Who can serve as a sounding board for Friends of Glencoe Swale?
Years ago, the Tualatin River Watershed Council posted signage along Glencoe Swale, now faded, that is of renewed interest to me. At a recent class sponsored by the Tualatin Soil and Water Conservation District, I learned about an Education and Outreach Committee that is co-chaired by both the Conservation District and the Watershed Council.
Jennifer Nelson, Education and Outreach Coordinator for the Tualatin Soil and Water Conservation District, encouraged me to bring the ideas for the “friends of natural area/ environmental stewardship” group to the next meeting. It was exciting to be on the agenda, and to see some of the initial thoughts up for discussion.
1) Opportunities for sharing information on natural areas, i.e., wetland, backyard habitat, natural processes with homeowners near Glencoe HS area. Discuss ideas, needs, possible events/venues.
I couldn’t have hoped for a more thoughtful and encouraging response. The group brainstormed and discussed various ideas regarding education and potential restoration projects. We identified key questions to consider in the organization of a friends group: Why? How to do it? What are the resources/ programs/projects for the friends group to tie in with? e.g. Rain garden installation assistance from Clean Water Services as a model for other property owners on the Swale to consider. Nature-scaping projects like the one at Glencoe High School/ SOLVE Green Team partnership. Pollinator garden guidance from the local Oregon Master Gardeners group.
After the meeting-
April Olbrich, Tualatin River Watershed Council Coordinator, arranged a tour of a riparian zone restoration project on the swale that is currently underway at Glencoe High School. She connected us with Steve Kennett, SOLVE Team Up Program Coordinator, and Nicole Poletto, SOLVE Green Team Program Coordinator.
Glencoe High School is our direct neighbor. Although our wetland property borders Glencoe’s, we had no idea what “the neighbors have been up” to until the meeting with Steve and Nicole. My husband and I were guided along trails where hundred’s of students have assisted with invasive plant removal and the replanting with native vegetation.
We learned how burlap sacks, donated by area coffee distributors, are used to block invasive Reed Canarygrass from growing around new plantings.
And… we had our first Weed Watcher encounter with a high-priority invasive plant: Giant Knotweed.
The Giant Knotweed is in the foreground here:
And here, with Nicole, in the patch, for size appreciation. Look how the Giant Knotweed towers well above her. I couldn’t get over the height of this plant as well as the size of the leaves.
Here, it is also compared with Oregon Ash tree leaves to the right:
Although, SOLVE does not like to use chemicals in restoration work, they will return in the Fall to treat this weed with herbicide… the only way to eradicate this monster plant.
During the tour, the idea for the formation of Friends of Glencoe Swale was mentioned to Steve and Nicole. They were both excited and supportive. Steve would like to attend a future meeting.
Who are the sounding boards?
I’m delighted to have the Tualatin River Watershed Council and Tualatin Soil and Water Conservation District enthusiastically supporting the formation and organization of Friends of Glencoe Swale. The interest expressed by Steve is very appreciated- SOLVE is a well-repected environmental champion in the state of Oregon.