Student volunteers bring ferns home to Canemah Bluff Natural Area
Planting project assists with Metro’s broader restoration goals at the natural area
About 40 high school students from Oregon City Service Learning Academy helped stage a homecoming this month at Metro’s Canemah Bluff Natural Area – but not the kind you’re thinking of. The student volunteers replanted 150 native sword ferns that were temporarily removed from the natural area last year during restoration and stored in pots until they could be returned.
Students planted and mulched the reclaimed ferns along a newly constructed maintenance road at Canemah Bluff, which overlooks the Willamette River south of Oregon City. Last fall, Metro created the road and strategically removed Douglas fir trees that competed with the site’s Oregon white oaks. Oaks, which have declined dramatically throughout the Willamette Valley, provide valuable wildlife habitat. The work is part of a broader plan to improve habitat, trails and visitor amenities at Canemah Bluff – one of the signature sites protected by the region’s two voter-approved natural areas bond measures.
Service Learning Academy students have done several other projects at Canemah Bluff, including planting native flowers at the gateway, mulching planting beds and removing invasive plants along trails. Students at the public charter school earn credit by doing hands-on projects in the community.