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Volunteers needed for Watershed Wide work party

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The Johnson Creek Watershed Council and its partners invite the community to participate from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, March 4

The Johnson Creek Watershed Council and its partners invite the community to participate in the Watershed Wide event from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, March 4, taking place at 10 sites in Clackamas County, Southeast Portland and Gresham.

PHOTO BY ELLEN SPITALERI - Pictured above are, left to right, Travis Stoll, Bob Sanders and Russ Stoll. The three men were part of a large watershed workparty at Tideman-Johnson Park in 2015."Our volunteers will have an amazing time helping us plant native trees and shrubs to provide a healthier [environment] for our sensitive animals, fish and the ecosystem. We will also focus on mulching, weeding and removal of invasive species," said Mika Barrett, communications intern with the Johnson Creek Watershed Council.

The group also will have fun connecting with others in the community and celebrating afterward with a free pizza party.

"Our community will have the opportunity to give back and positively influence the health of our watershed. This watershed is home to several sensitive animal species, and planting native trees and shrubs provides canopy coverage and, therefore, cools the water for our fish," Barrett said.

"Invasive species removal and pollution cleanup will also help the general health of our watershed by providing an opportunity for this environment to thrive," she said.

One positive sign that a native animal species is making a comeback is that "we have found Pacific lamprey below Badger Culvert," said Courtney Beckel, JCWC's volunteer coordinator.

She added that the old culvert was a fish passage barrier and "after replacement of the culvert this past year and after the restoration event on March 4, we hope to see lamprey in the higher reaches of the watershed."

Work that day also will "help rejuvenate the parks so they can be safely enjoyed by children, families and individuals of our community," Barrett said.

She advises volunteers to dress appropriately for the weather, wear sturdy shoes, and bring a water bottle. Volunteers will be provided with planting tools, snacks and drinks.

This kind of event is immediately rewarding, Barrett said, because "in addition to being able to physically see the impact our volunteers have created, through the newly planted trees or clean habitat, this is also a wonderful opportunity to meet others in this community and learn new skills."

She added, "We appreciate our volunteers' valuable time and look forward to kicking off our largest watershed event of the year with them."

Work the watershed

What: Watershed Wide

When: 9 a.m.-noon Saturday, March 4; pizza parties take place at two locations from 12:30-1:30 p.m.

More: Visit jcwc.org or call 503-652-7477.

Register: Visit jcwc.org/events/wwe to register for the event and see a map of all 10 sites. Registrants will receive exact addresses and driving directions to each site.

Sites: Southeast Portland and Clackamas County sites include Errol Heights at the corner of Southeast 45th Avenue and Harney Street, near the Franz Bakery Outlet store; Westmoreland Park, at the corner of Southeast Bybee Boulevard and Southeast 22nd Avenue in Portland; Tideman Johnson Park, at the corner of Southeast 37th Avenue and the Springwater Trail; and Springwater Trail at Linwood Avenue, near Mill Park in Milwaukie. Sites in outer Portland and Damascus include Badger Culvert, near the intersection of Southeast 267th and Southeast Rugg Road in Damascus; and Freeway Land, at Southeast 103rd and Foster Road, in Portland. Sites in Gresham include Jenne Creek Headwaters, off Southwest Border Way; Clatsop Butte, Southeast 156th and Evergreen; Chastain Creek, 1511 S.W. 10th Court; and Springwater Woods, 2123 S.E. Hogan Road.