As the days grow shorter and the weather becomes wetter, that means the start of planting season for the Watershed Council! We have been planting many native species out in the field this month, slowly clearing out our nursery to make room for when the Plant Sale orders arrive in early February. With the help of two groups of Pacific Academy students, we planted over 60 native species at the Stone Bridge, which crosses Nettle Creek, a major tributary to Tryon Creek in the Lake Oswego area.
As many of you know, the Stone Bridge is an exciting project that was completed this past summer. The old Stone Bridge contained a culvert that blocked off access for fish populations to spawning areas. The new wooden bridge has no culvert and is a great step in completely opening Tryon Creek for spawning fish. You can read a more detailed explanation of the project here.
After the construction, the area surrounding the new bridge was in need of restoration. We had 15 students from the the Pacific Academy help us with the restoration. The Pacific Academy is a small, therapeutic alternative school operated by the Northwest Regional Educational Service District and located in Washington County. This service-learning opportunity allowed students to learn about the bridge replacement project, fish migration, riparian habitat, native plant identification, and erosion.
Students also learned techniques on how to plant natives effectively. With this new knowledge, students got to work with their shovels. The digging was a little rocky but the students persevered and were able to plant 65 species, which included salmonberry, fringe cup, willow, and ninebark, to name a few. If you get a chance, hike down to the site to see the new bridge and the array of native plants.
We would like to thank the Pacific Academy students and teachers for partnering with us for the project. We also want to thank Carl Axelsen for helping coordinate and lead the project – his efforts made the entire planting possible!