So, another Canyon Day has come and gone – but not without leaving a pretty big impact on the Canyon. Here’s a recap of what we did:
This spring, we decided to focus our efforts in the area just south of the Grove (“New”) Dorms, in a bit of property sandwiched between the path to the RCAs, the Farm, and the stream. While small in area, there were many invasives, particularly the tedious-to-remove English Ivy, and few native plants to take their place. Additionally, the trails had fallen into disrepair with the winter rains turning them into mud troughs. Due to the cold and rainy weather, many of us opted for some steaming hot coffee and bagels to start our day off while Zac explained some basics:
Our first major task of the day was to repair the trails enough that they would be able to take the high traffic that would come with Canyon Day. First, we had to clear out the mud in the stairs to revert the path to its original grade.
Then, we had to bring in heaps of gravel (for the sloshiest of areas) and barkchips (for the rest of the paths) to resurface the trails:
Once this task was accomplished, we could turn our focus to the biggest task of the day – removing the English Ivy. Going at it as a front seemed to be the favored strategy:
After we pulled the Ivy, we also had to truck it out lest it reroot in the Canyon. Wheelbarrows returning from dropping off loads of barkchips were used to remove them:
Some people just worked by hand, though:
…or by stick:
After we had enough English Ivy removed from any given location, we could then begin moving in native plants to replace them:
During all this, we had a constant supply of food, provided by a number of student organizations – the Ladies Pie Society, Cookies For All, CAVE (Carniverous Alternatives to Vegetarian Eating), and more. Greenboard also created a selection of excellent Canyon Day tshirts for volunteers:
The Dapper Cadavers provided some wonderful background music for workers as well:
At Canyon Day, we had a huge variety of people come and volunteer, including but not limited to staff, seniors, students and the very very small:
Not everyone was working all the time, though – sometimes people just needed a break:
…and sometimes, we just needed a newt:
So – what did all this accomplish? Here’s some before and after pictures. The full repercussions of having removed the English Ivy won’t be felt for another few years after the natives we have planted have grown in, but it already looks a lot better. Thank you everyone for volunteering your time!
Questions, comments, concerns? Either leave a comment here or on our Facebook page, or email Zac at zperry AT reed DOT edu.