Volunteer crews dig for wapato plants on Sauvie Island
Members of the Portland-based Wisdom Workforce Development work in Dairy Creek on Sauvie Island to collect native wapato plants on Thursday, Oct. 5, as part of a restoration project on the island. The group is made up of Native American members of the Wisdom of the Elders nonprofit group, who are skilled in working with environmental restoration using a holistic and conventional scienctific approach, according to their website. Members of the group were harvesting the native tuber plants in an area of Dairy Creek that flows between the Columbia River and Sturgeon Lake, where the lake bed itself will be carved out to increase water flow as part of a restoration project being led by the West Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District over the next year. The collected plants will be stored at the Scappoose Bay Watershed nursery over the next year while the carving work is completed. Scott Gall, a rural conservationist with WMSWCD, said the plants will be replanted in the creek and lake bed and used in other restoration projects in the future, while the Wisdom Workforce Development group will also keep some.