Students from Mrs. Wommack’s Advanced Biology class at Potlatch High School participated in a service learning field trip on March 19, in order to expand upon their knowledge of stream restoration and riparian zones. With the help of Palouse-Clearwater Environmental Institute (PCEI), students were educated on invasive weeds, stream restoration, and the importance of the riparian zone while completing restoration work along Paradise Creek. Paradise Creek’s primary water quality issues have stemmed from excess sedimentation runoff caused by a lack of riparian vegetation. In order to reduce sedimentation runoff and improve the water quality and aquatic habitat within Paradise Creek, PCEI has implemented a riparian restoration project along the banks of this stream. The service learning field trip aided in this restoration effort.
After an explanation of this restoration project by PCEI staff members, the students broke up into small groups and participated in a variety of projects ranging from invasive weed removal, trash clean-up, and riparian vegetation stability. This service work was completed along the riparian zone of a 2,500 ft. stretch of stream parallel to the University of Idaho’s Student Recreation Center. Along this stretch of stream, the students filled two large bags of trash, removed four species of invasive weeds, and re-stabilized young riparian vegetation.