2015 – AmeriCorps NCCC Serves JCWC

IMG_1734Below is a series of journal entries written by members of Blue 3 about their experiences serving the Johnson Creek Watershed. Questions? Contact amy@jcwc.org.


10933824_10153496486380995_310141052985959454_n1/24—Blue 3, an Americontinuing National Cirps (NCCC) team of nine, will serve with the Johnson Creek Watershed Council on restoration activities in the Johnson Creek Watershed. Tasks will include invasive species removal such as Blackberry and English Iv, and replanting thousands of native plants. The team will be looking forward to supporting some volunteer events set up by organizations asmy well. Blue 3 will be presenting and helping JCWC on MLK Day: Volunteer RestUnoration event and will also serve with a partnering agency, Camp Fire Columbia – Camp Namanu. Here the team will work on camp infrastructure and trail work.

Throughout the ten weeks, Blue 3 will accomplish managing storm water runoff by removing ivy and blackberry at the restoration sites. They will be installing a diversity of native plants that will provide habitat and food for birds, insects, and fish. Tree planting will help create a shade canopy for the area resulting in cooling of the stream for salmon and other wildlife to survive. As for camp improvement tasks, their accomplishments will enhance the organization’s sustainability by allowing for higher quality and more facilities to be offered to the public that utilize the camp space and for trails to be easily accessible.

Upon arrival, JCWC provided an orientation to the NCCC members about significant details and project objectives. From there they were able to establish personal observations about the project and organization. Those included the interest in learning more about the biology of a watershed habitat and to have a better understanding of identifying different native and invasive plants. They feel it will be helpful to know how the council, a non-profit organization provides necessary aid to the watershed habitat and how they support the wildlife nature in an urban city as well. All of which the council members and other supporting organizations they reach out too, are willing to share and answer any questions NCCC may have during their time working with JCWC. Therefore, the Americorps NCCC team is eager to have this privilege of working with the JCWC.


 1/27-Hello, my name is Emily and I am one of the team members on Blue 3. I was born and raised in Iowa and a recent graduate of Loras College. It has been such a surreal experience traveling around the west coast for AmeriCorps NCCC, especially here in Oregon. The environment here is something I would have never encountered back in the Midwest, so I am extremely excited to work with JCWC and dig deeper in it. Literally, by digging and pulling up invasive species around Johnson Creek. It is amazing how much wildlife is surrounded by this urban creek. Last week, our team was doing invasive species removal around SE Foster Place and saw deer and heard the cawing of birds just to name a few. Yet, the best thing about that area was seeing little kids from the neighborhood sprint down by where we were working, with gardening gloves and the widest smiles on their faces ready to pull some ivy. The eagerness and positive spirits that the children exhibited for their precious environment made the work that more meaningful and truly motivated Blue 3. We are not just removing invasive species, it is much more than that; we are helping the Johnson Creek ecosystem for generations to come.



11021194_802413546490421_7707354954515422347_n AmeriCorps and the Johnson Creek Watershed Council will like you to join us in our community day of service. You’re probably wondering what community day is; this day is where AmeriCorps runs the event along side with our sponsor JCWC and we are asking you, the community of Oregon, to get involved with us. We are hosting two days one on March 10th removing invasive plants and the other will be held on March 13th where we will also be removing invasive species. Both days start at 9:30 am with an introduction and go until 12 pm. Please contact the lead corps member, Colin Richardson at colinrichardson191@aol.com (preferred contact) or by cell (201) 937-8598, if urgent. We are looking forward to seeing you there.

JCWC will supply the tools and materials necessary to get things done!

The addresses for both days are:

March 10th: Will be held at the Johnson Creek Watershed Council headquarters  1900 Southeast Milport Road in Milwaukie

March 13th: Pleasant Valley Grange: 17115 Southeast Foster Road





11017079_10153570567535995_8129425194926879021_nOver the past week working with JCWC the AmeriCorps team has taken a break from invasive species removal and revisited those sites to begin planting native plants. The team spent two days planting 5,000 bare root plants along a tributary to the creek in a private homeowners backyard. They worked alongside a contractor who shared important planting techniques as well as key locations for each species. Some plants included Snowberries, Dogwood, Elderberry, Salmonberry and Indian Plum, and trees like Vine Maple, Willow, Doug-fir, Cedar, Alder and Big-leaf Maple. However, the two most favored plants were Sword Fern and Oregon Grape, which did not just look like a small twig. They visited other sites during the week mostly big, wide-open backyards with beautiful views of the country land, as well as the creek and planted 500-1200 plants in each. While planting, their supervisor, and devoted JCWC colleague, Noah Jenkins, shares his knowledge and passion about each plant. This allows the team to have a better understanding of the importance and how they are making a difference by strategically planting each one.



This week working with JCWC Blue 3 has helped out with setting up for the Watershed Wide Event thats happening this Saturday. For the rest of their time they been going to various sites to continue their planting that has been going really well because of their hard dedication and the time they put out there towards the task they are given. 700 plants were spread out between 4 different sites that they worked in during the week. At one of the work sites the team got a chance to see a group of young deer walking by, there were 3 females and one male among them which was a rare siting and a pretty cool thing to see.  This week has been great and better because of the beautiful weather. Lucky them!


10403567_10153593347215995_1356178842450596086_nThe NCCC crew worked alongside community members who dedicated their saturday morning to help clean up a private landowners portion of the watershed on Lavender street in Boring. The weather remained gorgeous and cooperative for the work that needed to be done. Including Johnson Creek’s regular volunteer members and the NCCC team, 12 other determined individuals had to clear and pile of old dumping composte prior to planting. Over the course of doing so they came across many native salamanders, a red-legged frog, and a nest of baby moles. They were also gifted with the presence of the landowner, Donna Storita’s very happy energetic pitbull named Angel who definitely put a smile on the NCCC teams face! Although they were sad to say goodbye to Angel, they left the site with 100-200 native bare-root species planted, and a hungry stomach,in which they took care of at Wall Street Pizza with the other 100+ volunteers.



10461431_10153593347065995_5751721784859751545_n         Wrapping up the last full week with JCWC the AmeriCorps team works diligently removing poison hemlock down the street from the office. It was more of a quieter week then the rest, doing last minute site clean-ups and helping in the office as much as possible, making phone calls and contributing to a cleaner space overall. They were also treated with a little birthday cake celebration from their supervisors Danielle and Noah considering six members on the team and Danielle had a Birthday within this project round. While removing more invasive species, natural animals along the creek were sited within the area. A ton of geese and other native birds of course, as well as peaceful ducks, resting alongside of them while they work and enjoy the sun!




20723_10153595206640995_2792136737425706806_n 1526250_10153595208285995_6173181777290180229_n 1623710_10153595208480995_2777046901706524545_n 10636048_10153595207785995_5793132305739975781_n 11012999_10153595207840995_9055415029127593277_nShown here are participants who worked at Pleasant Valley Grange during AmeriCorps Community Day. This event was set up by JCWCs AmeriCorps NCCC team to reach out to the community they have been working with. Volunteers helped dig up Blackberry and plant trees such as Vine Maple in its place. They were able to site some native garden snakes as well as interact with those curious drivers passing by. Blue 3 would like to thank those who came out and supported this event and the Johnson Creek!11063939_10153595208040995_7264543151844698060_n 11070828_10153595207570995_911027519012673023_n11050732_10153595209315995_5376454132901633063_n 11071467_10153595207680995_8752742181133186588_n



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10390423_10153605425715995_3589688905851676546_nClosing out their journey with JCWC, on the last day at the office, Blue 3 strolled along a portion of the Springwater Trail. Council members offered to lend their bikes to the team to ride over the creek and check out where they have planted through a civilian’s point of view. As they enjoyed the beautiful weather they reminisce their hard work at each site as the warm wind blows their faces, riding and walking along the trail. They passed two work sites, one in which was filled with colorful marking flags for each plant and the other down below the trail where they also pulled mass amounts of ivy during the MLK day event. They are so proud of their accomplishments and thankful for working alongside such great people who have shared their individual knowledge and skills. For that the caring community will always be remembered, but most importantly, the Salmon!

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