Weeds ‘wacked’ along Springwater Trail

See why these ‘No Ivy League’-inspired volunteers came to outer East Portland to benefit Johnson Creek on a recent fall morning …

Although they live in the Mt. Scott-Arleta neighborhood, Rebecka Rivers and Clifford Rivers say they came to the Powellhurst-Gilbert neighborhood to pull weeds along the Springwater Corridor Trail.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

Across the greater Portland area, groups of volunteers put on their work boots, grabbed their gloves, and headed to various locations on the morning of October 28 to participate in “No Ivy Day”.

This citywide event called “No Ivy Day” was inspired by “The No Ivy League”, which, since 1994, has worked tirelessly to remove invasive English ivy from Portland’s parks.

Along the Springwater Corridor Trail, where it crosses SE 128th Avenue, volunteers on this day came out to help the Johnson Creek Watershed Council (JCWC) with the task on this “No Ivy Day”.

Getting ready to head back out into the wilds are JCWC’s Alexis Barton, and Portland Parks & Recreation Nature East worker Humberto Piedra-Ruiz.

“Our mission is to restore Johnson Creek through sound science and community engagement,” smiled JCWC AmeriCorps member and Outreach and Riparian Specialist Alexis Barton.

“This is a great opportunity for community members to come together and get to experience the natural areas, and especially right along the Springwater Trail – it’s very near the creek, and there are red-legged frogs and Western red-backed salamanders,” Barton told East Portland News.

“By removing invasive species, we’re making way for native plantings, and will be able to get more ‘understory plants’ to thrive, which, in turn, helps amphibians and other small wildlife to thrive,” Barton said.

Clipping down Himalayan blackberry bushes is “esteemed JCWC volunteer” Lloyd Vivola.

Bicyclists whizzing past along the busy trail couldn’t see the ten volunteers who toiled just down the embankment, uprooting English ivy and other invasive species.

“Volunteers are incredibly important to JCWC; about half of our work is accomplished through volunteer power – all working together for a healthier urban ecosystem,” said Barton.

Learn more about the work of Johnson Creek Watershed Council at their official website: CLICK HERE.

© 2017 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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