Twenty of the 23 participants in last Saturday’s work party were students from a University of Washington Environmental Studies class. I loved the opportunity to share this project with young people and appreciated what enthusiastic workers they were.
I set up five different work stations, and assigned four students to each of them. One group finished their work early so they joined another group for the remainder of the time.
Most of the work party was spent cutting down blackberry and ivy vines, and digging out blackberry root balls. Once the root balls were removed, we cover the cleared land with burlap bags to reduce weed growth. Then dried blackberry canes and other debris were placed on top of the burlap. In time, the bags and debris will turn into mulch which will hold in moisture and enrich the soil.
Since we use the blackberry canes to cover the burlap bags, it can be difficult for photographs to show how much work has been done. As you look at the before and after photos below, keep in mind that so many blackberry root balls are now above ground, stacked on racks made from tree branches where they will dry out.
Before and after photos for each of the five stations:
The amount of trash that we collected during the last two work parties shocks me. I wonder it will ever come to an end.
As always, I was amazed and delighted by how much we were able to accomplish during a three hour work party.