Hidden wildlife refuge gets SOLV-IT ‘Earth Day’ preening

Find out where a handful of volunteers made a big difference in the Lents neighborhood, on this – the most important day for those who believe in greening our City …

Volunteers labor in the bog known as “Beggars Tick” in Lents, off SE 111th Avenue, on SOLV-IT Earth Day.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
At sites all over greater Portland, some thousands of volunteers participated in the 22nd annual SOLV IT Earth Day event on April 14. Volunteers of all ages dug in to pull up invasive vegetation, plant native trees, and pick up litter – giving these areas a good “spring cleaning”.

While many of the events attracted as many as fifty volunteers, we chose to visit Beggars Tick Natural Area, along the Springwater Corridor Trail in Lents, just west of SE 111th Avenue and north of SE Foster Road.

Stewardship Coordinator of Portland Parks & Recreation City Nature East, Susan Hawes, explains how the Snowberry helps birds which nest in the area.

“We have ten volunteers working with us today,” reported Susan Hawes, the stewardship coordinator from Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R), City Nature East.

“We’re mostly planting wild Snowberry in the wildlife refuge,” Hawes told us.

“Native Snowberry [Symphoricarpos albus] is great for bird habitat,” Hawes said. “It attracts birds. Snowberry plants provide food for forage for birds and provide a structure for their nesting, and a place of safety for them.”

The volunteers dug holes, put in about 600 plants, and mulched them, before they left at noon.

“Our Bureau feels really strongly about working in partnerships with other organizations,” Hawes said. “SOLV is a great organization; it’s good at getting volunteers out to help in natural areas. We enjoy working with them.”

Volunteer Michael Wallis mulches one of the 600 newly-planted Snowberry bushes in the Beggars Tick Natural Area.

Help out at Wilkes Creek on May 14
You can volunteer on an outer East Portland SOLV (originally “Stop Oregon Litter and Vandalism”) project on May 14 from 9:00 a.m. until noon, at Wilkes Creek in the Wilkes neighborhood. Wear heavy boots and dress for the weather. It’s at NE 154th Avenue and NE Fremont Street. For more information, contact Brett Lyon at brett@solv.org or (503) 844-9571 x332. To see their specific webpage, with a link to registration information, CLICK HERE.

Or, for general information about SOLV, see their website: CLICK HERE to open their home page.

© 2011 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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