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The cleanup day is an annual event, the whole length of the creek - it really drew a crowd this year

DAVID F. ASHTON - At Westmoreland Union Manor, neighbor Melissa Federspiel has help from Eli and Laurel in uprooting invasive plants from the bank of Crystal Springs Creek. Adults and kids headed out for a Saturday morning of community service with the Johnson Creek Watershed Council (JCWC), as the 21st Annual Watershed Wide Event got underway on March 2.

Clear skies and bright sunshine brought out a total of 410 volunteers to ten locations from Gresham to near the Willamette River; they planted a staggering 5,000 native trees and shrubs.

Two of the larger restoration groups in Inner Southeast Portland focused on Crystal Springs Creek as well as Johnson Creek that morning.

At Westmoreland Union Manor, about 50 turned out to plant new growth, while others pulled up invasive species from the grounds, even some of Manor's residents pitched in.

And, at Tideman-Johnson Park, in the Ardenwald-Johnson Creek neighborhood, a block south of Eastmoreland, about 45 people came to help.

DAVID F. ASHTON - In Tideman Johnson Park, Addy, Vivi, and their dad Thatch Moyle say they came from their home in the Woodstock neighborhood to help out. "We've a great group of volunteers to plant natives in the wetland near the creek," said Marianne Colgrove with "Friends of Tideman Johnson".

"This JCWC event is kind of special for us, in that this month, our Friends group celebrates its 12th anniversary," Colgrove confided to THE BEE.

"Partnering with the JCWC on projects such as the 'Watershed Wide Event' is really important to us at Portland Parks & Recreation, because it involves so many people in the community," remarked the Bureau's Stewardship Manager for the Johnson Creek Watershed, Susan Hawes, as she helped out at one of the sites. "For our Bureau, it's all about getting people engaged in, and connected with, their local parks and natural areas."

"It's beautiful to see people gathering together to care for the creek and each other during our events all year long, smiled JCWC Volunteer Coordinator Courtney Bektel, coming back from a worksite.

Wrapping up his participation in his fourth Watershed Wide Event, JCWC Executive Director Daniel Newberry chimed in, "And we've seen an increase in the number of corporate, government, and nonprofit teams coming out to help over the past few years.

"Improving the health of local streams and natural areas is a great way to do something positive for the community and the earth; and doing it together is a great way to deepen existing friendships, and build new ones," Newberry reflected.

Find out how you can get involved with the Johnson Creek Watershed Council by visiting their website – www.jcwc.org


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