a leaf is simple or compound.  Students planted Red Osier Dogwood, Snowberry, Rose, Twinberry and also planted some trees including Red Alder, Big-leafed Maple, Western Red Cedar and Douglass Fir.  All and all students planted about 100 shrubs and trees- thanks for all your hard work Clackamas Middle College!

West Linn Salmon Toss @ Clackamas River November 16th

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

West Linn High School students braved the elements on a blistery Saturday morning to participate in a salmon toss.  Jeff Fulop from Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife provided the fish from a local hatchery.  Students threw about 350 fish into the Oak Grove section of the Clackamas River to help restore nutrients to the river and surrounding bank side.  Everyone also got to perform a dissection of a salmon and identify the different organs of a fish and what they do.  Thanks for your dedication to restoring our local waterways West Linn students!

WEST SIDE SITES

Rachel Carson Environmental Middle School
Wednesday 11/13/13
Rachel Carson Environmental Middle School planted around sixty native Willow, Twin Berry and Douglas Spirea plants this Wednesday at Willow Creek.  The mud was deep and we might have lost a couple boots, but we got the plants into the soil!
Students also removed invasive Armenian Blackberry, thistle and Morning Glory from the path and monitored native plants. SOLVE aims to have 80% of the plants at each site be native. I will be interested in seeing what Rachel Carson students discover in the coming months about native plant levels in the Willow Creek area.
Thank you for your wonderful work Rachel Carson!

Thursday & Friday   11/14/13- 11/15/13

Aloha High School at Butternut Creek

This Thursday and Friday Aloha High School worked at Butternut Creek planting at total of 80 native plants!  The classes started off the day learning plant identification and ethnobotany. Then, a lesson was given on how to actually successfully plant.

Here’s the rundown:

1) Dig basketball sized hole.

2) Massage roots and remove most of potting soil (this wakes up the plant and helps it to grow into the surrounding soil rather than just in the shape of the pot).

3) Backfill if hole is too deep, and then place plant in hole.

4) Fill in the hole with soil.

5) Plant Dance! Walk around the plant in a small circle to compact the ground. If there is still an area where water can pool, fill it in so that the plant does not drown.

6) Tie on a small pink flag- we don’t want to forget where we planted!

Overall, Aloha and I had a really great time, and I always have fun connecting with this set of students. The detail squad was on top of their game again and was busy getting some interestingly named Willows into the ground.

Thank you Aloha, I always enjoy spending time outside with you all!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Forest Park Elementary School at Cedar Mill Creek

This Thursday Forest Park Elementary came out to Cedar Mill Creek to remove invasive Armenian Blackberry and “stinky bob”.  Our youngest member was four years of age- but she was an expert on stinky bob removal regardless.  Everyone in the class was able to stay behind me while we walked down and so everyone got the opportunity to use a real shovel.

It was a blast! Great job following instructions Forest Park!

Something smells a little fishy… Green Team November 4th-9th

Green Team Week November 4th-9th

Written by SOLVE Jesuit Volunteers Dane Breslin and Becca Strohm

East Side Sites

Sabin Schellenberg Forestry School @ Rock Creek Troge 2- Nov. 4th

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Forestry students broke ground on a new site next to Rock Creek removing invasive blackberry.  With the blackberry above their heads and seen far into the distance it is a good thing students brought chain saws and weed-wackers.  Blackberry was chopped down fast, students cleared over 2000 sq feet of blackberry!  Great Job Sabin students!

Sam Barlow High School @ Beaver Creek Headwaters Nov 4th and 5th

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Sam Barlow students came out for the first time to begin work at Beaver Creek Headwaters.  Before going out each class had surveyed a specific area for plant populations and will continue to survey as our restoration efforts begin.  Since it was the first day ever at the site there was a lot of work to do!  Students came out for three days to remove blackberry and despite the rain students worked hard and removed a ton of canes and blackberry roots!  Great job Sam Barlow!

West Linn High School @ Clackamas Confluence Nov. 5th, 6th and 7th

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

West Linn students came out for the second time to do some invasive removal beside the Clackamas Confluence.  Having already removed a ton of blackberry, students began working up a slope and with the rain got VERY MUDDY!  While digging up roots, students uncovered a lot of litter- over 200 lbs!  With majority of the blackberry removed students will be able to plant native plants on site on their next outing!  Excellent work West Linn- we’ll see you next time on the Clackamas!

Clackamas High School @ Rock Creek Troge 2- November 7th

One of Mr. Gwin’s classes made their first trip to Rock Creek to break ground on the brand new site Rock Creek Troge 2.  The site is full of invasive blackberry bushes and the banks of the stream are so eroded it almost looks like a canal!  Students began work removing the blackberry clearing about 250 sq feet of blackberry.  Next month students will be able to plant native species in the area once all the blackberry is removed.  Great Job Clackamas students!

Clackamas High School @ Clear Creek in Estacada- November 8th

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Students in AP Biology made a trek to Clear Creek in Estacada to participate in a salmon toss.  Students suited up by putting on plastic trash bags and gloves and got to work.  Students threw about 300 Coho salmon into Clear Creek in order to restore the nutrients lost because salmon are not making it as far upstream as they traditionally have.  Students also performed a salmon dissection to learn the parts of a fish,  They removed internal organs to make Mr. Fish E. Guts and learn what all the organs look like and their function.  With the bitter cold and rain students got to enjoy a nice fire which also served to bake and smoke salmon that everyone got to try.  Great job Clackamas students!

Salmon Toss @ Clackamas River in Estacada- Sat. November 9th

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

A few West Linn and Rex Putnam students participated in a salmon toss along the Clackamas River early Saturday morning.  They were joined by a few Jesuit Volunteer Corp members who came out to join in on the fun.  Despite the early departure time, students enthusiastically threw about 200 Coho salmon into the river to restore nutrients to river and provide food for the 137 species who feed on salmon.  Thanks for all you work West Linn and Putnam students!  I hope you can get the smell of salmon off!

WEST SIDE SITES 

Glencoe High School

Monday & Tuesday~11/4-11/5

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This week Glencoe High School students planted 150 native plants with Green Team! These native plants include Nine Bark, Red Flowering Currant, Red Elderberry, Sword Fern, Red Osier Dogwood and the Cascara tree.  Each class started the event by practicing their plant identification skills.

1) Is the plant alternate or opposite?

2) Are the leaves palmate or pinnate?

3) Are the leaves simple or compound?

4) What else do we see? (berries, color of bark, flowers, lenticels, lobed leaves, etc.)

We also experimented with a native grass called Scirpus Microcarpus or ‘pinnacled bulrush’. First, an adventurous group of students removed a large patch of invasive Reed Canary Grass.  Then, the native rushes were planted densely into the open area in hopes of gaining a foothold and competing with the Reed Canary.  Lastly, the students had to clean up after becoming extraordinarily muddy!

Glencoe 9th grade students planted native plants in several locations and did an amazing job!

Thank you Glencoe High School!

Rachel Carson Middle School at Willow Creek

The New Planting Site

Wednesday 10/6 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This week, Rachel Carson Environmental Middle School 7th and 8th grade students visited Willow Creek with Green Team. The classes started by breaking into three different groups; invasive blackberry removal, plant identification and plant density estimation.  Thus far, the group has hacked away a huge amount of blackberry and the fence is even more visible than before. Additionally, we started planting in a new area that used to be completely covered with blackberry. This proved challenging as before native plants could be put into the soil blackberry roots had to be removed!  However, Rachel Carson students were up to the challenge and worked hard the whole day.

Thank you Rachel Carson Middle School!

City View Charter at Council Creek

Thursday 11/7

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This week City View Charter visited Council Creek. The class split into two groups. One group learned plant identification with Nicole, while the other group planted native plants. Overall, we planted over 60 native plants!  These plants include Pacific and Sitka Willows, Douglas Spirea, native grasses, Nine Bark and Oregon Ash.  As a group we experimented with different ways to open the soil and make space for the native plants to grow. Initially, the day was quite bleak and rainy, but by the end the beautiful Sun had come out and everyone was in the mood for more restoration!

Thank you City View Charter!

The Madeleine School at Baltimore woods

Friday 11/9

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This Friday, the Madeleine School planted about 40 native plants!  Before they could plant they removed invasive blackberry, Morning Glory, Deadly Purple Night Shade and Teasel.  Before we began planting, they learned plant I.D. and went on a nature walk through a previous parking lot that is being converted to Oak Savannah Habitat. Overall, it was quite an exciting day and I am appreciative of all of the Madeleine Schools energy!

Thank you Madeleine School!

Thus ends a great week for Green Team.  Thanks for all who participated!

3 years of Stewardship — and Friendship

Happy Summer to our Green Team students! Rachel Carson was our last Green Team class to make ot out to their site before their summer break started.

For these students, their SOLVE site is not just the creek site they have classes at.  To many it is “My Creek” or “Our Creek”.  Willow Creek is a place of fond memories of hard work that pays off, of fun in the mud, of quiet reflection and where lasting friendships have been made.  These eight graders have spent the last three years getting to know intimately — and helping restore — Willow Creek.  Student that came before them began working at Willow nearly 10 years ago; these kids are part of that legacy and thank to them the health of the creek has improved tremendously.

2013-06-10 11.13.50

During their last official visit, they spent some time wandering the site and checking out their favorite places.  They each gathered blades of grass, leaves and flowers and each tossed their piece of Willow Creek into the creek — as a symbol of their hopes for the creek and future Rachel Carson students, with this poem in mind:

We join with the earth and with each other.
To bring new life to the land
To restore the waters
To refresh the air

We join with the earth and with each other.

To renew the forests
To care for the plants
To protect the creatures

We join with the earth and with each other.

To celebrate the seas
To rejoice the sunlight
To sing the song of the stars

We join with the earth and with each other.

To recall our destiny
To renew our spirits
To reinvigorate our bodies

We join with the earth and with each other.

To create the human community
To promote justice and peace
To remember our children

We join together as many and diverse expressions of one loving mystery: for the healing of the earth and the renewal of all life.

(Written by the United Nations  Environmental Program)

Rachel Carson students and teachers (especially you Rebecca Hall!), thank you from SOLVE for your hard work, the laughs and the joys you brought to Willow Creek.  You are all amazing and we wish you the best in your next chapter!  You are always welcome to continue helping out Willow Creek!

– Green Team: Meghan Ballard, Kris Taylor, Lauren McKenna and Nicole Poletto