Planting at PCC Sylvania

Saturday February 15th dawned grey and rainy, but that didn’t stop a group of volunteers from coming out to Portland Community College, Sylvania campus, to install nearly 100 native plants and continue removing invasive species. April Ann Fong and Shannon Ansley, professors at PCC Sylvania who run the Habitat Team, leverage student volunteerism to steward natural areas on campus, particularly the “Rainy Woods” on the south side of campus. As they’ve been steadily removing ivy and other invasive plants, we at TCWC were glad to be able to provide the plants to install at a work party in the recently-cleared area! Through the Bureau of Environmental Services’ CWSP (Community Watershed Stewardship Program), Tryon Creek Watershed Council returns each year to PCC Sylvania for our Watershed 101 Workshop + Work Party.

On Friday February 14th, Program Coordinator Alexis visited April Ann’s Sustainability class, delivering a Watershed 101 Presentation. Informally presented with plentiful room for conversations and questions, students learned about various watershed topics. After defining a watershed, the presentation hones in on Portland area watersheds before focusing introducing the the Tryon Creek watershed specifically with a virtual tour. A major programmatic area of TCWC was incorporated in the sections about native plants and invasive plant removal; students recognized several of the plants discussed, learning how invasive plants are spread (boot brushes aren’t just for mud!), and the importance of removing them (including adverse effects on bird populations and the broader context of climate change). As Tryon Creek watershed is largely urbanized, stormwater was discussed with students particularly engaged in green infrastructure. Students also learned about soil composition and its effects on plant selection, as demonstrated in the Native Plants for Willamette Valley Yards booklet. Finally, the presentation covered Tryon Creek Watershed Council’s programmatic areas specifically, including the upcoming Watershed Wide Event as a continued engagement opportunity, and with fish passage barriers in the watershed a particular topic of interest as the Boones Ferry culvert project begins this spring and summer of 2020.

This work party on Saturday February 15th was the second part of our Watershed 101 Workshop with PCC Sylvania. With native plants sourced from nearby Bosky Dell Natives, the project area now has a wonderful variety of native plants taking root. Plant installed included sword ferns, deer ferns, two types of Oregon grape (tall & dull), thimbleberry, snowberry, evergreen huckleberry, two types of rose (Nootka & baldhip), wild Ginger, and trilliums. After the plants were installed (before/after of part of the project area below), volunteers proceeded to the ongoing work of removing invasive plants from the project area, focusing on clematis and English Ivy.

Tryon Creek Watershed Council’s Watershed 101 Workshop program is funded by the Bureau of Environmental Services‘ Community Watershed Stewardship Program. With other groups, the presentation and work party are combined into one day. Reach out to Alexis (alexis@tryoncreek.org) if you’d like to learn more about the Watershed 101 program.