Drainage work begins on Clear Creek

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August 11 visit 2

This week, the Washington Conservation Corps (WCC) crew members and local volunteers have begun work on Clear Creek along Pioneer Way, starting at 52nd street near Chief Leschi school. They will be working for approximately 12 days (Mondays-Thursdays) in August, including the weeks of August 8th and 15th. Their work is focusing on reed canarygrass removal to improve the flow and capacity of the creek/drainage ditch. Drainage District 10 Commissioners are coordinating with the crew to plan for longer term maintenance of the creek and are considering multiple options for long term solutions for invasive reed canarygrass.

The Farming in the Floodplain Project is able to provide funding for the WCC work through the Puyallup Floodplain Reconnections grant through the Department of Ecology’s Floodplains by Design program. We are excited to be able to support on-the-ground work towards the ongoing agricultural viability of this area. We continue to seek ways to work collaboratively with other stakeholders and interests to ensure that the importance of the agricultural community is recognized and supported, and welcome input on our work.

Loren Paschich standing near one pile of removed reed canarygrass
Loren Paschich, community volunteer, standing on the trail he cleared. The pile behind him is reed canarygrass the WCC crew cleared from about a 3 x 5 foot section of ditch.

Loren Paschich has been an incredibly valuable leader in these efforts- he has assembled a team of volunteers and cleared an access path through blackberries and thick reed canarygcass along the ditch from Chief Leschi school northwest for over 1/4 mile. The volunteer team has been removing reed canary grass from the ditch from the northwest while the WCC crews work from 52nd street towards Loren’s team. Without Loren’s efforts, this work would take weeks longer and would not be nearly as effective. Please get in touch with him if you would like to help out for a day or two! 

Below are some pictures showing the ongoing work.

Comparison of conditions for Before
This picture was taken looking southwest down the creek and is a visual comparison of the work before clearing reed canarygrass began.
Looking northwest from 52nd two days work
This was taken at the culvert at 52nd, looking northwest. The cleared area took two full days of work.
The perpendicular cleared swath was their test site and represents one days work
The perpendicular cleared swath was the initial WCC test site and represents one day of work- it is approximately 30′ x 5 ‘.
before
Before clearing began.
two WCC crew members removing RCG
Two WCC crew members removing RCG. They estimate the channel is 3-5 feet deep.
Looking southeast
Looking southeast towards the culvert at 52nd. Two crew members removing RCG.
August 11 visit showing how thick the RCG root mass is
Indicates how thick and dense the RCG root mass is. This will be an access point for RCG removal when the crews get to this section.
Cleared by Loren and the volunteer team
Loren and his volunteer team removed reed canarygrass northwest of this section. It is less dense in this section due to shading from the trees along the creek.
Jacob Pedersen from the Executives Office removing RCG
Jacob Pedersen from the Pierce County Executive’s Office tries his hand at reed canarygrass removal.
Jordan Jobe from PCC Farmland Trust tries out the RCG rake
Jordan Jobe from PCC Farmland Trust tries out the reed canarygrass rake.