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NWP Global Registry of Apprentice Ecologists - Forest Park, Portland, Oregon, USA

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Forest Park, Portland, Oregon, USA
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Registered: November 2016
City/Town/Province: Hillsboro
Posts: 1
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I didn’t realize the amazing benefits from volunteering until I was 16 years old and teaching 6th graders about outdoor education at a camp. By spending a week of my time during the school year I found a great passion for teaching and an even deeper passion for the natural wonderland that is the state of Oregon. That experience ignited the many service projects I would continue throughout my high school career.
My senior year of high school I took an AP Environmental Science class and it opened my eyes to all the amazing things this world can do and some of the not-so-amazing things that have happened to the planet. My end of the year project was spent with a small group of classmates in the 5,000-acre Forest Park right outside of Portland, OR. I spent many days there exploring all the trails but I could not help but notice the concerning amount of English Ivy consuming these great evergreen and deciduous trees. English Ivy is a non-native plant species of Oregon that can grow up just about anything from concrete walls to the tops of trees. Given the opportunity, the ivy will encircle tree trunks and work its way up the tree. The ivy’s goal is to cover the tree and deprive it of sunlight; one of the key ingredients of photosynthesis. Without intervention, the tree will die and the ivy will flourish.
In the span of two weeks, I spend around 10 hours removing ivy from the trees all around Forest Park. I found the time I spent out there extremely rewarding because I was physically untangling the ivy from the native plants and giving them second chance to live. An interesting fact about ivy that I learned is the stems will start to embed themselves into the tree and break down the protective bark surrounding the tree. It was also jaw dropping to see an old stem of ivy the size of my arm grasping onto a tree for dear life. After realizing the harmful effects of ivy in my home state of Oregon, I can’t help but see some everywhere I go. Now, whenever I go on a hike I keep a pair of loppers in my backpack just in case I see a tree that needs to be freed.
Date: November 4, 2016 Views: 3883 File size: 17.5kb, 146.8kb : 398 x 708
Hours Volunteered: 50
Volunteers: 5
Authors Age & Age Range of Volunteers: 18 & 17 to 18
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