Written by Sara Volk
No Ivy League’s 19th annual No Ivy Day was a success at the Johnson Creek Watershed Council site, Foster Floodplain Natural Area, thanks to the help of 39 volunteers and co-host Portland Parks & Recreation.
The rain held off for us to clear ivy from 10,000 sq ft with 1,000 sq ft being thick ivy. In addition to removing ivy, we collected 3 cubic ft of trash and crossed friendly paths with ducks and a salamander. Our site was one of 13 sites collaborating with 270 volunteers to remove a total of 38,000 sq ft of ivy, save 25 trees, plant 550 plants, and remove 6 cubic feet of trash.
English Ivy (Hedera helix, Hedera hibernica) is not native to the PNW and outcompetes most native vegetation. This creates a monoculture that not only supports less animal species, but their shallow roots are less effective at reducing soil erosion. When ivy grows in forested areas, the weight at the top of the trees often topples them. This creates openings in the canopy that allows more sunlight to enter, encouraging growth and seeding of ivy. The removal of ivy increases opportunities for plant and animal diversity in forested areas, promoting healthy watersheds.
Thank you to all of the volunteers who showed up for No Ivy Day!