Volunteers plant hundreds of willows, repair fencing at Nevada Beach | SierraSun.com

Volunteers plant hundreds of willows, repair fencing at Nevada Beach

Submitted to the Sun

On the first day of fall, nearly 100 participants gathered to restore crumbling stream banks by planting 800 native willows, protect native species and remove litter from Nevada Beach at Lake Tahoe as part of the League to Save Lake Tahoe's 21st Tahoe Forest Stewardship Days.

"Hands-on restoration work is one of the most important actions we can take to Keep Tahoe Blue," said Marilee Movius, the League's community engagement manager, "and many hands make for lighter work to help out our busy land managers."

The league partnered with the U.S. Forest Service for the third year in a row to address areas in need of attention on Sept. 22, particularly after the busy summer season.

Nevada Beach is one of the most popular beaches at Lake Tahoe where many come to enjoy the lake and surrounding trails and campgrounds that intertwine with Burke Creek and Rabe Meadows.

"Our partnerships with organizations such as the League to Save Lake Tahoe are invaluable," said Quinn Young, Forest Botanist with the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit. "The inspiration and commitment demonstrated by their volunteers is essential to restoring native species and habitats unique to the Lake Tahoe Basin."

Teams of volunteers, led by league and forest service experts, and a crew from the California Conservation Corps worked on three projects throughout the morning and early afternoon. By day's end, 800 native willow plants were installed along eroding stream banks on Burke Creek, and as the plants grow, their roots will help secure the dirt in place, preventing it from clouding the waters downstream.

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At the confluence of Burke Creek and Lake Tahoe another team repaired fencing that protects the native and threatened Tahoe Yellow Cress, a small plant that can only be found along Lake Tahoe's pristine sandy beaches.

A final crew scoured the beach for litter and aquatic invasive species that compete with natives and mar the scenic beauty of Tahoe's shoreline.