Monday, October 31, 2011

Session 5 - Alien Plants in Portland

Today the students learned about ‘alien’ plants in Portland and how these plants can lead to monocultures in our woods and erosion problems. The four invasive plants we focused on were Himalayan Blackberry, English Ivy, Herb Robert/‘Stinky Bob’, and Garlic Mustard. The students had some great questions about how to get rid of these plants and were excited to hear that there are ‘ivy pull parties’ at Tryon Creek (the next Stewardship Saturday Ivy Pull is November 12th from 9am-12pm).

The students also played the erosion game ‘Just Passing Through’ where each team got to be raindrops, plants, or stones on the slope near the school. The raindrops had to work hard to race down stream with out getting tagged by a plant. They even had a chance to play the pollution game (the raindrops tried to pick up chips that represented chemical or natural stream pollutants and ‘deliver’ them to the river with out being tagged by a plant) before we were hit with real raindrops!

This last Saturday we had a wonderful tour and hike at Hopkins Demonstration Forest. The students were able to help measure trees, count pine needles on different types of conifers, and hand drill a hole into a tall fir to tell the age and how fast it was growing.

Photos from Hopkins Demonstration Forest and Tryon Creek Hike

If you are interested in learning more about sustainable forestry, they offer Community Forestry Days on the 2nd Saturday of each month where you can be part of the action in the forest.

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