During a blustery morning of wind and rain, enthusiastic students from Candy Lane Elementary braved the elements in order to help support local pollinators. With planning and financial assistance from Clackamas County Soil and Water Conservation District, the students are active helpers in the construction of a new pollinator hedgerow in their schoolyard.
Candy Lane Elementary is also home to Schoolyard Farms, a non-profit that operates an impressive 1-acre urban farm on the school grounds. Schoolyard Farms provides hands-on garden education for the students and operates a small CSA (community supported agriculture) for local community members. The farm will soon be supplementing the school lunch program with healthy, nutritious produce straight from the garden!
A hedgerow is a line of dense vegetation that provides habitat for wildlife, screens an unwanted view, marks property lines, and can serve as an attractive feature in the landscape. The hedgerow in this particular project will provide food and shelter for pollinators that support the farm crops. The pollinators, ranging from the native mason bee to the playful Rufous hummingbird, will benefit from the diversity of native trees, shrubs, and groundcovers that will provide nectar when the farm crops are not in bloom. The basalt basins in the landscape will serve as sources of temporary water, completing the habitat needs of the pollinators. Eventually, the students hope to build additional habitat shelters, such as mason bee boxes.
Candy Lane students got the project off to a great start by helping prepare the hedgerow garden beds. Despite the soggy conditions, the students happily formed a bucket brigade to move the mountain of compost to the new beds. Our friends Pat, Steve, and Dick from North Clackamas Urban Watersheds Council also provided a big help by moving a few (dozen) loads of compost in the wheelbarrows. Thanks guys! Soon we’ll all be out in the garden again to plant our hedgerow with native Oregon grape, red flowering currant, and cascara!