La Salle Clears Phillips Creek of Invasives

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La Salle High School @ Phillips Creek Oct 9, 10 Written by SOLVE Jesuit Volunteer, Becca La Salle High School students came out with enthusiasm on October 9th and 10th to do some invasive removal at Phillips Creek.  Students began … Continue reading

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Clackamas High School Conquers Blackberry

CHS @ Rock Creek October 3rd and 4th

Written by Becca, SOLVE Jesuit Volunteer

Clackamas High School made their first trip out to start work at Rock Creek last week.  Students began the day by playing our ever-fun Riparian Metaphor game.  The game helps to remind students what a good riparian or bank side area should be like.  Students compared different objects to positive aspects of a riparian area such as vegetation to filter out toxins running in, trees with deep roots to hold in soil and having a diverse plant population.

For most of their time though students conquered invasive plants that had taken over the bank side of Rock Creek.  Students worked in two spots on either side of the creek to clear the invasive Armenian or Himalayan blackberry.  While digging up blackberry roots students also discovered some native species including a few garter snakes, a bunch of fuzzy caterpillars and of course some worms.  Trash was also dug up along with blackberry roots including a mattress spring!  Students were so thorough in removing blackberry that we also had to lay down straw on the side of Rock Creek to help prevent erosion.   With most of the vegetation and roots gone from the bank side there is nothing to hold the soil there which could cause a lot of sediment to fall into the stream.  But students laid down straw over the bank to help prevent this process from happening.  Great job Clackamas students- we’ll see you next time at Rock Creek!

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Stoneflies and Sunshine

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Well its not every day that you get to catch stoneflies, battle blackberries, and meet a mouse family, but that’s what Clackamas High School students got to spend the past two days doing at Rock Creek and Mount Scott Creeks.

Students in Mr. & Mrs. Shroufe’s classes came out to Rock Creek and got the basics on macroinvertebrate testing from Patrick Edwards, a professor from Portland State University’s Environmental Science and Management Department.  Patrick filled the students in on the importance of finding macroinvertebrates, or insects in the water that can be seen with the naked eye, as they are indicators of stream health and pollution.  Students came across stoneflies, mayflies and scuds to name a few.

Students also sampled from Mount Scott Creek; which has been more heavily impacted by development than Rock Creek.  We are excited to see the results between the two streams once the data has been analyzed!

Charlie and Gina(SOLV) also gave students a tour of Rock Creek and talked about all the plant invaders to this restoration project.  Students learned about Japanese Knotweed, Himalayan(Armenian) Blackberry, Reed Canary Grass, Purple Nightshade and Scotch Broom.  Charlie explained how invasive species can negatively impact stream health by destroying habitat, causing erosion and suffocating our native plant-life.

Thank you Clackamas High School for a wonderful first two days we are excited to work with this excellent, enthusiastic team all school year!