Fifth-graders help Lake Tahoe Creek restoration earn award | SierraSun.com

Fifth-graders help Lake Tahoe Creek restoration earn award

Staff report

TAHOE VISTA, Calif. — Placer County's restoration of a once-contaminated and environmentally damaged site in Tahoe Vista was recently honored with the Envision Platinum award.

The Snow Creek Stream Environment Zone Restoration Project was a cooperative effort led by the Department of Public Works' Tahoe Engineering Division office, according to a Placer County press release.

The location on National Avenue, north of Highway 28, was the longtime site of a cement batch plant that had choked the natural stream with fill, debris and waste, denuded vegetation, and dumped petrochemical and cement waste, according to the county.

The completed project included the removal of fill material, storm water treatment, site grading to re-establish the historical tributary, and revegetation to restore the stream environment zone, as well as the construction of a bicycle and pedestrian trail that includes boardwalk sections elevated above environmentally-sensitive areas.

The platinum award was the highest attainable level of award from the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure, according to the county, and the first-ever given by the institute.

Throughout the project, a fifth-grade class at Glenshire Elementary school was involved in the restoration. The children recorded willow tree measurements, took water quality samples and planted some of the revegetation after the hazardous material was removed from the site.

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The class also wrote content and did the graphic design for the interpretive signs installed at the site. Four of these students returned as sixth graders during a ribbon-cutting ceremony two weeks ago that featured board supervisors, docents and others.

Placer County funded the project through grants from numerous agencies and organizations. Learn more at placer.ca.gov/.