Wilkes forms Earth Week ‘No-Ivy League’

Here’s a ‘green’ story about volunteers who are ripping out plants! Take a look at how they’re helping their outer NE Portland neighborhood …

Volunteer PSU students turn and smile while working this steep hillside – pulling out ivy near the Wilkes Creek Headwaters.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Wilkes Community Group Chair Joyce Ley motivated a cadre of volunteers to come into the “backwoods” on April 20 – to rip, yank, and pull invasive ivy from a pretty much unseen section of Wilkes Park.

“We’re calling it a ‘clean-up’,” Ley told East Portland News, “But actually, we’re targeting invasive ivy today.”

Portland Parks & Recreation City Nature East Ecologist Mart Hughes was the one who suggested they focus on ivy, she acknowledged.

Ivy-pull organizer, and neighborhood chair, Joyce Ley volunteers alongside Teresa Minato, from the Portland State Library Green Team.

“Hughes told us that ivy is an invasive species. Wherever it grows, it crowds out the native species of plants.  The native [plant] species is what we need to attract the birds, the butterflies, and the right kind of beneficial insects.”

In the end, Ley added, “We will have a healthier environment.”

Ivy-puller Anne Keech says she also volunteers with the PSU Green Team.

The Wilkes Creek Headwater Natural Area Park is a new property for the Wilkes neighborhood, Ley explained. “It was purchased about two years ago – and it’s a wonderful addition to our ‘park-hungry, park-deprived’ neighborhood.

“This property brings us 20 acres of natural parkland,” Ley continued. “About 16 acres will be maintained as a natural area; the rest will be developed into a park.”

Down in a glen, near the Wilkes Creek Headwaters, these Alaska/Horizon Airlines employees volunteer during the “ivy pull”.

Some 25 volunteers were scattered out over the area, Ley said. “This includes the Portland State University ‘Green Team’ – and, the Alaska Airlines and Horizon Airlines Green Team also. We so much appreciate their help.”

Some of the PSU students are in the early stages of developing a Master Plan for the park, she added. “The neighbors are so much looking forward to using this park.”

© 2013 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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