ST. ALBANS — Second and third graders from St. Albans City School joined environmental students from the Community College of Vermont (CCV) to plant trees along Stevens Brook in Houghton Park.
Joshua Lareau, a CCV student and father of one of the city school students, brought the two groups together to plant 100 black willows, red osier dogwoods and choke cherry trees along the bank.
The purpose of the planting is to stabilize the bank and prevent erosion. Funding for the trees and shrubs came from an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) grant to CCV, explained instructor Trevien Stanger.
“If we want kids to grow into stewards of land and water, give them a positive experience contributing to the landscape, then we’ll be successful,” said Stanger.
Tom Koldys, chair of the city’s parks commission, said the city will also be planting an additional 12 trees in the park. “Our primary goal is to hold the bank,” he said.
A large section of Stevens Brook is listed as impaired primarily because of sediment in the stream from erosion of the bank, which is hindering the brook’s ability to support plant and animal life. The sediment also contains nutrients that feed the blue-green algae blooms in St. Albans Bay.
The other goal is to add to the beauty of the park. “It’s going to look really good down here in a few years,” said Koldys.
Last year, the city removed several cottonwood trees from along the bank, which were rotting inside.
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