Several hundred participate in 19th annual event in East County.

OUTLOOK PHOTO - Jesse Seals, a city of Gresham AmeriCorps volunteer, helped guide participants at Springwater Woods.Hundreds volunteered Saturday, March 4, with crews working at 10 sites across Southeast Portland, Gresham and unincorporated Clackamas County to maintain and clean Johnson Creek as part of the 19th-annual Watershed Wide event.

OUTLOOK PHOTO - Many families came out to volunteer during the 19th-annual Watershed Wide event.About 30 volunteers helped at the Springwater Woods location, 2123 S.E. Hogan Rd., as one of three work parties making a difference within Gresham. They planted 15 species of native plants in the wetland near the river, placing a total of 500 plants.

"This is a great site to work because it's not totally wiped out," said Jesse Seals, a city of Gresham AmeriCorps volunteer who helped guide the participants. "This should be one of the last plantings in this stretch of the watershed."

All the participants enjoyed the work, despite the occasional sprinkling of rain. They worked from 9 a.m. to noon, and then enjoyed a celebratory pizza party at Wall Street Pizza, 201 N. Main Ave., that all the Gresham work crews attended.

The work done through the event is based on Johnson Creek's uniqueness and ubiquity as an urban stream that runs 26 miles through four cities and two counties, noted Johnson Creek Watershed Council volunteers. It is one of the last free-flowing streams in Portland, and is the only Willamette River tributary in the region that still supports threatened salmon species.

OUTLOOK PHOTO - About 30 volunteers joined the efforts at the Springwater Woods on Saturday to plant native species along the banks of Johnson Creek.

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