Some SOLV Love!

SOLV is famous!  We’re getting the word out there about the projects we engage students, families and all Oregonians in through our programs like Green Team and Team Up for Watershed Health.

We blogged about this video a few weeks ago that our friend Tim Nolan made, but we wanted to be sure and share it again since we love it so much!  Thanks to Tim and all the folks who wanted to spread the SOLV word; enjoy!

King Elementary brings out the sunshine

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King Elementary School Green Team brought smiles and sunshine out to Abernethy Creek today.  Students learned that there is an active Beaver population at Abernethy Creek.  Having Beaver at the site is great for other surrounding wildlife and water quality. From www.nhptv.org/natureworks/beaver.htm:

When beavers build dams, they create new wetland environments for other species. These wetlands can help slow erosion, raise the water table and help purify the water.

It’s okay for beaver to chew on large Willow, Dogwood and other large trees.  In fact, most Willow and Red Osier Dogwood will survive it.  However, if beaver chew on our newly planted baby natives they will not survive.  So students helped us to surround our newly planted natives with cages that will deter the beaver.  Once the trees grow larger (in about 8 years) we will remove those cages.  Students got a ton of great work done today and caged about 30 trees!  Thank you King Elementary!

Sunshine for King Elementary

King Elementary School’s Green Team certainly enjoyed the sunshine at Abernethy Creek last Friday!  Students were excited to be out with SOLV last week perhaps simply because of the absence of that all-too-familiar rain.  They were able to recall all of the reasons it is so important to plant native trees and protect them from invasive plants.

Students continued coffee bagging native trees and shrubs on the edge of Abernethy Creek and are excited for the coming springtime weather.  Thanks King School!

King School Weed Warriors

King Elementary School’s Green Team joined us at Abernethy Creek last week to coffee bag some of our newly planted native trees and shrubs.

Students worked in pairs to stake coffee bags donated to SOLV around native plants to impede weed growth; the burlap sacks will provide an area around the plant that is relatively weed-free and thus, allows the plant to grow without its usual competitors.  The bags and the stakes that we use will biodegrade in a few years, so nothing is left behind.  The students worked hard and coffee bagged more than sixty plants.

1st Graders, 2nd Graders, 3rd Graders.. Oh My!

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What they lack in height, they make up for in enthusiasm!  The King Elementary School Green Team made their first visit to Abernethy Creek in Oregon City last Friday and boy, did they make a great impression. 

About twenty-eight students make up the school’s Green Team, ranging from first to sixth grade, led by teacher Jamie Semrad.  The students marched off the bus in matching Green Team sweatshirts and came ready to work.  Alex of SOLV introduced the students to the site and reminded them of why their work planting natives was so important. 

The students split into several groups and began flagging willow stakes, taken from willow trees native to Oregon, such as Scouler’s and Pacific willow.  Adults helped the students by cutting one end of the stakes at an angle, which allows the stake to be driven more easily into the soil.  Armed with rubber mallets and determination, the students were able to put 300 stakes in the ground!

These stakes will grow an extensive network of roots quite quickly and will do well even in standing water.  Willow will provide great shade for the stream, natural habitat for native wildlife and its roots will hold onto streambanks very well.

West Linn triumphs at Abernethy Creek

West Linn High School is on a roll!  Over 230 students strong, this is one of our largest and most enthusiastic Green Teams and they know how to get the job done.  West Linn was SOLV’s first Green Team and we are so grateful for passionate teachers like Jim Hartmann and Geoff Bingham to keep the partnership going. 

West Linn has adopted Abernethy Creek in Oregon City as their stream site for restoration and has been doing work there for quite a few years.  Abernethy Creek is actually one of the very few streams left in our area that sees salmon pass through.  West Linn has come out several times already this year and they will be out with us at the site TWO days this week, what dedication! 

The students have worked hard to remove invasives such as Himalayan blackberry and reed canary grass and are gearing up for the planting season.  Several students will come out this Friday to work with our first elementary school Green Team, King Elementary School in Oregon City, and partner with the younger students to do willow staking at the site.

On October 2nd, 36 students came out to Estacada for a salmon toss in the Upper Clackamas with just two days’ notice.  They threw dead hatchery salmon into the waterway to restore nutrient flows and will be doing the same again this weekend.  Talk about strength in numbers!  Way to go, West Linn!