Ivy-fighters terrorize non-native weeds at Glendoveer Woods

Discover why these students joined the “No Ivy League”‚ and learn how neighbors work to make this hidden park a natural sanctuary‚

Portland Christian School students Adan Rodriguez, East Portland parks advocate Linda Robinson, Shelby Remington, Kenda Whener, Austin Swift, Sterling Anderson, Edgar Rodriguez, Ashley Runyan, teacher Kena Jacobs, Nathan Harris and Matt Joslen‚ after they attacked ivy at Glendoveer Woods.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Nowhere in Glendoveer Woods was a safe place for ivy plants to hide on May 5, as a troupe of youngsters from local schools hunted the invasive plants down and ripped ’em out by their roots.

“It was great,” said East Portland parks advocate Linda Robinson. “We had 25 volunteers at our ‘No Ivy Day’ event at Glendoveer Woods from 9 am until noon.”

Many of the students were from Portland Christian School. “We heard about it from your web site,” said the kids’ teacher, Kena Jacobs.

“Each fall, I present a unit for our seventh graders on noxious weeds. We decided to go out and ‘fight ivy’. I talked with the superintendent about it. He said it, fine, go ahead,” Jacobs told us.

But soon, the storms of winter arrived. Because of the bad weather, Jacobs said they put the project off until the spring.

“Not long ago, one of my students suggested we remove some ivy. A friend sent me a link to the East Portland News Service, about this event here today,” Jacobs added.

Why Ivy is targeted
“Ivy wipes out the diversity of plants in green places and wooded areas by smothering them with a viney mat,” Robinson explained. “This destroys native plans that provide food and shelter for desirable wildlife.”

Ivy vines are “girdled” and stripped all the way around the tree’s lower trunk then pulled from a six foot circle around the tree, Robinson said. This technique, known as “the lifesaver”, kills ivy in the upper reaches of the tree and thwarts ivy’s re-growth up the tree.

Goldann Salazar, Niki Gainer, Sam Jones and Dani Gainer from Madison High School.

Joining these students and the adult neighborhood volunteers were Madison High School students.

“Niki and I had do create a senior project,” said Dani Gainer. “We decided to do it on invasive plant species. This is part of our project‚ and we got a couple of friends to come and help.”

The event was part of “No Ivy Day #5”, a Portland-wide event dedicated to removing invasive plant species and improving natural areas.

© 2007 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News Service

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