Scouting for invasives
With City Councilor John Wendland acting as "Chief Clematis Vine Wrangler" and the girls of Scout Pack 203 rolling up their sleeves, volunteers made great strides last week in cleaning up and restoring the Lily Bay Natural Area in Lake Oswego.
Together, they pulled carpets of ivy, untangled trees from miles of clematis vines, freed native species from smothering blackberry and ivy and picked up litter. They also planted 30 native sword ferns.
"A huge shout-out goes to the energetic and hardworking Scouts from Pack 203," said Babs Hamachek, who coordinates stewardship work parties for the City. "There was no stopping the girl power as they rolled up their sleeves to dig deep holes in the challenging terrain to plant native sword ferns."
The Jan. 26 gathering was just the latest in a series of work parties conducted throughout the year by the nine active Friends groups in Lake Oswego and the City's Parks & Recreation Department. Together, they maintain more than 460 acres of natural areas that provide important habitat for plants and animals and contribute to the health of the watershed.
The Friends of Lily Bay is one of those groups. It was founded in 2015 by Melissa Messner and Mary Jo Day, who worked for months with the Parks Department to create a five-year plan on habitat restoration.
"Melissa and Bill Messner led work parties over the past years to remove invasive species and pick up litter," Hamachek said. "Viola! After years of hard work, it was finally time to plant native species in the cleared areas!"
More than 30 volunteers attended Lily Bay's first planting party, including Wendland and the Scouts. Hamachek and Park Ranger Ben LaBounty were on hand to pass out tools and help with the restoration efforts, and LaBounty also captivated the young volunteers with facts and folklore about native species.
Parks staffers Eric Hirschberger and Kyle Bateman scouted the natural area for the best planting sites and then delivered the native sword ferns to waiting volunteers. Hamachek called the results "monumental" — and then made a pitch for more volunteers to join future efforts.
"The work parties last two short hours and the tools, gloves and a KIND bar are provided," she said. "Bring a friend, get outside in the fresh air, meet new people and give back to Mother Nature!"
Stewardship work parties are listed online at www.lo-stewardship.org. Among the upcoming events: a gathering from 1-3 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 10, in the Cornell Natural Area (1185 Cornell St.); and a "dig-in" from 9-11 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 16, in Springbrook Park (behind Uplands Elementary School at 2055 Wembley Park Road).
— The Review
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