Restoration at Jackson Middle School

Group of people in the forest.

This fall, Tryon Creek Watershed Council (TCWC) has been working at Jackson Middle School on restoration work at the pathway on the south side of the school near 39th Ave. This much-loved walkway, used by neighbors and the Jackson community, runs through a stand of trees with a mix of native and invasive plants. Restoration work this fall has seen invasive species removal and native plant planting. This work is part of the Connect SW PDX project put forth by West Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District (WMSWCD), and funded by Metro. In the Falling Creek subwatershed of the Tryon Creek watershed that TCWC is eager to work in, this project has been a chance to connect on-the-ground with community members.

The boots on the ground and gloves in the soil have been those of the Wisdom Workforce Development LLC Crew. Wisdom of the Elders is a local Native American organization which works to preserve Native culture through multimedia, storytelling and film, as well as other programming including Wisdom Workforce Development, who as contractors provide environmental services to many groups in the Portland area.

On our first work day TCWC staff worked alongside Wisdom for invasive species removal. Invasive Armenian (or Himalayan) blackberry was cut back, then the root balls dug up to prevent grow-back. Following blackberry was English ivy removal. Several invasive trees were removed as well: 6 English hawthorn and an English holly, all of whose berries will no longer be spread around by critters.

This invasive species removal helped make room for planting native plants! Over 200 plants were put in – the variety included large trees, many shrubs, and herbaceous ground cover plants. What were they? Douglas fir, Western red cedar, Grand fir, Western hemlock, Big leaf maple, vine maple, serviceberry, twinberry, snowberry, salmonberry, Pacific ninebark, baldhip rose, red elderberry, red-flowering currant, mock orange, oceanspray, Indian plum, Oregon grape, sword and lady ferns, Oregon oxalis, woodland strawberry, fringecup, piggyback plant, and wild ginger… wow! All of these wonderful plants will provide food and habitat for native insects and pollinators, birds, and more. These lovely plants came from the Scappoose Bay Watershed Council’s Native Plant Nursery and Sauvie Island Natives.

If you’re interested in getting involved with this work at Jackson, mark your calendars for March 16th 2019 – it will be a site for our 10th Annual Watershed Wide Event!

Terri and Alexis from TCWC, Jane from Sauvie Island Natives, and Alvey, Karrie, and Dave from Wisdom of the Elders, get ready to place and plant native plants at Jackson Middle School on November 12th, 2018.