On Friday, youth crews and volunteers working with Wilderness International Inc. began removing invasive plant roots and clearing areas in Gladstone’s Cross Park to prepare for replanting native trees and shrubs.

by: PHOTO BY: KATY FULTON - Wilderness International organizes at-risk youth work crews on Dec. 6 in Gladstone as part of the organization's mission to provide them with positive mentors and the chance to succeed. This restoration was required as part of the Lake Oswego Tigard Water Partnership’s (LOTWP) tree removal at the River Intake Pump Station site on the Clackamas River 1,500 feet south of Cross Park. Due to site steep vertical slopes and erosion concerns and the pump station, off-site restoration work at Cross Park was recommended.

Project spokeswoman Katy Fulton said on Dec. 6 that LOTWP hired Wilderness International because it’s a nonprofit conservation group that has previously worked extensively in Gladstone’s Meldrum Bar Park and throughout much of Clackamas County.

“They have a great reputation, are recommended by the city of Gladstone, are community-focused and the work offers youth an opportunity to gain essential job experience and great skills,” Fulton said.

Wilderness International will have a small crew periodically clearing over the next month, in preparation for volunteer days planned in the future for the seasonal planting. Plantings will occur in late winter/early spring 2014, and then again in the fall.

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