Hundreds spiff up Johnson Creek in ‘Watershed Wide Event’

The place outer East Portland volunteers were working, in the Lents neighborhood, was unusual; check it out …

Instead of working in the Foster Foodplain, volunteers are planting native flowers and bushes along SE Foster Road as part of this year’s “Watershed Wide Event”.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

All along Johnson Creek, cadres of volunteers were working during the morning of March 7 to improve the watershed of this urban waterway during their 2020 “Johnson Creek Watershed Council (JCWC) Watershed Wide Event”.

JCWC Executive Director Daniel Newberry pauses, while planting wildflowers, to discuss the organization’s mission.

“This is our 22nd annual Watershed Wide Event – where, every year, hundreds of volunteers come out to help restore the creek, and improve conditions for fish and wildlife along Johnson Creek,” said JCWC Executive Director Daniel Newberry as he was planting native flowering bushes.

“At all ten sites this year, from Milwaukie to Damascus, we are installing 6,250 plants along the creek,” Newberry said. “And again this year, we’re so happy to have at least a dozen volunteer groups from other organizations joining us.”

Jeremy Engle and his young helper, Gabe Engle, have fun digging in the dirt and planting native flowers.

Newberry noted that, in the Lents neighborhood, they typically have done on the “Freeway Lands” property and the Foster floodplain, but not this day.

“They’ve installed a brand-new fence here along SE Foster Road to keep people from wandering into the floodplain – and to discourage ‘camping’ further back into in this area.

“We’re trying to ‘soften’ the visual effect of the fence by planning a lot of wildflowers and shrubs in the grassy strip between the sidewalk and the split-rail fence – which is something we typically don’t often do,” Newberry told East Portland News.

Coworkers Sarah Onlor and Janel Hull say they volunteered because they’re both interested in environmental issues.

At that site, more than 30 volunteers spent the morning installing about 650 plants.

Find out more about the Johnson Creek Watershed Council, including activities that have been canceled due to novel COVID-19 coronavirus concerns by visiting their website: CLICK HERE.

Carrying in another flat of plants is volunteer Svetlana Hedin, whose “day job” is working with the City of Portland Bureau of Environmental Services.

© 2020 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™

 

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