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Opportunities abound in April for work parties, recycling -



Sunshine, rain, wind and mud — welcome to restoration season.

Three different organizations recently put out the call and volunteers came to remove invasives and plant native species, no matter the weather. And this was just the beginning; April is Earth Month so there is time to plan ahead to join more volunteers who are interested in restoration work parties.

PHOTOS BY ELLEN SPITALERI - Jayden Brown, 16, and Tricia Sears, coordinator for NCUWC, get ready to plant a native rose at Three-Creeks on March 7.The North Clackamas Parks and Recreation District and North Clackamas Urban Watersheds Council partnered to host a planting event at Three-Creeks Natural Area on March 7.

Zev Levine, natural area program coordinator for NCPRD, and Tricia Sears, NCUWC’s coordinator, welcomed volunteers near the North Clackamas Aquatic Center. Levine then demonstrated bare-root planting and the proper way to use tools, before he and Sears led the group down into Three-Creeks to plant snowberries, roses and Oregon grape.

Carol Williams, one of the volunteers, said she uses the trails at Three-Creeks and wants to take care of them.

PHOTO BY ELLEN SPITALERI - Airbnb employee Elizabeth Robinson plants native species at a work party on March 7 at Three-Creeks Natural Area in Milwaukie.Elizabeth Robinson, another volunteer who is an Airbnb employee in Portland, said she attended the event “to be a part of the community. It feels good to get out and do something to help make the wild areas more sustainable.”

Tideman-Johnson Natural Area

On the same day, a group of volunteers came together at the Tideman-Johnson Natural Area, a city park of about seven acres, located at Southeast 37th Avenue and Tenino Street along Johnson Creek.

This work party was the product of another partnership representing the Johnson Creek Watershed Council, the Friends of Tideman-Johnson and the city of Portland.

Volunteers planted 1,000 plants along the banks of the creek, including native roses, snowberries, blue elderberry and Oregon ash.

Sarabel Eisenfeld, a Portland resident, said she loves “living somewhere that is just a short bike ride from a place that is so diverse and beautiful. And I like to see the efforts of so many people who are interested in planting parties, too.”

Happy Valley area

Braving the rain and mud on Saturday, March 14, about 100 volunteers boarded buses at Happy Valley City Hall and journeyed to Pendarvis Farms to take part in the fourth annual Watershed Wide Event. It was put on by the Rock Creek Partnership, a partnership between SOLVE, Friends of Trees and the Clackamas River Basin Council, sponsored by Water Environment Services of Clackamas County.

From Pendarvis Farm, volunteers were bused to three different streamside sites to plant native trees and shrubs to help improve the water quality in the Rock Creek basin.

One of the three sites was located on Southeast Troge Road in Happy Valley, and there volunteers of all ages, including children, planted 300 trees and shrubs, staked biodegradable coffee bags around the plants to protect them from weeds, and finally heaped compost over the plants.

Two 13-year-old twins, Jake and Ben Harvey, worked at the site; they both attend Rock Creek Middle School in Happy Valley.

They were at the event with their mother, Julie, scoutmaster, Dean Delcollo, and assistant scoutmaster, Mike Grimm, representing Boy Scout Troop 611.

Jake said he liked the fresh air and also liked doing something for the community. His brother added that it was good for young people to start volunteering, “because if you start young, you’ll keep doing this when you are older and the nonprofits can grow.”

Earth Month

Two of many Earth Month events will take place in Milwaukie; the first is April 11 and the second is on April 25.

From 9 a.m. to noon on April 11, the Oak Lodge Sanitary District will host a tree-planting event at William J. Wild Park, which is adjacent to the new Water Reclamation Facility on Bluff Road in Oak Grove. Since the reclamation facility is next to Rivervilla Park, NCPRD will be supporting the event, as well as the Oak Grove Community Council and the NCUWC, noted Terry Gibson, past president of the sanitary district and the current president of North Clackamas Urban Watersheds Council.

PHOTOS BY ELLEN SPITALERI - From left, volunteer Travis Stoll, JCWC board member Bob Sanders and Russ Stoll, restoration captain for Friends of Tideman-Johnson, gather tools after the March 7 planting event.The NCUWC, in collaboration with EG Metals Inc., the city of Milwaukie and Oak Lodge Sanitary District, will host a recycling collection event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on April 25 at the Milwaukie Elks Lodge, 13121 S.E. McLoughlin Blvd.

Items that can be recycled include old computers, cell phones, electronics and Christmas lights.

Gibson noted that money raised at the event will be dedicated for the start of a fund for the removal of the Kellogg Creek Dam.

Many other environmental events will be taking place in the county during March and April; visit the SOLVE website at solveoregon.org for a complete list of Earth Day activities. Visit ncuwc.org for a list of events hosted by the North Clackamas Urban Watersheds Council.

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