Volunteers help SOLV a cleaner Wilkes Creek

Look who came – ready to work – to this natural area within the Wilkes Community Group neighborhood to preen this hidden park. You’ll learn why they think it’s important ….

Gresham High School students Jillian Lauderback, Lauren U’Ren, and Bahar Kasimi pitch in clearing out invasive plants at the Wilkes Creek Natural Area.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
It was one of those beautiful mornings in which many outer East Portlanders love to get out and work in their yards.

That day, May 14, about twenty volunteers – including some young people from Gresham – came out to clean and weed Wilkes Creek Natural Area, at NE 154th Avenue and NE Fremont Street.

“We have a full crew of volunteers here today,” exclaimed the SOLV volunteer crew leader, Miles Griffin. “We started by picking up trash, and got that done. Now, we’re on invasive plant removal – primarily digging out Himalayan blackberry bushes.”

Miles Griffin, the SOLV volunteer crew leader, says they’ve partnered with the neighborhood and others, to maintain Wilkes Creek.

“SOLV has been doing active restoration work here for a number of years,” Griffin explained. “Over that time, we’ve been developing an interesting partnership with the Columbia Slough Watershed Council (CSWC); now we’re moving forward together.”

Griffin explained that CSWC is taking on a more active restoration role; and SOLV is working on the community-building aspects. “We’re working to start a neighborhood group that will steward the site. Together we will be moving forward in partnership.”

CSWC volunteer Bob Dolphin says, “My wife is out of town; I thought this was a great way to spend a Saturday morning!”

© 2011 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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