Unforeseen wildfires cancelled what was originally slated as an orientation event for a new crop of AmeriCorps members recruited by Confluence Environmental Center. In mid-October, after the skies had cleared, members and staff gathered in masks to restore the creek and survey previous restoration efforts. Riparian Project Manager Noah Jenkins facilitated a survey of the previous year’s plantings. Members teamed up in twos, identifying species by their colored flags, and determined which shrubs and trees survived the droughty summer. Big leaf Maple was the hardest-hit species, with very low rates of survival. Species with higher rates of survival include: snowberry, English Hawthorne and Red Osier Dogwood! Following the survey, members and staff distributed a massive pile of mulch onto compacted soil in an effort to increase soil quality
After weeks of planning, searing wildfires, and a cancelled event, this day lived up to expectations for both the Council and Confluence Environmental Center. It’s always great to see bright faces and vibrant energy on a Saturday morning. Getting outside and moving while swinging tools always feels really good with a great cohort. Many second-term members present at this event did similar work at Mitchell Creek last year. For them, this effort was a great marker of the passage of time professionally, socially, and of course, ecologically. Just this past week at Mitchell Creek, a Wisdom of the Elders crew planted Wapato and Hazelnut in areas where Maple did not survive. The road to restoration is ongoing, but the Mitchell Creek site is starting to look really good, thanks in a large part to our partner organizations and volunteers.