An exciting BEGINNING for the end of September

September 29th marked our first time OUTDOORS with Green Team students this year.

Gladstone High School was able to start our year off right by pioneering a new area at Dahl Beach. For those of you that are familiar with the site, we have moved on to the side of the trail across from where we have worked in years past. After playing Riparian Metaphors, students worked hard to tackle large and complex blackberry bushes, as well as bits of English Ivy, Nightshade and Morning Glory. They left feeling accomplished and excited to see the changes that happen in the next few weeks with the work of other schools, as well as the greater impact all of Green Team will make throughout this year.

While most blackberry bush removal simply revealed ground covered in English Ivy, one group of students discovered something equally frightening – a creepy life-side doll head. What an eerie (but funny) find for Gladstone Green Team to jumpstart the spooks of October!

The next day, Portland Lutheran freshman and sophomore biology students were able to get out explore Beaver Creek for the first time this year. Many of the students are seasoned Green Team veterans who found their return to this site exciting and full of memories. The group did a great job clearing large areas of Blackberry and Reed Canary Grass, along with patches Nightshade and Morning Glory. It’s unfortunate that they had to see so many invasives up close, but we are lucky and thankful a great impact in removal was made! It was awesome seeing second year Green Teamers growing in their love and understanding for the outdoors, as well as help new students learn their course. It is always reassuring and fun for us to see students naming native plants, teaching others which to remove, and yearn to see the remains of the impact they made in years past. Students also got the chance to play Riparian Metaphors, study phenology and collect moss for further research in the classroom.

A New Site for a New Year

Gladstone High School @ Rinearson Creek 9/26

Written by SOLVE Jesuit Volunteer: Becca

Gladstone High School made a trip out to Rinearson Creek for the first time on September 26th.  They have moved to a new site this year, a little farther upstream then the past few years at the Rinearson Creek headwaters.  The new site is full of invasive blackberry, hawthorn, English ivy and purple nightshade.  A new site means lots of work to be done

The blackberry patch before...

The blackberry patch before…

 

Blackberry Patch After!

Blackberry Patch After!

Students came out to play a riparian metaphor game and remove invasive blackberry and English ivy.  To get rid of blackberry, students cut the thorny stems away while others dug out the blackberry roots- a great team effort!  The roots and stems were placed in a huge pile so that the root bulb will dry out and the blackberry won’t be able to grow back.  Having a new site means large blackberry patches that are untouched but Gladstone students dived in to cut and dig out blackberry.  All in all Gladstone removed about 30 square feet of blackberry at the new site.  Great Job Gladstone students!

Gladstone High prevents stream erosion

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Two of Kevin Zerzan’s very enthusiastic environmental science classes at Gladstone High School joined us at Rinearson Creek for the first time this trimester.  Students worked very hard to install over 200 live cuttings made from Red Osier Dogwood and Willow to stabilize eroding stream banks.  Installing live cuttings is a form of stream bioengineering

Conventionally, engineers have used only static inorganic materials that provide neither habitat for fish and wildlife, nor shade for the stream. Bioengineering techniques include effective, low cost methods for protecting and restoring riparian areas. Different species of willows and cottonwoods are used widely for bioengineering projects because they easily form roots on stem cuttings. (from http://www.oregon.gov/DSL/PERMITS/bioengineering.shtml)

These live cuttings will start sprouting new shoots later this spring and summer and will begin to stabilze the soil with their roots, provide much needed shade for the stream and enhance habitat for neighborhood wildlife.  Check out the photos above of dogwood cutting students installed 2 years ago!

Also in the photos above you can see what Rinearson Creek looked like before any work was done in 2007- mowed grass all the way up to the stream banks.  Mowing near the stream banks causes the grass to grow a shallower root system, letting it grow natural produces deeper roots and therefore better soil stability.

Thank you Gladstone High School!  We’re looking forward to working with you again out at the stream!