Habitat Enhancement at 7th St. Bridge Recap

On February 10th, JCWC hosted a Habitat Enhancement event in partnership with the City of Gresham where volunteers planted stakes at the 7th St Bridge site just south of the Springwater Trail.

Mike Wallace and Jesse Seals from the City of Gresham teamed up with Johnson Creek Watershed Council to improve a site that’s been years in the making. In the 1920’s, the creek changed its course with flooding at this site and migrated to its current position. For decades it was overgrown with Himalayan blackberry and a farm house stood at the far south side of the site, which was connected to the main road, Eastman Parkway, by a bridge.

The city of Gresham hired contractors to clear the overgrown blackberry a few years ago and now it contains grasses with hundreds of native plantings from prior work parties. On February 10th, we scouted the edges of the creek and planted willow, Black twinberry, Red-osier dogwood and Pacific ninebark. The City of Gresham is implementing a new way to plant stakes, too. Instead of simply pushing them in soft, often muddy soil, they instructed volunteers to also add a slurry to the stake’s pre-formed hole in the ground. This extra step has been added to stake planting protocol in the hopes of increasing plant survival rates. The creek at this site is deeply incised so while we planted for erosion control, we also planted for shade, cooler temperatures and diversified habitat.

With three Creek Crew Leaders and nine volunteers, we planted 450 stakes. Thanks to the City of Gresham and our volunteers for making this event a success!

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