Johnson Creek benefits from annual tidying

See where a large contingent of outer East Portland volunteers helped out – in the Lents neighborhood …

It’s hard to see the volunteers for the trees near the Foster Road Floodplain, as they help out during the Johnson Creek Watershed Council “Watershed Wide Event”.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

Along Johnson Creek, at sites from east of Gresham all the way to the Willamette River, more than 450 volunteers donned their work clothes and boots on Saturday morning, March 3, and headed out to participate at one of the ten locations for the Johnson Creek Watershed Council’s (JCWC) 20th Annual “Watershed Wide Event”.

Having finished planting at this site, Donald Bennett uproots invasive plant species.

One of those sites in outer East Portland was on the “Freeway Land” property, located just west of the Foster Road Floodplain Area.

Some 60 volunteers trekked into the area, once the site of a massive transient camp, to continue the restoration work along Johnson Creek.

After the cadre of volunteers finished planting 1,700 native species on the creek bank, they started pulling out invasive plants, and also removed a remarkable amount of rubbish from the site.

Several parents brought their kids, explaining that they were teaching them to love the outdoors and volunteer.

“We sure appreciate corporate teams, like the volunteers from companies such as Lyft drivers, and AFSCME, helping out; it’s a good bonding experience for them, and we really appreciate the work they do,” said JCWC Executive Director Daniel Newberry.

JCWC Executive Director Daniel Newberry spends a moment with Roy Iwai, Multnomah County Water Program.

“Seeing so many folks giving of their time really speaks to how people want to do something, with their own hands, to really help improve the environment,” remarked Newberry, who mentioned that he’d visited several of the cleanup sites that morning.

“Planting trees and bushes along the creek is vitally important, because it helps ease one of the worst water quality problems here: High stream temperature,” Newberry told East Portland News.

This group of volunteers finds and removes a lot of rubbish dumped at the Freeway Land site, near Johnson Creek.

Johnson Creek is the only tributary to the Willamette River in the Portland area that still supports threatened Coho and Chinook salmon species, pointed out Newberry. “Thanks to the work of volunteers over the past two decades, Johnson Creek is ‘alive’ and full of incredibly diverse wildlife which we aim to protect and encourage!”

© 2018 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™

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